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What to Expect During a Cultural Fit Interview

Apr 29 , 2019

Group of employee candidates waiting for an interview.

More and more employers are conducting cultural fit interviews in order to make better hires and reduce turnover. Research shows that cultural fit can be as important or more important than having the needed skills for a position, since the right cultural fit can impact retention and job satisfaction.

Preparing for a Cultural Fit Interview

If you are not a good cultural fit for a particular company, you don't want to try to fake it just because you want the job. Doing some research about the corporate culture prior to the interview will serve a dual purpose: it will give you an idea about whether you do fit in, and it will help you figure out how to show that you do. 

Chances are, you can find some commonality with just about any company's culture. The cultural fit interview is a good chance to bring those characteristics and traits out so that the hiring manager gets a sense of how you might fit in with other employees and be a good representative for the company. 

The company's own website is not the only place to find information about its culture. LinkedIn, Glassdoor's unedited reviews, and asking people you know who work there can be other sources of information that may be more honest and less scripted than information that comes directly from the company itself. 

Potential employee candidate shaking an interviewers hand.

Incorporate Your Research

Once you find out important information about corporate culture, you should notice key details that inform your interview behaviors. In the interview, everything matters. You want to dress a little nicer than the photos you see online. Although you will be nervous, you should try to let your personality shine through so the interviewer can get a sense of what you're really like. 

If you find out specifics you have in common with the company like charities they support or activities they regularly participate in as a company, you should be sure to mention those things. Don't make it up, though: records about contribution history or participation in a charitable fun-run are easy enough to verify, and getting caught in a lie at the interview stage will disqualify you instantly. 

Know Common Questions  

Another area of research is to find out what questions may be asked when trying to determine cultural fit. One set of questions may center around what books you read and TV shows and movies you watch, while another may want to know what kind of boss you prefer and what qualities you look for in a team. Sharing information about your interests and current events is a good way to fill out the conversation, but stay away from controversial topics that could turn off the interviewer if you fall on the opposite side from them. 

Be Aware of Nonverbal Cues

When you're nervous, it can throw off your normal body language. Make a conscious effort to smile, make appropriate eye contact, and throw off positive vibes. Have a story or two to tell about your current company to show that you have positive feelings about your position, and make sure you don't do anything that shows anger, like clench your jaw or your fists. 

With a little preparation, you can be ready to show any company your level of cultural fit in their organization and determine whether you are a good match for their goals and objectives. Join our talent network to see what opportunities GDH can offer you as you look for your next opportunity.