Questions to ask yourself and your employer
Many times, in the recruitment process, the interviewer asks if you have any questions yourself, but at that moment nothing seems to come to mind. As we highlighted in the first part of this article (you can read it here), a good culture fit with the company you wish to work for will translate into increased productivity and satisfaction at work. For this reason, we put together a set of questions to help you identify the culture that fits you. Some of them have an introspective role to help you get a better idea of what you’re looking for, while others are meant to be asked during the interview to help you decide whether you want to be part of a specific organizational culture or not. To some, you will find the answers in the job description or during the first conversations with the HR representative and other questions, if asked, will not only provide you with the answers you need to form an opinion but will also give the interviewer an opportunity to see how motivated you are, to observe your analytic thinking and to appreciate the way you make informed decisions.
Questions you can ask yourself for analyzing if you want to be part of a certain organizational culture:
- Can I work at my best in a virtual context or do I need the company of others?
- Am I comfortable with a hierarchical organizational structure or do I better express myself in a flat structure?
- Do I have a collaborative working style or a more individualistic one?
- Do I need clear limits between my professional and personal life or do I desire a strong bond with my team and spend time with it even after work?
- Will I be able to resonate with a group of people having the values stated by the HR representative or will I feel excluded?
These are just some examples, and once you know what your own working values are you will also know what you are looking for and what questions are important for you to ask during an interview
Questions you can ask as a candidate about the company’s specificity
- What developmental plans do you have for the next 2 years?
- What are your company’s values and its expectations from the employees?
- Are there any rumors on the market about the product/company that I should know of?
- What is the general atmosphere in the company? What kind of intern events you are having?
Structure and working style of the company
- What is the structure of the company?
- Where are the headquarters and the other offices (if the case)?
- How is this office positioned in comparison to the others?
- Who takes the decisions?
- How much autonomy does this particular HQ have?
- What role does this team play in the company?
Team configuration and working systems
- How is the team I’m applying for formed?
- Who is the Technical Lead I will report to?
- How do they work? (Agile, Scrum, Kanban)
- How much decision freedom does each member hold?
- What is the level of experience of the members of the team I’ll be integrated into?
- Will I have a flexible work schedule?
- What does the onboarding process usually look like? What about now that it is happening online?
- What kind of complaints were there from the team so far?
- Does the development team meet outside the working hours as well? What kind of hobbies do they have?
Below you will also find a series of questions that the recruiters can ask. Anticipating this kind of questions and analyzing what your answer would be could help you get a clearer vision of what you wish for from the organizational culture and will for sure come in handy in your decision making.
Some questions that recruiters might ask for assessing culture fit:
- In what kind of culture do you feel like you can express your full potential?
- How was the culture at the last companies you worked for? What would you keep and what would you avoid at your next job?
- What are your core values?
- How does the work environment that makes you the most motivated and vitalized look like for you? What is the most important aspect for you when it comes to the working environment?
- What elements from our Employer Branding brought your attention?
- Why do you want to work here?
- From what you’ve seen so far, how would you describe our organizational culture?
- What makes you think you are the best candidate for this job besides your expertise?
- How do you think you would perform in this context?
- What practices of yours do you wish to bring to our organization?
- Describe a moment where you felt like you didn’t belong to a specific organizational culture.
- Think of 2 good friends of yours. What values do they have that you appreciate the most? (this could be the bridge between you and the group of people you resonate with and want to work with).
Furthermore, you can attend a meeting of your future team, have lunch with them or have an office tour so that you can form a larger perspective on the organization and so that you can observe how comfortable you would be in different situations. This can facilitate the decision of both you and the recruiter.