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How to Know if an Applicant is a Culture Fit

A resume can blow you away. You may be tempted to hire them on the spot with such impressive experience and credentials – but stop right there. While experience and saying the right things in an interview may be enough to get them to the next round, culture is also a deciding factor.

Take a look around your office. What kind of culture have you created? How does your team work together best? What are their communication styles? These are all things to consider with a new hire and evaluating their culture fit, but deciphering these elements in an interview can be difficult. When it comes to fitting in with your team, the best candidates will show these attributes along with their perfect resume:

They understand your core values.

This starts with your job description. If your office has a business professional dress code or you allow hoodies and t-shirts daily, say so. If team building is an important part of your culture, say so. Elements like these are important for your applicants to know. Not every potential hire will be thrilled with the idea of an office full of coworkers wearing jeans, believe it or not! Include a general description of your office’s culture or core values and what they can expect on a daily basis in the office.

For this to work, you have to truly understand your own core values. Be as specific as possible. If you haven’t created an official Core Values statement, now is the time. Look around your office to find the positive traits that define your culture and what you most admire in your top talent to create the idea of the perfect candidate.

They show a passion for the industry.

Sure, they may love what they do, but that doesn’t mean potential hires will love the industry. An accountant can be great at their job, but to add even more value to the company, an accountant who shows a passion for your industry will add the most to your company.

During the interview, ask questions about your industry to feel out their knowledge and interest in it. Not every candidate will show their passion through previous experience or high level of interest in the industry, but what they will show is that they’ve made an effort to research it. This willingness to research and spend the extra time shows that, in the future, a passion will more than likely develop.

They work well with everyone.

You always ask for references, but how often do you actually call them? One of the most useful aspects of references is the opportunity to ask about how well the applicant plays with others. Working well with others is essential to becoming a successful member of the team. They have to be able to take criticism, learn from others, and even take part in team building exercises.

After references have been called, it’s a good idea to involve other team members in the hiring process. One interview should be conducted by those who will report to the applicant. In this case, you can evaluate the candidate’s responses and tone with your interviewers.

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