A job is much more than just a room where you sit for 8+ hours a day completing tasks and meeting deadlines. It’s also a place for social interaction whether that be with colleagues, bosses or clients.

A large part of job satisfaction stems from culture so it’s important to do a bit of research into the company you are applying for. You might have the skills to carry out the role perfectly, but do you fit in with the rest of the team?

Here’s how to figure out whether the culture of the company you’re interested in is one you can see yourself thriving in.

What is company culture and why is it important?

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The majority of us can spend up to 50 hours a week in a working environment so it’s understandable that we would want to enjoy our time in the office. Some companies might briefly touch on company culture while others see it as the heart of their brand’s success.

You might find that some companies like to place a strong emphasis on company culture by talking about social activities outside of work. This will give you a clue of which kinds of people currently work there, what their interests are and what they like to do outside of work.

Company culture is crucial because it defines a brand, it can shape how you present yourself as a colleague and it can do wonders for your work ethic. Enjoying the team around you and working with people who have the same values as you will have a positive impact on your performance, attitude and professional development.

Always research the company

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Naturally this is something that will come with any job search but browsing a company’s website is a great way to do some investigating into their values and what it’s like to be a part of the team.

Perhaps the company writes blogs about social events outside of work, or they may even reveal fun facts about colleagues like favourite music, films or which celebrity they’d love to meet. These are all playful ways of helping readers get to know current colleagues and offering an insight into what their office atmosphere is like – after all, showing a fun and friendly side to your brand will make you much more approachable.

Check out the company’s social media profiles

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These days, nearly every company has a Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or even a Snapchat profile for sharing content and interacting with followers. When looking into a company’s culture and work ethic, it’s a good idea to have a look at their social media platforms as well as their website.

What content are they sharing? How do they speak to their followers? What do they get up to day-to-day? These questions are worth finding answers for as they will help you discover what the company is doing right now and which projects they are working on.

You might even be able to make contact with someone who either currently works there or who has worked there previously through social media. They will be able to give you information on what it’s like working there and the company’s highlights so far.

Don’t be afraid to ask someone about company culture. It might be a little daring but most people have something interesting to say about their jobs and you’ll often find that people are willing to share this information.

Ask culture-related questions in your interview

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If you’re lucky enough to land an interview and you want to know more about company culture, now is the perfect time to raise some questions. Usually at the end of an interview you will be asked whether you have any questions and at this stage you should have at least a couple that relate to company culture.

If it’s not already been mentioned in your interview, ask about what a usual day in the office is like, what the team does for fun and what kinds of interests people have. Again, this is a good way to find out whether you will have much in common with your potential colleagues and whether you would fit in with the team.

Find out about rewards and benefits

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Offering rewards and benefits to colleagues is one of the most appealing factors in any company. It can change the atmosphere in an office and really drive colleagues to continue working hard if they are guaranteed to have their hard work recognised.

This kind of positive working environment will encourage team members to find the right balance between working hard and playing hard and being rewarded for your efforts whether that be through a company bonus, extra days off or discounts might just be the cherry on the top!

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