How To Better Assess Cultural Fit


Choosing candidates who best fit with your company’s culture is essential to making successful hires and reducing turnover. Unfortunately, assessing cultural fit isn’t always an easy task, particularly when a group of interviewers all have contrasting opinions about a candidate. So how can you adjust your recruitment strategy in order to find candidates who will fit in well with your company culture?

Know what you’re looking for.

To make the right decisions you need to know what you’re looking for, so it’s important to define your company culture before you start assessing your candidates. Make a list of core values that an employee must possess so you can tick these off when an applicant shows evidence of possessing them. On the other hand, if they don’t appear to hold the same values on your must-haves list, you know they’re not the right candidate for you. Do the same for skills and other qualities that are essential for the role on offer and ensure everyone involved in the interviewing process has a copy of these requirements. After the interview you can compare which of the skills/qualities you’ve ticked off your list with the other assessors in order to better evaluate a candidate’s suitability.

Listen and look closely.

Many of us are guilty for passively listening to candidates once you’ve reached the tenth interview of the day, or committing the age-old sin of judging a book by its cover. The reality is, cultural fit can only be assessed by digging beneath the surface and discovering specific details about your applicants. To be an active listener you need to be able to see the situation from the candidate’s viewpoint, as well as be observant and open-minded. Only by adopting this attitude will you be able to uncover the traits your candidate possesses. Take into consideration the applicant’s voice and body language. Are they loud, over expressive and talking over you? Or do they maintain eye contact, speak clearly without rushing and avoiding distracting hand gestures? Just by making an extra effort to listen harder and look closely at your candidates you’ll be able to reveal more about them in order to better assess their cultural fit.

Ask the right questions.

There may be questions that need to be specifically constructed to assess those applying for your vacancies, but there are also general questions that every business can use to assess cultural fit effectively:

  • Describe what you consider to be the perfect working environment in order for you to achieve your potential.
  • How do you prefer to work? Do you perform better as an individual or via teamwork?
  • Give us an example of a situation when you above and beyond your role in order to please a client/customer.
  • Tell us about your relationship with your last manager.
  • What is your preferred management style in terms of helping you to be at your most productive?

So if you’re struggling to find candidates who fit in with your company culture, then follow the steps above to ensure your recruitment strategy is focused on achieving the best results from your interviews. Successfully adjusting your hiring process in this way will help you to reduce turnover as the candidates you hire are more likely to fit in well with your employees and working environment.