Interviewing for Culture Fit

“Hiring for culture fit” is always a hot topic. I love it. I think it’s so important that you get the right people on the bus to ensure you (a) have the culture you desire, (b) deliver the experience customers desire, and (c) see the business results you desire. I’ve written about it a couple times:


But how do you hire for culture fit? Someone recently commented on one of my posts and asked about resources for doing just that. I thought I’d do a little research and find some resources to share more broadly. Not surprisingly, I’ll start with the king of culture fit, Zappos, which is a go-to with regards to these resources: Secrets to Recruiting & Onboarding for Culture.

Here are some other resources, many of which take the same path in terms of the types of questions they ask. If used appropriately, i.e., linked to your core values, purpose, etc., these questions will work for you.


I was actually looking for something deeper, which I suppose is in these examples but isn’t explained well. When I think about hiring for culture fit, I want to make sure that you first know what culture is. Culture = core values + behavior. So now you’ll understand why I think that interviewing for culture fit doesn’t just including questions about behaviors, but questions about behaviors specific to your particular core values. In other words, outline a scenario and ask them to provide examples of how they would address the scenario, through living your brand’s core values. (They need to have done their homework for this, but it’s OK to share the core values with them to begin this questioning process.) Also ask them about their personal core values. And ask them other specific questions that will help you identify if they align with your company’s core values. Again, Zappos does a great job with this.

Forget the nonsense that hiring for culture fit means you’ll end up with a group of people who are the same; it has nothing to do with that. What you will end up with is a diverse group of people with different experiences but the same values, which I’m sure you surround yourself with in your personal life, as well. If you can hang out with folks whose values aren’t aligned with yours, you might want to re-evaluate.

Culture is simply a shared way of doing something with a passion. -Brian Chesky, CEO, Airbnb

Annette Franz is an internationally recognized customer experience thought leader, coach, speaker, and author. She recently published her first book, Customer Understanding: Three Ways to Put the “Customer” in Customer Experience (and at the Heart of Your Business); it’s available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. Sign up for our newsletter for updates, insights, and other great content that you can use to up your CX game.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.

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