Many articles point out that the interview is really all about the so-called cultural fit of the applicant, provided of course that the skills and experience requirements are also met. The thing is, in addition to the hiring manager, some other company members are also interviewing candidates to add their own reviews.
For practical reasons, what is it called? Corporate culture can be divided into two different areas. One is influenced by the top manager of the organization, the other by the head of department or the immediate superior of the employee.
Years ago I worked at a Fortune 100 company that had bought many other companies in the past, whose individual and diverse cultures had been kept intact and independent all along. At some point, however, a new CEO took over and decided to embed a single culture in the hundreds of subsidiaries and affiliates under his jurisdiction. This action caused an amazing transformation. I compared the influence of the new CEO to a magnet approaching a bundle of nails: suddenly all of the nails are aligned and connected to the magnet.
A department head certainly has an influence on the department culture. When you ask someone a question like, what is it like to work in this company? The answer reflects the person’s joy or displeasure with their boss and sometimes with their co-workers.
How can a candidate fit into the corporate culture during the interview?
Much like the stereotype “a leopard cannot change its spots”, a person cannot radically change their personality. However, since the outcome of the interview is heavily influenced by an applicant’s cultural fit, the applicant can at least try to make the right impression. This is simply the equivalent of adapting the words on the resume to the job posting requirements set out in the application.
People may have different ideas about what is behind the proverbial cultural match. The most widely accepted term suggests that cultural fit includes the display of characteristics related to organizational cultures, such as values, language and point of view. Culture is the behavior that results when members of a group arrive at a set of rules for working together. The rules can include elements of decision-making, daily work practices, and even things like office furnishings. For example, some organizations are hierarchical – with office space and sizes that fit linearly with the roles of employees in the organization. At the other end of this spectrum are organizations that are very egalitarian – with offices with an open architecture in which all employees have equally open and equally large rooms.
Before the interview, the candidate should investigate certain topics with as many people as possible within the company, such as:
* Whether the work environment is very stressful or rather relaxed
* Whether the promotion is done from within or new experts are hired from outside
* Frequency of meetings
* Volume and tone of internal emails (formal or informal, friendly or aggressive?)
* Whether teamwork or individual effort is the typical means of problem solving
* Whether or not to seek employee opinions
* How well bad behavior and underperformance are tolerated
* Whether and in what way successes are celebrated
The list is endless, but these are some examples of issues relevant to corporate culture.