3 Ways to Know if an Employer Matches Your Values Before the Interview

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine2.3k
April 22, 2024 at 4:14PM UTC

Nearly half of employees would quit their jobs if they learned that their employer’s value did not match their own, Atlassian’s Reworking Work study found.

Workers no longer have to settle for jobs that don’t mesh with their priorities and personal views of the world. But sometimes, you can’t tell if your values are truly consistent with those of an organization until you’re already well-established in your role.

What if there were a way to ensure your prospective employer matches your values before you even sit down for an interview? Here’s a secret: there is. Here’s how.

1. Identify the values most important to you and formulate questions.

Before you go looking for an employer with values that match yours, you need to know precisely what IS most important to you. So, take some time to jot down those core priorities and your personal ideals.

Armed with this list, you will then be well-equipped to formulate questions that illuminate whether the organization has those values, too. In the Harvard Business Review, Kristi Hedges offers some examples, including:

• Who has done well in a similar role as this one?

• Describe the culture. How has your perception evolved over time? 

• When you were in my seat, what were you told that was helpful to doing well here?

2. Ask around.

Friends, acquaintances, former colleagues and other connections can be invaluable resources when it comes to learning everything you can about an organization and what it stands for. Even if you don’t know the person directly, they can give you a better idea of how well you will fit in and mesh with the other employees and leaders.

If you don’t have these connections (and even if you do), delve into sites like Glassdoor and Fairygodboss. There, you can read anonymous reviews from current and former employees, who will give you a sense of what to expect. 

Even product and service reviews from customers and clients, via sites like Yelp, will give you a better understanding of the business’ values and priorities.

3. Do plenty of research.

Most companies have mission statements. Of course, it’s important to read them. However, as you probably know, not even organization walks the walk.

That’s why you should do plenty of research, looking at social media accounts, press releases, news, collateral and other materials. This will help you gain a greater understanding of the culture and how the organization wants to present itself to the public and to its employees.

Values are a critical part of working for any employer. If you’re unable to share drive and purpose, you won’t be happy. Do your due diligence before you end up in a situation that’s not working for you.


This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Laura Berlinsky-Schine is an editor and writer based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab-mix Hercules. She primarily focuses on education, technology and career development. She has worked with Penguin Random House, Fairygodboss, CollegeVine, BairesDev and many other publications and organizations. Her humor writing has appeared in the Belladonna, Weekly Humorist, Slackjaw, Little Old Lady Comedy, and Points in Case. She also writes fiction and essays, which have appeared in publications including The Memoirist and The Avalon Literary Review. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.

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