How to Interview for Cultural Fit Over Diversity

How to Interview for Cultural Fit Over Diversity
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How to Interview for Cultural Fit
Smart hiring managers know how to interview for cultural fit over diversity.

Does Culture Fit Matter More than Diversity?
Although it is important to have different behavioral styles and perspectives represented on a team or at a company to encourage diverse ways of thinking and varied approaches to decision making, too much of a shift from the cultural norm to meet diversity targets does not, in our opinion. create a high performance culture.

For Example

  • If the company culture requires a detailed approach to work to execute the strategy, an employee who thinks in broad, idealistic terms may not feel valued or respected.
  • If the corporate culture welcomes an entrepreneurial attitude where risk taking is accepted to align with go-to-market plans, too conservative an approach to developing new ideas will appear outmoded and irrelevant.

While small differences in how work gets done is to be expected among peers, extreme cultural incompatibility in the workplace can be culturally toxic to the individual as well as to the company.

Is Culture Fit Predictable During the Hiring Process?
Can you predict this cultural incompatibility before it becomes a problem?  Yes — if you know how to interview for cultural fit using proven behavior interview training techniques so your cultural fit assessment occurs during the hiring process — before your new employee gets on-boarded.

Two Simple Ways to Interview for Cultural Fit
With the right behavior-based interviewing techniques, you as the interviewer can check for both employee  motivation and cultural fit.

  1. Your Current  Corporate Culture
    First, assess your current organizational culture so you know what it is really like to work there. Not your desired culture or what you espouse on your website, but what is truly the norm regarding how things gets done and how people think, behave and work on a daily basis.

    If you do not know your current culture, invest the time to assess your cultural health, performance, and alignment.

  2. Interview for Culture
    Then test the candidate’s fit for your organizational culture by probing for how they have behaved, succeeded, and failed in the past in the key cultural areas that matter most for your strategy such as customer intimacy, risk tolerance, decision making, results orientation, collaboration, autonomy and information sharing.

    You want the way people work and think to align with and accelerate your strategy, not to hinder it.

The Bottom Line
Regardless of their skills, not everyone is a fit for every workplace culture.  Past behavioral patterns are the best predictors of future behavior on the job.  Do you know if your candidates will fit in?

To learn more about how to interview for cultural fit, download Interviewing: The Most Flawed Process in American Business

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