QuoteOriginally posted by: albertmillsHow do you view a company/role/team/career from the outside in?It's hard to tell if a particular organization/team within an organization/role/career fits you until you've tired it for a while. If it doesn't fit the logical thing to do is to try something else/go somewhere else. Yet doing that in terms of jobs requires a lot of time and effort, especially if you're switching careers, and it's hard to tell if the switch will be worthwhile until you've actually completed it and worked at the thing you switched into. If you've tired a few different companies, and they all seem the same, you get cynical and think it's just not worth doing, to hell with it. Yet this is the wrong view to take, as if you don't keep switching you'll just stay somewhere where you're unhappy. So anyone have practical advice about seeing what a co./career/team is really like from the outside in? Please don't say "informational interview".I think you can tell quite a lot by how they interact with you before and during the interview process. If people seem rushed and stressed, then they probably are. If they make cynical comments during the interview, then the coporate culture has obviously got to them. To determine this, you can use some of your 'any questions' time to make them talk around the business a bit. Good things to ask are questions about process. This is not confrontational, does not directly reference pay or 'working conditions' (which is to be avoided), but ends up giving you a clue. For example you could ask about significant contributions members of te team have made and how they were incoporated into output, you can ask about code/information management and data sources, you can ask about how their skills apply to their day jobs.If people get uncomfortable when asked these sorts of things then it is a bad sign. It can show that despite the surface spin, then underlying working processes are not great and that always makes for frustration and tension. You can also try to decipher how much clout the team has by asking about data sources and computational infrastructure. If they have crap data and no computers then the team is either not valued or has a weak leader. If the firm is spending money on the team however (especially data) then the chances are that they are doing something of import.But remember that its always easy to blame other people or 'corporate culture' for not liking a job. Before doing this look at yourself and see how flexible you are at rubbing along with others and dealing with organisational frustrations. If you can deal with it then it just makes you stronger vs those who cant.