By Katie Bennett, Katz Career Management
Are you thinking of joining the Great Resignation? If you are, it is likely because you have been rethinking your career and are at least mildly, but possibly greatly, dissatisfied with your pay, benefits, workplace environment, work/life balance, prospects for internal advancement, or other critical factors.
When considering these career details, this list includes a list of symptoms that could point to the root cause of your dissatisfaction: a mismatch between your values and those of your employer. These factors, when taken together, amount to the organization’s corporate culture, or the ethics, vision, and behaviors that affect both the company’s reputation and your experience working there.
One of the most straightforward ways to learn more about an organization’s corporate culture is by asking specific questions that give you a glimpse of what it is like to work there. Here are five critical corporate culture questions you should consider including in your next conversation with a hiring manager.
- Why do you like coming to work? – An interview is an opportunity for you to have a one-on-one conversation with current employees. When they turn the floor over to you to ask questions, you should consider getting their opinion about the workplace and their own experience of the organization. Pay close attention to the answers that they give. Do they seem sincere in what they share? Could you see yourself also liking those characteristics? Figuring out your alignment with how they describe the workplace can signal to you whether you are a culture match.
- What do the day-to-day duties look like for someone in this role? – It is natural to be curious about what your life might look like if you take on the role you have applied for. While every position is likely to have at least one duty that you are not thrilled about completing, most of the tasks should be activities that you are skilled at and enjoy. This question can help you put the role into perspective and consider how it might fit into your life and goals.
- What are three characteristics of a person who will be successful in this role? – Every hiring manager is looking for a set of intangibles in the employees that they hire. Maybe they want someone who is tenacious and works well under pressure. Maybe they want someone who can multi-task and thrive in ambiguity. When considering the response to this question, be honest with yourself about if you match the description they have supplied or if you might be better off looking elsewhere.
- What do you consider to be the most challenging aspect of this role? – Certain positions are inherently difficult and demanding, so it is important to learn from leadership and other team members what might be difficult duties of this job. The response to this question may raise a lot of red flags, and it is critical for you to digest and unpack the details to ensure that you are willing to take on that challenge.
- What does professional development look like for this role? – Each position that you take should set you up for the next step in your career. When asking this question, you will get a glimpse into how much the organization views you and your growth as a priority. If there is time for adding stretch goals to your activities, joining affinity groups where you can take part in workshops, and other learning opportunities, that is a clue that you will be well-suited to seeking promotions and long-term tenure at this organization.
Of course, no one question can give you a sense of what it is genuinely like to work at an organization. However, by asking questions like those listed here in your interview process, you will have a better understanding of what the organization is looking for in an employee and, more importantly, if they are the type of company where you can see yourself taking the next steps in your professional career.