Do Your Homework: Snoop around online to see what you can find. Glassdoor has employee reviews of many companies. Larger companies may be profiled in local newspapers and business journals. Publications such as Business Insider and Entrepreneur frequently create lists of the companies with the best company culture. Looking at social media posts by the company, its employees and others can give you some insight into the company as well.
Crowdsource your Information: When you are considering a certain company, think about who you know who works there, or better yet, who has worked there. Ask for their thoughts on the company. I do say take the information with a grain of salt. If your friend who is badmouthing the company tends to grumble about lots of things in his life, it might be him, not the company that was not a good fit.
Ask the Right Questions: You'll be getting asked questions during the interview process. Make sure you ask questions too. Ask questions relevant to the role you are interested in, and questions about how the company manages its employees and how people work together. For some good questions, look here.
Shadow Someone: If you are offered the job, but are still unsure the company is the right fit for you, ask if you could job shadow someone in a similar role to you. My all time best boss offered this option to me during the interview process. While I didn't do a job shadow, I did call up some of the employees to ask them about the job, about their boss and about the dynamics of the office. It allowed me to learn more about the company, interact with future colleagues early on, and do my own "reference" check of my future employer. It paid off!
Here are some additional articles to determine company culture:
- Examples of companies with great corporate cultures.
- Starting a New Job? Here's how to Evaluate Company Culture.
- 9 Sneaky Ways to Figure out a Company's Culture
Remember, you will be spending a lot of time at your new company. Making sure it's a good fit early on is very important. You want to make sure your culture and values are well matched with your future employer.