Interviewing for cultural fit
Workplace culture can feel hard to define, but understanding it is key to recruiting candidates who’ll thrive in your organisation.

Candidates and customers alike will be attracted to any organisation with a flourishing culture. In turn, recruiting for cultural fit will bring in candidates who add to workplace culture.

Justin Boots, HR Business Partner at SEEK, says when it comes to interviewing for cultural fit, understanding your organisation’s own culture is a good place to start.

Watch as he shares advice on how to do this, and how to approach values and attitudes in interviews.

How do you approach an interview for cultural fit?

First, make sure your organisation’s values are clearly defined, Boots says.

“The best way to approach cultural fit is to work out what the values are that your organisation lives by,” he explains.

“What are the behaviours and the actions that people within your organisation take on a daily basis that make them successful?

“What behaviours are rewarded, and what behaviours are celebrated?”

For example, a highly successful employee can be a great example of workplace culture in action, Boots says.

“When you think about someone in your organisation who’s quite successful, what is it that they do day in and day out?

“What do they do, not because they’re asked to or because it’s commanded to them through their position description, but because that’s their personality and that’s how they go about their work on a day-to-day basis.”

Testing cultural fit during an interview

If you’re aiming to find out more about cultural fit during an interview, try to ask questions that reveal an individual’s innate values.

This might include asking things like:

  • Why do you want to work for our company?
  • What gets you excited about going to work?
  • Can you describe the kind of work environment you feel happy and productive in?
  • How do you like to work as part of a team?

A candidate’s values should align with the organisation’s values and can be revealed through their behaviour.

“In a cultural fit interview, you’re testing to see whether or not people share the same values,” Boots says.

Those values should come to candidates naturally, he says.

“It’s not something that’s forced or dictated to them by the organisation, it’s something that aligns with their deep personal values.

“Their personal values and the organisational values come together so both parties can be successful in that relationship moving forward.”