How to Evaluate a Company’s Culture During a Remote Hiring Process - Deepstash
A Job Seeker's Guide

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A Job Seeker's Guide

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Evaluating company culture

Company culture is a necessary part to consider when evaluating whether a job is a good match for you. The work environment can have a significant impact on your experience and satisfaction in your role.

There are some pointers to help you understand the company's culture before you accept an offer.

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Know what you're looking for

When searching for your next position, a list of must-haves like pay and benefits should also include values you want your company to prioritize.

Perhaps an adequate work-life balance is vital if you are a remote worker. Or maybe you're looking for a highly collaborative environment. Choose the three top-most non-negotiable traits and use that on trying to decipher cultural clues.

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Do some independent research

  • Website: Look for the company's "about" and "careers" pages, where you can find information about values, perks, and culture.
  • Blog: The company may have published a behind-the-scenes look at how they transitioned to remote work or the different social initiatives their team members are part of.
  • Social Media: See if they are responding to customer service inquiries promptly and respectfully.
  • Employee reviews: Search for keywords like 'remote' or 'values'.

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Connect with current (or former) employees

Getting in touch with current and/or former team members can give you valuable knowledge.

  • Consider asking the hiring manager to introduce you to a few employees who can answer your questions about culture.
  • Or use LinkedIn to search for current and former employees. Send them a personalized connection request and ask if they'd be willing to answer a few questions over a quick phone call or email.
  • Search for Twitter phrases like "remote culture at [Company]", "working at [Company]," or "working remotely for [Company]."

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Ask specific questions

At the end of a job interview, you should have the opportunity to ask questions.

Ask questions about culture qualities you've identified as important to you. Remote-specific questions about company culture include:

  • How does your team maintain strong bonds?
  • How has your company culture changed since working remotely?
  • What is the biggest hurdle you had to overcome when team members started working remotely?
  • What Slack channels are your favourite?

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Observe what you can

When you're interviewing remotely, pay attention to the details available.

As you speak to a hiring manager or other team members, pay attention to how content they seem in their roles. Do they seem excited about bringing somebody new onto the team? Or are they exhausted at the idea of needing to train and onboard?

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Use the hiring process as your cue

Pay attention to the following points during the remote hiring process.

  • Organisation. Is the hiring process disorganised and full of misunderstanding and frustrations, or do they have streamlined systems that show evident respect for your time?
  • Communication: What tools did they use? How did their communication come across to you?
  • Work-life balance: Are you getting emails from a hiring manager in the middle of the night or over the weekend if they are in the same timezone as you? That could be an indicator that their culture doesn't prioritise disconnecting and downtime.

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Reading is my passion, leadership is my favourite non-fiction. A bit of a geek.

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