When the company’s culture is a perfect "fit" it allows you to be successful, productive, and happy at work. Unfortunately, a company culture that isn’t in line with your values can make you dread going to work everyday. Don’t hurt your career in the long run by neglecting to learn about a company’s culture before your interview.

What is company culture?

Company culture consists of values, how important and daily decisions are made, dress codes, rewards, customs and the relationships between individuals within a company. Below are some things you need to know before your interview.

About co-workers:

• What is the level of teamwork expected?
• How do they communicate within the company?
• What does work-life balance look like at this company?
• What do they like and dislike the most about the company?
• Do they participate in group outings or events outside of work?

About upper management:

• Is training provided to help employees succeed and grow professionally?
• Do they provide access to employee resource groups?
• When and how are employees usually evaluated?
• Do they provide strict guidelines for all tasks or encourage self-management?

Where to begin

Start by asking current and former employees of the company what they like and dislike the most about the company. Read what is being said about the company in the news. Browse online company reviews. You should even think about asking the company's customers, clients, and members of the local community about their experiences to see if the company has a positive reputation. Knowing what type of company culture appeals to you should be a key component of every successful job strategy.

Brenda Marungo is one of the Channel Managers at iHispano.com, the nation's premier professional networking site and job board for Latinos in the United States. Follow iHispano.com on Twitter @iHispano and on Facebook to stay up-to-date on the latest career tips and job opportunities.

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