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Interviewing Tips for Looking for Company Culture Fit in a Candidate

October 8th, 2013

May 17

Each company has a culture that is unique to the business, industry, and objectives. When recruiting, not only are you looking for someone who has the right educational background and skills required for the position, but also who fits in best with your company culture. If candidates don’t mesh well with the corporate culture, it can be hard for them to feel comfortable in their new job. A poor culture fit can also make daily business operations more difficult for everyone else.

Here are some behavioral interviewing tips you can use to be sure a candidate has what it takes to fit in well with the company culture.

Uncover a Past Unsatisfactory Company Culture

During the interview, ask the candidate about the worst company they ever worked for. Make sure the question is specific to the company culture and work environment. By asking this question, you are right away discovering where they don’t want to work and will not fit in well. If their worst experience is close to your company culture, you know immediately it isn’t a good fit. However, if it is quite different from how your company is run, then you gain some insight.

For example, if a candidate didn’t like working in a fast paced office, but you have a low key and smaller office, the candidate may be a good fit. On the other hand, if the candidate appears to be too rigid in what they expect from an employer, this could signal performance problems and a poor fit with the company culture.

Find Out About Preferred Work Environment

Another way to learn more about where the candidate feels the most comfortable is by asking directly where they would prefer to work. Since the candidate has likely become familiar with what your work environment is, you can assume they would be happy there if they are applying for the job. But there might be things in your culture they are not aware of. Ask flat out what types of work environments or the collaboration conditions they best excel in.

Ask About Difficult Situations

Finding out more about the candidate’s personality traits and work habits is important to find out if they will fit in with your company culture. One way to do that is asking about difficult situations they have had in previous positions, and how they handled it. Try to phrase the question in a way to find out about difficulties with the company or environments, not with customers or clients.

How the candidate answers makes a large impact in determining if they are a good fit with your company. This lets you know if they tend to be someone to let others handle things or if they take the initiative. If the candidate prefers calm reasoning and compromise, or if they are more headstrong about their own ideals.

Lay Out Your Company Culture in Clear Terms

The last step of this process is always to outline what your company culture looks like and how the work environment is on a standard workday. If it is an extremely strict, business professional environment that doesn’t provide any personal time during the workday, be honest about that. If you allow a loose dress code and flexible work hours, indicate that as well. It helps both you and the candidate to decide if they would fit in well with the company, or not.

If you are looking for staffing agencies in Westchester NY, contact Concorde Personnel today.

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