Is This Software Company the Right Fit for Me?

Job applications are a two-way street: Are you the right fit for the company? Is the company the right fit for you?

No one wants to go through the trouble of undergoing all the steps of a full hiring process only to find out that the company isn't the right fit. Unfortunately, according to a 2016 Hays Canada survey reported by Benefits Canada, nearly 47 percent Canadian professionals stated that they were unhappy with their current job. Further, 86 percent of respondents shared that they belief that their fit with the workplace itself was a key factor in contentment and potential longevity with the company.

With these statistics in mind, it is vital that you learn as much as possible about companies and your potential fit with their corporate culture before committing to permanent employment. It is just as important to understand whether the company is a right fit for you as it is to know if you are a right fit for the company.

Take a few moments to think about some questions and strategies that can help you gain strong insights about the workplace culture for what you imagine is your dream software developer job and whether the fit is right.

The importance of fitting into the firm’s culture and enjoying the job

In May 2019, Alison Doyle from The Balance wrote that "company culture is the personality of a company." This simple statement is true, as firm culture encompasses factors like happiness and work-life balance, growth potential and productivity. It is important that you ask the hiring manager about all the elements that you know are crucial to your happiness and potential for a long career with the company.

Following are some key questions you may ask yourself and your contact in the company:

  • Do you share a common purpose and overlapping goals with the company? While you are signing on to perform the tasks of a highly qualified software developer, it is also important to know if your personal values and general world view align.
  • Does the company and its culture fit with the rest of your life? If you have a family or other obligations that make working long hours difficult or impossible, it is important to know your company's position on considerations like forced overtime and mandatory weekend shifts.
  • Why do you truly want to work for the company? Perhaps you dislike your current job, or are tired of being unemployed and just want to take something. These types of reasons may lead to unhappiness with your prospective company. Take an honest look at your reason for choosing the company, as well as all that it has to offer, and honestly assess the potential for happiness.
  • Will the company appreciate you and foster your growth? If you thrive on feedback, make sure your potential new employer is willing to give you frequent updates on your progress, potential and need for improvement to advance in the organization.

Learning the answers to these questions can help you get a better sense of the company culture from someone in-the-know so you can make an honest evaluation and decide if you want to accept the position or not. The HR representative wants to help you make the best decision possible, for your benefit and theirs.

Technical side: Check around to see if the company is the right fit in terms of benefits, hours and total compensation

Broaden your research strategy to learn even more about the company, especially in terms of total compensation, hours and benefits.

Here are just a few ways you can learn more about the company from a variety of sources:

  • The company's website. Learn more about basic information such as the standard operating hours, as well as the larger organizational mission and values. Also, you can often find testimonials from employees, which can provide insights into the workplace culture.
  • Glassdoor and other employer review websites. Glassdoor in particular is a website that hosts company reviews written by current and former employees.
  • Ask around for word-of-mouth reviews. Ask friends in your industry what they know about the software company you are considering to see what they think, or what they have heard from friends and associates.

Cultural side: Check to see if it is the right fit to offer contentment and fun

Don't discount the value of a good cultural fit that includes contentment and fun. Check for reviews on matters such as how management treats employees, the organization's values, and its outings and team building focus.

Do you feel your prospective software developer firm is the best fit for you?

After asking these questions and performing this research, do you feel better about your potential position? Do you think you're a good fit for the long-term? Keep asking questions that are meaningful to you before making a commitment both you and your future employer may regret.