I am just beginning my reading and review of the McGraw Hill Education publication (thank you to McGraw Hill for sending me a copy of the new 2nd edition for review!), Great Answsers, Great Questions for Your Job Interview (2014).
So far I am loving what I am reading! Kudos to authors Jay Block and Michael Betrus!
Chapter One provides a fine overview of how to research the company that is interviewing you - you've got to check that out, but what got me excited was Chapter Two, "Identifying Company Culture."
I believe that this is a critical first step in not only preparing for the interview, but for composing the resume! Yes! If you don't take into account the type of culture in which you would be most happy and effective, you may just accept an offer from a company that is the opposite. Jumping from the frying pan into the fire, as the saying goes. That's not a good strategy for long-term career management.
"First, there are two types of cultures to be aware of: company culture and the manager's culture."
Absolutely. I have had plenty of clients who say they liked the company, supported its values, were in sync with benefits and so on, but didn't get along with their manager, director or VP. This happens, and that level of culture is only worth investigating when contacted for an interview. The book suggests online research, asking questions in the interview, looking at the dress code, picking up on vibes even!
But the larger culture should be considered before you apply. I suggest that for the purpose of your job search, knowing yourself and conveying, in subtle terms, your motivation, your working style and so on will attract like-minded interest. Will it turn away some potential interest? Yes, but that's a good thing. Better to reel in an interview call from a company that has similar values and style than to share a resume that either pretends you are someone else or neglects to include this level of insight, which leads to being snagged by a company that is so not "you" that you have little chance of success.
Why will this work? As the authors say "When people enjoy what they do and their environment, they perform better." Employers and recruiters know this well and select a candidate purposefully. They want to see engagement, passion for the work, and yes, a great fit for the team!
I'll be writing more on this book over the next few months, so stay tuned for updates on interesting topics like what employers are really looking for and alternative interview models, like group interviews and the telephone interview!