Skip to content

Hiring for Cultural Fit

by Richard Anderson - Co-Founder on

Hiring for cultural fit

The concept of ‘company culture’ is a very hot topic these days; as we’ve previously discussed, it’s of huge importance for companies to fully establish and define its culture, well in advance of hiring for cultural fit, but there are many tips and tricks that can be implanted by hiring managers to hire for cultural fit. We’ve highlighted some thoughts below: 

The majority of what needs to be done in hiring for cultural fit is to ascertain whether the individual’s values align to those of the company – and remember, that’s their beliefs, vision, and preferred working environment.


It’s generally considered good practice, once a company has established a values model, to then create a core set of competencies (competency framework) and associated behavioural indicators (actions or behaviours that exemplify the competency in practice). This will provide a framework in how to assess somebody’s cultural fit during the application process. Additionally, a series of Realistic Job Previews (also in the list below) will help candidate’s gain a realistic gauge of life within the organisation – transparency is always key!

Cultural fit interview questions

In interviews, start with describing the role and the company environment generally. Ask candidates examples of times in the past that they performed tasks or behaved in ways that are aligned to your values, core competencies and behavioural indicators.

For example, let’s say you’re interviewing a candidate against the core competency of ‘communication’ – the behavioural indicator for ‘communication’ may be ‘have the ability to receive feedback from others and learn from this feedback’. Ask candidates for examples when they have received feedback in the past and what was done from this feedback.

As you can probably see, these types of questions start to profile how the candidate has behaved in the past, and how they are likely to behave in the future. This question may ultimately step from the core organisational value of ‘transparency’ or ‘integrity’. By asking these types of questions, you can start to ascertain how aligned to your culture the prospective employee is.

Accurate job descriptions

Unfortunately, many job descriptions are a little ‘best-case scenario’ and often fairly unrealistic. This certainly does not provide a RJP to job applicants and does little to demonstrate the culture of the company. Make sure that, when creating job descriptions, it is done so by ensuring that the day-to-day responsibilities are an accurate reflection of the reality of the role. Furthermore, the ‘About us’ part of any job description should be information not just about what the company does, but how it does it and why it does it; steeped in organisational values – it’s a great opportunity to be demonstrating your company culture. If you’re a creative bunch, get creative with your job adverts/descriptions, if you’re fun, be fun! It’s hugely important and a very easy way of communicating the company values and culture.


Employee testimonials/day-in-the-life videos

Who better to get a flavour of an organisation and its culture than an existing staff member? By getting existing employees to create testimonials and day-in-the life videos, they will be able to document what it’s like working for your organisation on a day-to-day basis. This includes the good, the bad and the ugly. Show these videos and testimonials to prospective applicants alongside job descriptions and before they apply, which will help to provide that final rubber stamp of approval that they are certain this is the role for them!

Situational Judgment Tests

Situational Judgement Tests (SJTs) are a type of psychometric assessment that look to gauge a candidate’s behavioural fit to a particular role. They do this by presenting the candidate with a series of role-specific scenarios and ask them to choose their most and least likely courses of action from three/four options. It’s a great way to let the recruitment team know if a candidate is likely to fit in with the organisation on a behavioural level. 

However, that’s not all they do: SJTs are designed to be bespoke and specific for each role/organisation, meaning that you can provide, within the scenarios, a Realistic Job Preview to candidates. This means that the company culture can be communicated to candidates through the scenarios within the assessment – it’s a beautiful two-pronged approach to ascertaining cultural fit: for both the hiring manager and the candidate and should certainly be considered as a RJP tool to gauge cultural fit.

Don’t forget – it’s hugely important to establish and define a company culture well before it can be hired for: it’s the fairest way all round, and is much better in the long term. For more information around establishing a company culture, please see the full blog : 

The Employee Attrition Scorecard

Please don’t hesitate to contact us via for any support in helping you hire for cultural fit, through the use of online assessment.