A question typically posed by job candidates is “How can I assess an organization’s culture?” After all, the company’s first interview is typically to assess whether you’re a “fit” for their culture. So naturally, you as the candidate should be just as interested in getting a better feel for their culture.
You can, however, tell a lot about an organization’s culture based on its artifacts. Organizational Psychology Edgar Schein defined cultural artifacts as the aspects of an organization’s culture which can be easily discerned but not always clearly understood.
These include (but aren’t limited to) :
One question job candidates can ask their interviewers is “Tell me about your favorite Annual Themed Weeks.” After the interviewer composes themselves with the seemingly obligatory “that’s a good question“. They’ll then likely answer with some of these classics: Safety, Diversity, Health & Wellness, Quality, and Community Involvement.
Annual themed weeks give you that all-important window into discovering what the company really values and celebrates.
I encourage you to make a list of your top 5 themed weeks. Your top 5 will undoubtedly align with what you value most out of work life. Compare your list with what you hear from your interviewers. This will give you a qualitative way to assess how well the prospective company’s culture aligns with your values.
Go ahead and share your top 5 in the comments below!