Should Candidates Worry About Being A Good Culture Fit?

There is nothing more frustrating for a candidate than being told you’re not a good culture fit for a job. It’s the worst kind of post-interview feedback a hiring manager can give. Firstly, it gives you nothing to improve upon for your next job interview. More than that, it’s also a bit disheartening to be told, “We don’t think you’ll fit in here”. So should candidates worry about being a good culture fit in their next job interview? Read on to find out why you shouldn’t dwell on it. We’ll also take a look at how you can significantly improve your chances of getting the position you want.

What is Culture Fit in Staffing?

There are situations where hiring for culture fit works well. This is where managers look for individuals who display the same values and beliefs as their business. The theory is that employing people who fit in well with the existing team contribute to a long-term harmonious work environment. When properly managed, this leads to improved employee retention and job satisfaction within the current team.

Although, many less experienced managers often base hiring decisions on how similar applicants are to themselves or existing team members. Or to bring it down to a more basic level; Is this the kind of person we would like to go for Friday night drinks with after work?

Employers who assess candidates on this basis run the risk of discrimination throughout the hiring process. Regardless, many inexperienced hiring managers find it difficult to see past an interviewees personality. Where this is the case, no matter how well-qualified they are, unless a candidate’s personality fits their ideal, they won’t receive an offer.

Fortunately, most larger organisations have human resources and talent acquisition teams to keep the interview process in check.

A member of HR within an interview panel to ensure no discrimination takes place
It may be intimidating being interviewed by a panel, but a HR presence ensures no discrimination takes place.

Reasons a Company’s Culture Might Not Be Right For You

Conversely, if you’re a creative, hands-on type who likes to get stuck in, you would probably be unhappy in an office where people very rarely speak to one another.

Why You Shouldn’t Worry About Culture Fit

Nevertheless, you prepare answers for interview questions that are not untrue, but portray you as more outgoing than you are. You attend a job interview, the interviewers buy into what you have to say, and you receive a job offer.

Then three months down the line, you’re unhappy at work because you’re finding it difficult to settle in. The rest of your team are lively and outgoing, and you find them hard to relate to. You soon realise that the high salary is not worth the stress you have to go through to earn it.

Now you’re right back to square one, looking for a new job. Only this time, you have to convince a new employer that you won’t leave after three months if they hire you.

If you found yourself in this situation, wouldn’t you wish you’d been more yourself in the interview, knowing that the company culture wasn’t a good fit for your personality? Surely being turned down for a job offer would be preferable to working in an environment that’s not right for you?

How to Assess Whether an Organisation’s Culture Fits You

Once you get invited to an interview, make sure you ask questions about their workplace culture. For example, what do the interviewers like most about the company culture? After all, they are employees of the business.

It can also help to work with a reputable recruitment agency. Recruitment consultants will endeavour to match you with employers whose culture is a good match for your personality.

Can this blue chick be a good culture fit among its yellow team mates?
One of these chicks is not like the other ones but does that mean it’s a bad culture fit? Or might it bring a new dynamic to the team through diversity?

How to Give the Impression You’ll Fit

  • A keenness for learning and developing your skills
  • Teamworking skills
  • Communication skills
  • Creative thinking and problem solving

Think of examples where you have displayed these qualities in your current role, and consider how you can work them into your responses to interview questions.

A Few Final Thoughts on Culture Fit

Although, just because you don’t fit in here, it doesn’t mean you won’t fit in anywhere. There’s a perfect job match out there for everyone, so there’s no sense trying to force a square peg into a round hole.

We hope you found this article helpful. If so, please share it on social media where other people can benefit from it too.

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