Finding a good company culture can be just as important to your job satisfaction as the work you do. The next time you have a job interview, check out the offices as you walk through to get an idea of what working there might be like.
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When most people go in for an interview, they tend to focus on impressing the employer. Employers assume the same thing, so they’re not usually paying attention to being on their best behaviour. This means that, when you walk through the building where you’re interviewing, you’re probably getting a decent glimpse of “business as usual” So it’s a good chance to scope the company out:
Pay attention to how organised or chaotic business is conducted, and the mental/emotional state of the employees. Is everyone frazzled? Depressed? Lethargic? Angry? What kinds of comments are being exchanged, and in what tone?
The mood of an office during “business as usual” is a good indicator of what you’ll be experiencing if you’re hired. During your interview, notice whether you’re being given the interviewer’s full attention and interest. Do they seem interested and engaged in what you’re saying?
It may be a little unfair to judge an employer solely based on a pass through of the offices, but it’s also the one chance you might get to see what work is like in its natural state. Of course, you should also ask questions during the interview on this topic. But don’t forget to evaluate your surroundings based on how well it fits for you, as well.