Cultural fit is the idea that a potential employee will buy into the company’s mission and way of doing business, as well as get along with existing staff members.
Many hiring managers are now gearing parts of their interview to assess candidates for cultural fit, and although job seekers will want to give good answers to cultural-fit questions, it’s also in candidates’ best interest to determine if they will flourish with an employer. Therefore, it’s important for you, a job seeker, to develop questions for your interviewer about a company’s culture.
Good questions are based on good research. You need to do your due diligence and find out as much as you can about an employer’s culture before you even sit down for the interview. Browsing the company’s social media profile, doing a Google News search and visiting the company website can all give you valuable culture information.
You should also visit employer review sites like Glassdoor to get company culture information. However, you should take these reviews with a grain of salt as they tend to skew negative, as with most comments and reviews on the internet.
After you’ve done your homework on the company, you need to consider your own values and professional work habits. Ask yourself: What kind of work environments, bosses and co-workers have helped me to succeed? Also, consider the workplace factors that you have personally found frustrating or even counterproductive.
Once you have a sense of where you and the company are coming from, you can start developing questions for your interviewer. Consider the following suggestions.
How do you support employee development?
Ideally, you want a company that will allow you to take risks, grow your skill set and advance your career. Even if you don’t take advantage of all that a company offers you, a supportive company is a much better employer than a non-supportive one.
Of course, almost every company will be able to give you a stock answer about advancement opportunity and these answers are basically worthless. You’ll want to hear about specifics: how the company can help you learn, support you when you fail and give you the chance to innovate.
Can you talk about how disagreements are handled at your company?
Disagreements occur in every workplace and healthy conflict can actually be a source of solutions. Good companies realize this and try to channel conflict in a positive manner.
What you don’t want to hear is a response that sounds like conflicts are based on personal drama. If your interviewer starts talking about working with difficult people in a different department or bringing in new employees to get away from a combative culture, you should be concerned.
At Software Specialists, we help job seekers find best-fit career opportunities. If you’re currently looking for a new job with a company that fits your professional sensibilities, please contact us today to find out how we can help.