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Culture Indicators & How to Find Them

Sean Dailey, Ytel |  
So you've got an interview with a company who claims to have exceedingly awesome culture. Before you buy what they're selling, do yourself a favor and do some Googling and find out for yourself. In this post, we're sharing what you should be researching before your interview, as well as questions to ask during the interview. Read on!

So you've got an interview with a company who claims to have exceedingly awesome culture. Before you buy what they're selling, do yourself a favor and do some Googling and find out for yourself.

Before the Interview 

Are they visible?

  • They should have a Glassdoor review page.
  • The company should be winning awards & have them displayed
  • They should have a reputation in the community
  • Actively participating in local meetups
  • Are they thought leaders in their industry?

Are they consistent?

  • Their reviews shouldn’t all say the same thing
  • Do they win the same award year after year?
  • The values they claim on their website should match what's said about them

During the Interview

How is the office space?

  • Is it open concept or set up for collaboration?
  • Does it make you want to be there?
  • Current employees should come off happy. 
  • The office space should match the website claims. 

Do they know what they do/want?

  • Ask what the company does (after researching on your own)
  • Ask about the positions day to day work.
  • Ask what would make someone successful in the role.
  • This should all be crystal clear by every employee!

How do they define & maintain culture?

  • ASK!
  • Their culture should reflect your beliefs
  • Is it easy for them to explain?
  • Make sure there is passion behind their words
  • Do they do outings or team events?

Have they given thought to the future?

  • There should be a clear career path and set goals.
  • They should be a stable, healthy company. 
  • How do they plan to grow over the next 5, 10 or 20 years?

Are they transparent as a company?

  • They should answer all your questions
  • It should be a two way conversation, not a grilling session
  • They should know what’s going on across the company
  • They should not avoid any specific topics or questions. 
  • This includes any interview follow up, as well. 

Do they love their job?

  • They should be able to explain why they love working for their company
  • You should be able to feel the passion or excitement (I call this the 'Nerd Factor')
  • Ask: What’s their favorite part of their job?

Are they what YOU want?

  • Ask the tough questions, don't hold back!
  • Can they relate to what you're looking for?
  • Be true to yourself and what you want, or you'll end up with a job that doesn’t fit you.
  • Don’t just take the offer because you got one!

After the Interview

Be sure to ask:

  • Based on today’s conversation, do you have any concerns about my ability to perform the job?
  • Follow up & say thank you! 

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About The Author

Sean Dailey, Ytel

Follow me on Linkedin

Sean leads the Recruiting efforts and is involved with Product Development at Ytel. After almost 4 years of agency recruiting, Sean decided to move towards internal recruiting and joined Ytel. He is a huge believer in culture, and puts an emphasis on building relationships.


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