Why, I hear you ask, do we need to write this list? Well two reasons really.
The first is that this will get you crystal clear on what company culture you are seeking – which you can ask about indirectly at interviews (such as asking ‘can you tell me of a time when the team worked really well together and was supportive throughout?’).
Secondly, it will reinforce why you might be seeking work elsewhere, which is always a good thing when embarking on something scary, like your next career move.
Now list your likes and dislikes of the people and politics where you work. Avoid singling out one individual at work and making the list strictly about him or her in favor of generalizing the company culture, for example, ‘competitive and self serving’ or ‘supportive’.
Try to be as constructive as possible rather than resorting to name calling, using traits as opposed to names such as ‘argumentative’ ‘not a cohesive team’ etc or even ‘collaborative’ if naming your likes.
Now come up with a list of five interview questions you could ask your interviewer in relation to their company culture and then pick the best two – this will set you apart from the majority of other candidates. Just a little added bonus question; always ask whether the interviewer has any reservations as to your ability to perform well in the role as this then gives you the opportunity to address any concerns directly.