Five Ways to Assess ‘Cultural Fit’ During the Hiring Process

When you’re combing through resumes and interviews, one thing you shouldn’t do is hire someone based on your first impression alone. One thing you should do is pay close attention to the interviewee who has the required experience but are just not sure if he or she will fit with your company’s culture. When people don’t work well with an organization’s culture, they’ll have a hard time showing superior job performance because they’re not adapting to the core beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that make up your organization. You’ll need to learn about hiring employees that fit into the culture of your workplace. How do you do that? We’re going to provide a list below with some ways you can make sure the people you want to hire have the right cultural fit in the workplace.

1. Assess Your Workplace’s Pace

Knowing what the pace is at your workplace can help you dictate if your candidate will fit into the company’s culture or not. Once you know the pace, you can ask your candidate some questions about how he or she makes decisions, how he or she takes precautions, how the candidate might assess ambiguity, and how quickly your candidate can change direction when needed. Assess the responses with the way you know your workplace works to see if that candidate fits.

2. Give Candidates a Personality Test

One way to see if potential employees will fit into your company’s culture is to give them a personality test, like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. In fact, you can even set this up online, before you ever call them for an interview. This personality test can tell you a lot about someone’s leadership skills and their ability to make decisions. You’ll also discover if the person is introverted or extroverted, and how the person makes decisions. You can use those test scores to analyze them against the culture of your company.

3. Ask Interesting Questions

When you are interviewing an individual, most candidates will come prepared to answer the usual interview questions. However, one great way to get a real first impression from these candidates is to ask them some interesting questions about things they might not see coming. If you are able to ask about things like hobbies and interests, and then ask some questions about those things that the candidate might not expect, you’ll be able to better assess their personality.

4. Let Candidates Lead

Another great way to get a better feel for a candidate’s personality to test out his or her cultural fit is to try to get the interviewee talking without prompts or by simply answering your questions. Challenge the candidate to actually lead the conversation at times, since this can give some talented people opportunities to stand out. If you notice that your candidates don’t do well leading the conversation, they might not fit in well with your company’s culture.

5. Make Sure Your Candidates Can Adapt

One thing you want to remember as well when you are doing your interview is that people can’t do well in all types of company cultures since culture can really vary from one workplace to the next and one country to the next. Of course, you might find somebody that has had success and a job position similar to the current opening you have to fill, but you still need to make sure that candidate has decent adaptability skills and can adapt to a multi-cultural work environment or a company’s culture in a foreign country with its own traditions and tendencies. If somebody is able to adapt well to a new company including in a foreign country in a similar job, then that’s a good sign that this person will be able to adjust to fit the needs of the company culture.

By Fernando Ortiz-Barbachano

CEO & Founder of Barbachano International (BIP) the Human Capital Solutions leader in Mexico, Latin America and the USA offering high impact executive search, executive coaching and outplacement. Directly and through our partners, we have offices in Mexico, USA, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Uruguay, and Ecuador. Our corporate offices are in San Diego, California.

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