How to Make Sure the Recruiter Knows You're a Good Culture Fit During an Interview
If you ask any recruiter or hiring manager the traits they look for in a candidate during the interview process, chances are they'll include cultural fit as one of the top qualities they seek. Knowledge, experience, and skills matter, but these can be taught. Company culture is something else entirely. According to statistics compiled by Devskiller, when making hiring decisions, 60 percent of recruiters believe cultural fit is of the highest importance.
So, you really want the job and feel you would be an asset to the company. How do you go about demonstrating to the recruiter why you'd be a good match?
Research Organizational Culture
First, you'll want to truly understand the organizational culture of the employer you hope to be hired by. How do they interact or communicate? What is their working style? Management style? Do your research to get a full picture of what the company stands for and what it’s all about.
- Read the company’s web page thoroughly, and pay particular attention to the "About Us" and "Mission Statement" sections.
- If the company has a blog, read the entries because the topics, style, and tone can provide some good clues.
- Check out their social media posts. What are they sharing? Are they sparking discussions on certain issues?
- Try to talk to current and former employees—what insights do they offer?
- Plug in the company's name and the keyword "reviews" into a search engine and read the comments left by people who have worked there.
- Search job sites to see how the organization is rated.
Keep in mind, everything may not be as it seems on the surface, and by doing your homework you'll get a better idea of what the organization is like on the inside (and also determine if they're a good fit for you). A company might project a certain public image, but working there may not exactly mesh with your initial perception.
Once you gain an understanding of the company's core beliefs, attitudes, and behavior, compare it to your own style and work habits. Use these to come up with talking points to use during the interview to show ways you're a good fit.
Demonstrate Ways You're a Natural Fit
After you feel you've armed yourself with enough information, come up with some questions that relate to specific issues or problems the organization is facing. Try to insert these at some point during the interview.
Candidates who enter an interview with the attitude of "how can I help you" tend to be better received than those who appear to just be looking for a paycheck. Show the recruiter ways you would add value to the team you'd be working on and the business as a whole.
- Look for opportunities to share insight or offer solutions.
- Show your passion for what they do.
- Find ways to express your experience or explain how you can transfer your existing skills in ways that would help them.
What you want to aim for are subtle ways to highlight why you would mesh with the organization. If the company values teamwork or people who aren't afraid to take risks, give examples of instances where you've acted in ways that align with these qualities. Share stories of how you've approached a task or problem and come up with a solution using the kinds of attributes the company looks for in employees.
Dress The Part
As you know, first impressions matter. While you want to dress to impress, you'll also want to make sure you choose interview attire that blends in with the company culture. If the dress code is strictly professional, wear your Sunday best. If it's on the casual side, you'll still want to wear professional clothing, but don't be afraid to relax it just a tad. Whatever you wear, be sure you present yourself as neat, clean, and polished.
Remember, it's not just your tangible skills and experience that matters, it's the intangible traits employers are also looking for in the ideal candidate. Recruiters and hiring managers will be actively looking for clues that you would be a natural cultural fit. Plus, demonstrating you understand their culture shows you have initiative. And initiative is always a good thing.