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Sniffing for Culture Smells & Interviewing Critically

June 28, 2015

Sniffing for Culture Smells & Interviewing Critically

It is incredibly difficult to find a good place to work that matches your very unique requirements. How do you interview successfully while also critically examining a company? How do you sniff out culture smells and determine if a company’s work environment will be toxic to you? How do you discern if you will thrive or drown? Examining perspectives, policies, and real-world practices on diversity, employee satisfaction, and HR is not always best done with a questions-only approach. This talk details a multi-pronged approach to interviewing successfully with potential future employers that will help you sniff out culture smells.


June 28, 2015

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  1. how do we find places to work that meet our

    technical, social, and cultural needs?
  2. who do you know? where do your friends work? if

    you haven’t built a network yet or don’t have friends in tech, look for places that friends-of-friends work
  3. activate the whisper network ask friends in private channels if

    they have insight into a company, or if they know anyone there.
  4. tactics. ask to be interviewed by a person from an

    underrepresented group in that role
  5. if you can*, do not hide or downplay the importance

    of the things you care about. * do not feel unsafe, aren’t forced to out yourself
  6. or request interview modifications & do research that will help

    you answer your questions without asking
  7. what work do you think needs to be done to

    improve the work environment for underrepresented groups?
  8. do you track metrics on retention & job satisfaction? do

    you cross- reference data with demographics?
  9. HR

  10. is it difficult to enact change? what changes have they

    made recently and how long did they take?