Develop an Interview Process Around Culture Fit

Whenever I give a talk, highlighting many of the topics from the Mercer University Commencement Address, one of the most common questions I hear is “How do you interview for culture fit?” This is a tough one. Culture fit is so important, yet often not given the appropriate attention.

Here are a few ideas for developing an interview process around culture fit:

  • For each core value, create a series of questions and rank the answers 1-10, with 10 being the best, so that you can compare the answers amongst the interviewers as well as in the future if the person is hired
  • Implement a culture check team that purely assesses the candidate for culture fit in addition to everyone else in the interview process assessing culture fit
  • Make the interview process required unanimous consent so that anyone can veto the candidate
  • Ensure the person passes the canoe test (e.g. would you look forward to spending half a day in a canoe with this person and no one else)
  • When performing reference checks, ask the reference how well they’d rate the person against each of the company’s core values
  • Spend time going through the full Topgrading process, especially for any candidate in a management or leadership position

Company success and strong cultures are highly correlated. Companies that develop an interview process around culture fit help strengthen the culture and reinforce the values.

What else? What are some more ideas for an interview process around culture fit?

One thought on “Develop an Interview Process Around Culture Fit

  1. We’ve been doing culture fit tests for a long time. Just recently had a VP of Sales candidate who introduced a new interesting variable which seems to superset culture fit. He called it world view. In summary, people can behave in any certain way ( even spoof a culture test) but when the shit hits the fan, they tend to always regress to their fundamental world view.

    Questions oriented around how the candidate sees the world, where they have been, how they view how businesses should operate, what is important in life, leisure, et cetera. Thesis is that candidates whose world view doesn’t match the companies / leadership teams world view, often will rock the boat in tough waters.

    We’re going to start adding a 1..10 world view weighting to our interviews. Our world view is reflected in our values. We have very strong values, so any hesitation or contradicting views with values will weight against the candidate.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.