How to Interview for Culture-Fit

three women talking at table

A New York Times article “Guess Who Doesn’t Fit” (May, 2015), states that 80% of employers worldwide named culture-fit as a top hiring priority. However, most interviewers blow it:

“ … Cultural-fit has shifted from systematic analysis of who will thrive in a given workplace, to snap judgments by managers about who they’d rather hang out with. In the process, fit has become a catchall used to justify hiring people who are similar to decision makers and rejecting people who are not.” – Lauren Rivera

Author Lauren Rivera interviewed 120 staffing managers and other decision makers, and summed it up with, “ Would I want to be stuck in an airport in Minneapolis in a snowstorm with them?” Good grief – no wonder so few people hired turn out to be high performers who do “fit.”

The author offers these suggestions:

“First, communicate a clear and consistent idea of what the organization’s culture is (and is not) to potential employees. Second, make sure the definition of cultural-fit is closely aligned with business goals. Ideally, fit should be based on data-driven analysis of what types of values, traits and behaviors actually predict on-the-job success. Third, create formal procedures like checklists for measuring fit, so that assessment is not left up to the eyes (and extracurricular) of the beholder.”

The Topgrading™ Interview is the BEST Culture-Fit Interview.

Here’s why: To begin, candidates know they will have to arrange reference calls with former managers and others, so low-performers and liars drop out. Good! Interviewers will ONLY screen sharp and honest people – not a bad start! Would you consider “high performer” and “honest” to be important in your culture?

The Topgrading™ Interview asks a dozen questions about every job, starting from the candidate’s first job to current employment status. Fit is easy to assess when the interviewer repeatedly asks: Why did you take that job? What did you like and dislike about the job? What did you like and dislike about your boss? What were reasons you left? Finally, candidates arrange reference calls with former bosses, peers, and subordinates, so interviewers can confirm that “fit” will be excellent.

To learn more about the Topgrading method download our FREE eGuide! 

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