Finding your ideal job is more than just finding the right job title. You should find a company that fits you. During your interview and your research of the organization, you will want to decide if the company culture of the agribusiness or farm you are considering is a match for you.
What is Company Culture
The culture of an organization is essentially its personality. It is a combination of the values, behaviors, and goals of the farm or agribusiness. Company culture is the way decisions are made and the way the organization interacts with its employees, customers, and community. There is no right or wrong culture, just whether it is right or wrong for you.
Decide on Your Ideal Culture
Before your interview, you need to decide what type of culture is important to you. If the culture of the ag business is very conventional and you’re more of a free spirit, then the culture may not be a match for you.
There is a lot to consider when it comes to a work culture that fits your personality. Think about your past employers. What did you like or dislike about the culture? Did you like a competitive atmosphere or do you prefer to feel supported? Do you enjoy a fast-paced environment or is a relaxed environment more your speed? Are you a big picture thinker who focuses on the overall goals or do you like to focus on your personal goals? Are you a social worker or someone who prefers to focus on your tasks at work?
If you don't fit the company culture, then over time you are not going to be happy and will end up starting your job search all over again.
Questions to Ask to Determine Company Culture
To help you determine the culture of the agribusiness at your next interview, we’ve put together 8 questions to help you gauge the company's culture before you accept an offer.
- “What’s your employee turnover rate?” – You don’t have to ask this point-blank, but asking questions like, “what is the history of this position?” or “how long have you worked here?” will help you determine if there is a high turnover rate. Understanding the turnover rate may help you understand if there is a problem with the company culture. However, keep in mind it may not be the culture, but that they're hiring employees that don't match their culture.
- “How are new ideas discussed in the company?” – This question can help determine how much of a voice you have in the office. Pay attention to their answer. Do you value having an opinion of the company or would feel more comfortable with a clear hierarchy? The hiring manager's answer will tell you if the agribusiness matches your comfort level.
- “How is success measured in this position?” – Asking this question will give you insight into the degree of freedom you will have in the position. It might give you a clearer picture of your responsibilities as well. Ask yourself, do you prefer focusing on your personal goals or the overall goals?
- “How has your position grown within the company?” – Or “how have you moved up in the company?” are good questions to ask if you want to know if you have the opportunity to move up in the company.
- "How does the organization celebrate success?" - This question can help you understand the work environment. Is it a company-wide or team-wide celebration, like an announcement during a meeting or in an email? Or is it more of an individual recognition? The answer could help you to determine if the team is more social or task-focused.
- “Describe the work-life balance of employees.” – It’s more of a statement than a question, but if you’re concerned with your work-life balance your interviewer’s answer to this question will give you more of an insight into the company’s culture.
- “Why are you proud of this company?” – This question can help you understand how the farm or agribusiness supports its employees. You could also ask, "how does the organization support career growth?" or "How does your company conduct performance reviews?" If their answers line up with your values, then their culture might be a good fit for you, otherwise, it’s time to move on.
- “What is one thing you would change about the company if you had to change something?” – No company is perfect, so there is bound to be something you won’t like about it. However, it would be good to know if it is something you can live with. If the interviewer’s answer concerns you, it’s a good bet that you will not be happy there for long.
Almost every organization boasts about how they are the best company to work for in their job descriptions and website, however you should do your homework. Check out their website and social media presence to get a deeper understanding of the culture before your interview, and then ask questions to clarify your understanding of the culture. If you want to find an agribusiness or farm you can stay with long term, ask the questions and do your research, and you’ll find an organization that is a good fit for you.