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?