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How to suss out company culture during a job interview

There are many factors that influence your happiness with a new job. Obvious factors include your enjoyment of the job responsibilities and your appreciation of the organization’s mission. It also helps if you have at least a few colleagues that you like. Another key factor, though, is the compatibility of the company culture with the way you work. Even if you love the day-to-day tasks and believe in the mission, a mismatch in culture may leave you running for the hills.

The quicker you can pick up on the culture—particularly if you can suss out some of it from the interview—the more likely you are to save yourself heartache down the line. Here are a few ways to get a sense of the culture and to determine whether it is a good fit for you.

PAY ATTENTION TO PEOPLE’S VALUES

Lots of research explores the values people hold. Values are general criteria people use to decide what it means to lead a fulfilled life. Many factors influence the values that people hold including their upbringing, religious and social institutions they belong to, and personal experience.

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