It does not matter if you are leading a well-established brand name business or a start up, the need to find great cultural fit is central to any employer’s success.
I coach managers that in order to hire for culture fit, your interview should not only consist of basic questions centered around values and team work.
But it should also have more substantive, in-depth questions that reveal bigger insights.
What types of questions should you ask potential candidates if you want to hire for culture fit?
Of course there are the stock standard questions such as:
Tell me what’s important to you?
Thinking of a great team, what made the team great?
While I can’t fault these questions, they will yield only at best superficial insights whether someone will be a great cultural fit.
Here are five better questions to determine if the people you are recruiting will be the right fit for your company.
1. Why do you want to work here and what are your expectations?
What’s behind this question? As the hirer, you need to be sure that candidates want to join your business for the right reasons.
- What does it take to be successful at the stage the business is moving through?
- How open are they in dealing with ambiguity or do they need structure and predictability?
- How hands-on are they or is there a history of leading a team of doers?
- How resourceful are they in getting things done with limited funds or are they used to managing with large budgets?
- How detailed or big picture; precise or disorganised are they in their behaviours and thinking?
The point is that whatever values are central to your culture, you need to recruit people who are aligned with how your business operates and the values you live by.
2. Who enthuses you and why is that?
What’s behind this question?
- I like to get an idea from people who they admire and why.
- Who have they modeled themselves upon?
You can often gain quite a few insights into people from asking this question. It sheds perspective on the things that matter to people and what they respect in life.
3. What is your 'something special'?
What's behind this question?
Everyone has one thing they are great at.
It is their 'go to' quality - their true grit - one that your business might need to rely on that gets you through .
It's important to get them to be absolutely truthful about this.
To see how they will fit in with the team, it's also helpful to see their attitude to their 'something special' and how they help to share it amongst the team
Related to this is the Kokorozashi.
4. What enthuses you about coming to work each Monday?
What's behind this question?
As we live in rapidly changing times, the alignment with your purpose and values is one aspect. But learning and being curious about the world and how the business interacts with those changes, is another.
Good people remain curious about what is happening around them, what impacts the business and what this means to the industry.
5. Tell me a time when you were vulnerable and how you got help?
What is behind this question?
You don't want any of your team to think they are the smartest person in the room all the time, or even ever.
People who contribute and fit know that they don't know it all. The type of people who will help your business grow are self-aware of their strengths and weaknesses and where they would like to grow and learn more.
All in all, culture is the glue that make the people stick.
But you need to ask the right questions to discern whether you have the right material for the glue to stick.
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