How would you fit in with a hiring company's values and culture?
Look at any job advert or careers website and there’s a string of values that the company subscribes to as part of their culture. Most of them make sense, as businesses try to position themselves as more socially responsible, but what is a candidate supposed to make of them and fit in with them.
Not too long ago, a company tempted people to work for them with a decent salary and good prospects. As we race toward the second quarter of the 21st century, modern job hunters like to see something of themselves in the companies they work for.
Finding the values you aspire to
During the tech startup boom, that may have been the lure of games rooms, coffee bars and office slides. But now workers are growing up a little, looking for firms that have strong environmental goals, encourage workers to do charity work or develop themselves.
The good news is that most larger firms take these values from the same corporate playbook. Where big firms lead, smaller ones follow, and adapt the values they see elsewhere for their view of the world.
Usually, this comes from the founders, who might encourage strong mental health, always asking questions, taking time to help others and so on. If you visit enough career pages, you will notice a startling similarity between most of their value messages.
The key to a successful interview is to be knowledgeable of the values and culture the firm aspires to. Think of any examples from your career or outside work that you can use to demonstrate your fit. Also, don’t be afraid to suggest how you would fit these values into the role you are applying for.
For younger people entering the workplace, they may not have experience or much knowledge of these values, but can explore them as part of interview research. Candidates who have been through several companies can highlight the good and bad experiences they have had when it comes to values, and build a conversation around them.
If there’s mention of passion and excitement, then you can stray away from your calm demeanor to get excited when discussing these values, and don’t forget to express your own.
The 21st-century culture around careers
When it comes to culture, there are still a few firms out there that present an old-school view of macho success. But most try to put it clearly, even building a book of core values and how they work in practice. This helps workers understand what is expected of them, and how they can fit in.
Whatever the role or business, you can use their values as a yardstick to judge how they operate and treat their workforce. There is nothing to stop you looking at leaders’ social media feeds to see if they put these into practice, or if it's just something they think they should have on their website.