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How to ascertain ‘cultural fit’ at interview

Written by Guest Author | April 16, 2015 | 0 Comments
shutterstock_234025807Any decent recruitment company in Manchester will tell you about the great importance of cultural fit. They will tell you that your organisation is, in effect, your people – that you need people who can work together towards shared goals.
But what are the interview questions to ask to ascertain a person’s ‘cultural fit’ at your business?
Many hiring managers fall into the trap of asking questions designed to determine whether the candidate is ‘just like them’. This results, over time, in a team that may think the same, but which lacks the range of skills, perspective and values to really take that company into new territory.

The questions to swerve clear of

But members of a great team won’t be different for the sake of being different – they will be compatible. This calls for strategic questions that reveal such compatibility.
There are so many popular interview questions that lack the right impact as far as determining cultural fit is concerned. Alongside the blatantly illegal, like those about marital status or age, there are those – such as “What is your greatest strength?” or “Tell me about your CV?” that reveal very little about the candidate.
Then, there are the questions – like “Give me an example of a conflict and how you resolved it” – that might just be too clever for their own good.

The questions to ask for compatibility

The better interview questions to ask from a ‘cultural fit’ perspective are those that take an open-minded look at the candidate’s personality, determine their integrity and ascertain whether the person is conducive or disruptive.
Now, the best questions to ask also depend on your own organisation’s environment and culture, so you might wish to adapt these. But what about quizzing the candidate on what the characteristics were of their best boss they’ve ever had? Or asking them what they most like about their current job and work environment?
Other potentially good compatibility-oriented questions may be “When you work in a team, what role are you most likely to play?” and “Could you tell us about an occasion when you delighted a customer?”
The interview questions that you ask for cultural fit need to be illuminating for the hiring team and candidate alike – and that means being thoughtful and careful in your formulation of appropriate ones.

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