Often called the “Culture-it” Interview”, a lot of companies are now dubbing this kind of interview the “Culture-add Interview” or the “Value-fit Interview”. The reasons are pretty obvious: Companies don’t want to hire people that very similar to other employees in the team. In its worst form, “Culture fit” interviews are used as a tool to discriminate against diversity in the workplace. Whereas more recent terms such as “Culture-add” (making reference to adding to the company culture) or “Value-fit” (referring to people with different cultures and backgrounds who can still share the same company values) are a much better fit to the times.
Prepare for the Culture-Fit Interview
It’s hard to prepare for this kind of interview because of the nature of them. The interviewer would like to find out if you share the same values as the rest of the team. Values such as transparency, collaboration, work quality, how to deal with failures, etc.
Recruiters often ask questions around the company values. Larger companies tend to share those on their webpage. Read them and get to know them so that you go in with an idea of what's important to the organisation and their employees.
If you can not find the values, simply read their official website. What toe of voice are they using? Do they openly share what impact they are having? How polished is the language? Especially the “About us” and Careers pages can help you distil the culture and values.
You can also use the screening interview to find out more about the values and company culture as a whole. You could either ask about this directly or ask how people collaborate, what success looks like for them, and so forth. Basically, you should leave a Culture-Fit interview with a good sense of what to expect when working in the company.
What questions can you expect in a Culture-Fit interview?
- What key values or behaviours are most important to you in a company?
- Can you give us an example of a situation or decision that you didn’t agree with? And how did you deal with it?
- Tell me about a work situation when coming to understand someone else’s perspective helped you accomplish a goal or resolve a conflict.
- From your perspective, how do you think we can improve our culture or values? What values would you bring to our organisation?
- How do you measure success at work? What does a successful day at work look like for you?
- What’s something you’ve learned in the past year that you’re proud of?
- How have your career goals changed throughout your career?
- Tell us about a situation when you changed your perspective about a situation or issue at work. What happened, and what was the end result?
- How do you like to be managed?
- How do you typically approach working through a tough problem? What’s your approach to teamwork and collaboration?
There are not really right or wrong answers in a Culture-Fit interview. It’s about your owen personal views, your experience, and your personality type. You shouldn't try to crack this interview by not being yourself. If the reason you don’t get hired is because you may have a different set of values than the ones the company has, you’ll probably not be happy at the place for the long term anyway.