From the moment candidates enter your office, they are getting a front row seat to your company’s culture – whether you can see it or not. When people talk about culture, the often discuss the tangible things like casual dress, free lunches, company-wide happy hours, etc. But there is much more to a culture than the physical. From how the receptionist greets candidates, to what they overhear while walking past your employees’ desks, to the types of questions they are asked – everything gives them a sense of your organization.
Put yourself in the candidate’s shoes and ask these questions to better understand the interview experience at your company. If you find yourself cringing at the responses, you might have a culture problem.
- Is there anyone in the common areas of the office interacting?
- In a group interview with a team, are the co-workers at ease with each other or is there tension?
- When you ask questions about their experiences working at the company, do current employees hesitate before responding?
- What kind of general feeling do you get while in the office?
- Ask questions about how employees are evaluated on performance. Is there a clear process in place that seems fair?
- Does the company host any social gatherings or annual parties for employees?
- Is the interviewer asking any questions that seem to have a negative bent to them? (It could be a sign that they’ve had a bad experience with an ex-employee in your role.)
- Could you imagine yourself celebrating the successes of your would-be manager and team?
- Does the team seem to have an open report with each other, or do they act as though they work more in silos?
Employees are the heartbeat of your company culture so if there’s an issue, it’s going to be hard to cover up during the interview process. No matter how attractive the tangible benefits might be, candidates can sense when something is off.
So what do you do when you realize your culture is in trouble? Find out why. Take a pulse survey of your employees to understand if different departments, teams or locations are more unhappy or engaged than another. From there, you can dig deeper into the underlying causes so you can formulate a solution.
The employee experience starts in the first interview and savvy candidates (the ones you want, right?) will immediately know if your company culture is a selling point, or a reason to run for the door.