Respecting company culture
How to find out if the company is right for you
Respecting the culture of a company you want to work for starts with your very first interaction with them, and goes right through to what you wear and how to answer the phone when you're there. If you want to do well, make sure you're prepared.
We recommend spending some time on the organisation's website and social media sites to find out about the organisation's values or mission statement and how they operate, and think about how your personality and actions can contribute to helping the organisation achieve them. Be sure to mention this in your covering letter.
It may sound strange to some but it's only worth applying for a job if your values align with those of the organisation you're applying to. If you are not really bothered about what they do or why they do it, and they seem to take a great pride in it, then perhaps it's not for you.
Dress the part: they say you can never overdress for an interview, but sometimes you can. Yes you want to be smart and appear like you've made the effort, but if you're looking to work in a particularly creative or laid-back environment, then the sharp suit might be a stark contrast to the jeans your interviewer is wearing. Make sure you read our separate article for more on what to wear to an interview »
Adapt your communication style: whether it's loud and outgoing or clear and considered, make sure you're seen as someone who can communicate the way that is generally expected from that organisation. How have the people you've spoken to so far communicated with you?
Your first day
From your research and interview(s), you should now have a very good understanding of the standards expected of you in the workplace, so before you start, take some time to consider these:
- What do people wear there? Do you have suitable clothes for the job? Make sure you have a good selection of suitable outfits for your first week.
- What is the office environment like? Friendly and chatty, or head-down and work hard? Whatever it is, be aware of how to fit in. You don't have to change your personality, but do be wary of ruffling feathers on your first day.
- How do they communicate? Many workplaces are very quiet and rely on email, while others are very personable. There may be set methods of doing various things, so be aware of these and you'll fit into the existing dynamic with more ease.
Obviously being comfortable day-to-day is a key part of being successful in your new job, so we're not suggesting that you try to be someone you're not. But ingratiating yourself to your new colleagues, not to mention your boss, is a good way to make the most of your first few days. There's usually a lot of learning to do on a new job, and having the rest of the team on your side should make this easier.
Want more advice, take a look at our other articles: