Assessing an Organization’s Culture

Deciding on an offer from an employer can unearth a number of questions. It is valuable to consider these factors as you plan your job search and evaluate them again once an offer has been extended, as your opinions may change over the course of your search.

The below have been written in the context of an employer in the United States. Sincere thanks to the University of Georgia’s Career Center who has generously shared resources in this area. It is important to note that the size of an organization may affect its ability offer wide range of needs.

  • Mission, Values, and Goals: To what extent does the organization prioritize diversity and inclusion? Look for these values in the mission statement and goals. Does the organization have a diversity statement? If so, how does the organization define diversity? What are the organization’s anti-discrimination policies?
  • Demographics: Do you see diversity at all levels of the organization from leadership positions to entry-level positions? Does the organization have a chief diversity officer or diversity manager? Is diversity represented on the organization’s board of directors?
  • Affinity Groups: Does the organization offer special interests groups for employees? Outside of affinity groups, how does the organization build community?
  • Work-Life Balance: How do employees describe their work-life balance? How does this fit with your own interests and priorities?
  • Workplace Environment: During your interview with the organization, observe interactions among the staff. Is the office environment welcoming? How does the staff treat you, and how do they treat one another? Is there space for special needs (i.e. prayer room, lactation room)?
  • Mentorship: Does the organization provide opportunities for mentorship and professional growth?

The below organizations have resources to candidates in evaluating organizations (be sure to review the evaluation criteria for each):

By Yale Office of Career Strategy
Yale Office of Career Strategy