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Finding a Fit: How to Evaluate a Company's Culture and the Opportunity


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Ever looked at a job description and thought, "Wow I am totally NOT qualified..." Or left an interview thinking, "Hmm I don't even know what it's like to work there." Or wonder, "What happens after I accept this offer?"

If you've ever been too afraid to apply for a position, thinking that it might be a stretch, but desperately wanted to be more than just gainfully employed, and instead feel fulfilled, challenged, and appreciated, then the first forum on 2014 is for YOU!

In this upcoming forum titled Finding a Fit, you'll learn:

• Why it's important that you apply to positions even though you might feel under-qualified

• How to determine if a company has a culture that meets your needs

• How to confidently and compassionately set standards for you boss and colleagues before you accept an offer

Published in: Career, Technology, Business
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Finding a Fit: How to Evaluate a Company's Culture and the Opportunity

  1. 1. Finding a Fit How to Evaluate a Company’s Culture and the Opportunity Femgineer Forum #femgineerforum ... Sponsored by: ModCloth January 29, 2014 Poornima Vijayashanker @poornima 1
  2. 2. Happy New Year! 2
  3. 3. We have a LOT in store for you in 2014! 3
  4. 4. Format Brief talk on strategies to help you level-up • Breakout session to practice strategies • Presentations to get feedback • 4
  5. 5. Agenda Why is it important to gauge culture and the opportunity? • How do you gauge culture? • How do you evaluate an opportunity? • Breakout session • 5
  6. 6. My story: never met a job description I fulfilled. 6
  7. 7. We’re not going to focus on: Changing current environment. Changing your personality! 7
  8. 8. Find a Fit! 8
  9. 9. “I should just take what I’m given & be happy...” 9
  10. 10. You Have More Leverage Than You Think! 1. Understand why the company wants YOU 2. Know that you are adding value to the company e.g. just because you are inexperienced doesn’t mean you are incapable 3. ASK for what you need e.g. internship or contract vs. full-time offer Supplemental Reading: Think you don’t have any leverage? 10
  11. 11. People will also take you more seriously. 11
  12. 12. 12
  13. 13. “Why is it important to gauge the culture & opportunity?” 13
  14. 14. Mis-prioritization 1. Worried about skills fitting job description 2. Salary over everything else 3. Failing to understand what the day-to-day will be like 14
  15. 15. Performance & productivity is based on happiness. 15
  16. 16. To be happy you have to be in a happy environment! 16
  17. 17. “How do you gauge the opportunity?” 17
  18. 18. How to Evaluate an Opportunity 1. Don’t let the job description reject you e.g. MUST Have’s vs. Nice to Have’s 2. Be clear about what you want to do and what you DON’T want to do 3. Iron out any and ALL ambiguities 18
  19. 19. Needs Analysis 1. Do you really want to work for a place that doesn’t give you what you need? 2. We’re too afraid to ask thinking we’ll get rejected or put someone out. 3. ASK for what you need. e.g. forum attendee last year 19
  20. 20. “How do you gauge culture?” 20
  21. 21. Questions to Ask During Interview Behavioral Style Questions Biased Questions “Tell me about the last deadline your team faced? What was it like?” “Do you have to pull all-nighters to meet deadlines?” “Do you socialize together after work? What are your team’s favorite activities?” “I hope the team doesn’t play video games together after work. I am not a gamer.” “What was the best pieces of advice you’ve received from your manager?” “Have you ever been chewed out by your manager?” “Tell me about the last disagreement you witnessed. What was it about? How was it resolved?” “Do people yell at each other when they disagree?” Supplemental Reading: Will I fit? Tips for Measuring Company Culture 21
  22. 22. Policies vs. Practice 22
  23. 23. Policies vs. Practice Policies Practice Unlimited vacation! No one takes vacation. Remote working. Frowned upon when people do it. Everyone leaves the office at 6pm. People log back in after 7pm. We are kid friendly and female friendly. No one has kids and there are no women. 23
  24. 24. Uncertainty & setbacks. 24
  25. 25. Too good to be true? 25
  26. 26. Take it! 26
  27. 27. 27
  28. 28. Review Why is it important to gauge culture and the opportunity? • How do you gauge culture? • How do you evaluate an opportunity? • Breakout session • 28
  29. 29. Next Forum! Upstart in Google Ventures February 26, 2014 Visit 29
  30. 30. Want to host a forum at your company? Contact: 30
  31. 31. Lean Product Development Course Visit Mentoring Visit 1 spot currently available 31
  32. 32. Q&A 32
  33. 33. Breakout Session! 33
  34. 34. BREAK OUT SESSION KEY OBJECTIVE(S) AGENDA Get comfortable identifying coming up with your list of needs, expressing it, gauging culture, and the opportunity. 30 minutes Get into groups of ~5 people. 1. Introduce yourself to the group. 2. Go through handout 3. Group exercise 4. Individual exercise 5. Present & receive feedback DELIVERABLE Short presentation 34