I think this question works well whether you are being interviewed for a senior position or a staff position.. So, from the standpoint of answering the question, I think the answer is going to work in both contexts.
So, the question for today is, “Do you understand our corporate culture?”
Now, let’s assume we were talking about a well-known organization, public firm, yadda, yadda. So, the correct answer would wind up being, “You know, I know what you want us to know. After all, you have a well-oiled publicity machine and PR for the organization is spectacular. People talk about the firm in this, that or the other way.” Then, you describe how the organization is thought of from a positive perspective.
But from there, you continue by saying, “We both know this is part of what you’re putting out into the world. Some people leave this organization who, if I called, would say something different. How do you perceive the corporate culture because you’re living in? I’m not. I’m reading about it. I’m talking to people who work for the firm, AND who leave the firm. How do you see the corporate culture? What does it take to be successful here?”
Thus, you turn the question back to them, so they talk about it and, thus, you’re giving them a non BS type of answer because what you’re saying is true.
Apple, Facebook, we would talk about smart organizations with enthusiastic people who are committed. You know, it’s all this publicity stuff that each organization puts out to be seen in a favorable light.
“We reward success. We’ve got a top management team. We are committed to excellence.”
Tell me what form doesn’t say that . . . but the reality is different. It’s far more nuanced. Thus, you want to remind them of that, so that, in this way, you can get some real insights from them about the positives and the challenges that the organization is facing directly from them.
Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2020
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1800 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.
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