Alison Doyle made a great list of 10 reasons not to accept a job. One of them is if you realize the culture isn’t for you.

Culture Fit or Not?

I’ve found with my clients that culture fit is somewhat hard to identify even as it makes a huge difference in job satisfaction.

I suggest people ask “what’s the culture like here?” If they don’t have an answer, that’s a red flag – no one is paying attention to culture which exists even if ignored. You can also ask about what a typical day or week might look like, as well as what success would look like at 3, 6 or 12 months. You will notice a lot of clues to culture in those answers.

If success is measured solely by numbers, the company (or the hiring manager) may not place at least equal importance on teamwork or staff development. If you love meeting and exceeding measurable goals, you’ll probably be a better fit there than someone whose work style is rooted in teamwork.

Recruiting + Hiring Process Yields Culture Cues

How employers handle the recruitment process mis a HUGE indicator of the company’s overall culture. If they – or their recruiters – are treating you well during the process, great. If not, step away. How you begin is how you will continue. Believe them when they tell you who they are.

Story With a Moral

A client of mine went through a horrendous hiring process. She had many interviews, including group interviews. And in the interviews, she was challenged about her answers in what felt like a hostile manner. At the end of the process she was surprised to be offered both the job and an apology for how difficult the interview process had been. Because of the apology, she accepted the job.

She soon learned that “how you do something is how you do everything.”  Her boss changed her job expectations within 2 months, she was micromanaged, she received no training other than the micromanagement, and soon her boss held her accountable for goals that were not part of the job when she took it. Needless to say, she was miserable.

If she had realized that the behavior during the interview process was the norm for the company, she would have turned down the job. She won’t make that mistake again.

You can avoid a bad culture fit by paying close attention and believing what you perceive.