Way back when it used to be all about qualifications to get a job. Now every HR person you meet is talking about being able to fit within the company and I think they have a point. When you spend 10 hours a day with your coworkers, it is important you get along (Qualifications are still very important though – they get you considered). I think most HR people talk about fit as a one way street. They assume if you fit within the team, the team will be a fit for you, however that is not always the case.
Its All About You
In most cases I do not believe it is all about you, but in this case it is. Whether classes, internship, or job the most important fit is yours. In this economy its hard to turn down something that pays but it is so crucial to make sure it works for you. You will be spending up to 10 hours a day at your job, I know that sounds crazy but I do not care what industry you are in, there are no more 9-5 jobs anymore.
Because you are going to be devoting so much of your life to this job, it needs to work for you. Look at a company’s motto, website and space. If you only feel comfortable in quiet spaces and want your own office, a modern company in advertising or digital probably won’t be a good fit for you because creative companies are all about open spaces and creating collaboration. The space can tell you a lot and so can the receptionist. Receptionists set a tone for an office and it is important to be aware of this.
Fit With A Team
When you interview somewhere and you will be working with a specific team you should request to meet them. Most places will include interviews with members of the team but it is so important to find out if you mesh with these people. Chemistry can’t be created out of thin air, and some people just don’t work well together, period. Ask what a typical day is like, find out the teams work style. This I find is one of the most crucial elements. If your boss is a micro manager and you like to be given direction and left alone, you may not work well together.
The best and most important tip is to ask if the members of the team are friends. I know this may be weird for some industries but if the team members like each other on a base level you will enjoy your job A LOT MORE! It also leads to a lot more fun at work.
A great way to figure out if a company is a good fit for you is an informational interview. They are more casual and you often get a tour of the building. This is very helpful to determine corporate culture and how everyone in the building interacts.
This is also very useful if you are unsure about what industry you want to go into. You can ask a lot of questions and see how environments are which can help change your opinion of an industry.
Ask to Spend More Time
If you get an offer from a company and you are unsure about it, you can ask to spend more time with the team or at the office. Maybe get a tour or spend a day in the office with the group. This is a great way to learn more.
Good luck finding the right fit for you!
Shannon is a senior at Boston University majoring in Advertising in the College of Communication. She has experience working for NBC Universal in New York City as well as PJA Advertising and Marketing in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She loves clean functional digital design. Digital is the future of advertising and marketing and Shannon likes to stay involved and on trend. Visit her website or follow her on Twitter.