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Build Your Career Get the Job

Is This the Right Job For You? 7 Questions to Ask

Is This the Right Job For You? 7 Questions to Ask
Credit: Jirsak/Shutterstock

It takes much more than the right skills to be successful with a new employer. Making sure you mesh with the company culture is also a huge factor.

More than 60 percent of human resources managers have misjudged a candidate's fit with their company's work environment, while two-thirds said their organizations have lost an employee because he or she was not suited to the company culture, according to a study from the staffing firm OfficeTeam.

"Employers often focus on ensuring a skills fit when recruiting, but a corporate culture fit is equally important and more challenging to gauge," Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam, said in a statement. "Both hiring managers and candidates can ask questions during the interview to check that their values align."

To help job seekers, OfficeTeam outlines seven questions they should consider when assessing their fit with an employer's corporate culture:

  1. What principles do you value? It will be hard to fit in if the company's values differ from your own. Check out the employer's website to learn more about its vision, philanthropic activities and awards. You can also ask the hiring manager about the employer's values.
  2. Do you like working in teams? If you like collaborating with others, there is a good chance you'll enjoy working for a company that emphasizes teamwork. To get a better feel for how the company operates, ask questions during the interview about how often projects are finished as a group versus independently.
  3. Are you a risk taker? If you're big on trying new ideas, a conservative organization might not be a good fit. Learn about the employer's recent initiatives to get an appreciation of its direction. Also, during your interview ask how much the company encourages employees to test out new concepts and practices.
  4. What kind of environment do you work best in? Some employees prefer working in a quiet, closed office over one that has an open work environment. Be sure to check out the office setup when you're there for your interview.
  5. Do you like socializing with co-workers? Ask if there are any fun company traditions and how milestones are celebrated to get a better sense of the company culture.
  6. What perks are important to you? Since it's best to hold off on asking about perks until an employer actually offers you the job, try learning about what the company offers, such as flexible schedules or on-site services, by reviewing its job postings and website.
  7. What are your long-term goals? Before working for a new employer, you want to make sure it is a good fit for your career objectives. Be sure to inquire about advancement opportunities, professional development and training options.

The study was based on telephone interviews with more than 300 HR managers at U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.