There are many factors that determine how successful a business is. One of the most important is workplace culture, which is defined as “the character and personality of an organization. It’s what makes an organization unique and is the sum of its values, traditions, beliefs, interactions, behaviors, and attitudes.” Most employers value candidates who will positively affect their company culture, and will often discuss this during an interview. Here are some tips for addressing this matter.
Why Workplace Culture is Important
Regardless of how qualified employees may be, it’s difficult for a business to thrive unless everyone is on the same page. A good workplace culture will be cohesive, where employees have similar working styles and a certain degree of camaraderie. If a particular employee doesn’t fit in or doesn’t feel comfortable, then it can be disruptive to the entire organization.
What a recruiter wants to know most when asking workplace culture questions is whether or not you’ll be a good fit and gel with the rest of the team. Let’s now discuss some common culture-related topics they might cover, and how to effectively answer their questions.
Your Previous Company
One topic they might ask about is the culture of your last employer. They basically want to know how adaptable you are, and if you’re capable of fitting in. For your response, it’s good to focus on the positive aspects of your previous company culture and include some specific examples of how it complimented your style. For example, you might say that your previous employer valued creativity and innovation, and your ability to be resourceful and think outside-the-box matched well.
Describing Personal Traits
Another question you’ll probably get will involve your working style, characteristics and a general description of yourself. If your personal traits match what your employer is looking for, then it’s going to be a huge help and vice versa. When deciding how to respond, it’s important to consider the company you’re applying to and the position.
If it’s a position where leadership and a lot of personal interaction are required, you don’t want to say that you’re an introvert. If it’s a position where you need to be able to work independently, then you need to make it clear that you work well on your own and don’t need constant supervision. Also, be prepared to provide examples from past circumstances to drive your point home.
Expressing Your Interest
Recruiters will also want to find a candidate who is enthusiastic and passionate. Consequently, they may ask you questions like:
- What do you know about our company?
- Why do you want to work here?
- Why should we hire you over other candidates?
To increase your chances of getting the job, it’s important to respond in a way that shows that you’ve researched the company and position, and that you believe that your talent and skill set would mesh well. It’s smart to pick some aspect of the company and tie it into your working style to explain why you would be a good fit. This will show that you’re genuinely interested in the company and are likely to fit in with the culture.
Being prepared to answer these types of questions is critical before having an interview. The most important things to remember are:
- Explaining how you’ve meshed well with previous employers
- Explaining how your style will fit in with the company you’re applying with
- Doing your homework on your potential employer and proving your interest
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