Cultural Fit: The Real Reason You Didn’t Get the Job

cultural fitWhat is company cultural fit? And how does it impact your job search?

At its most basic, cultural fit is the way a workplace functions and how employees behave. For example, a company culture can be laid back, strict, easygoing, or collaborative.

When receiving a job rejection, you might wrack your brain as to why you weren’t selected. Perhaps you didn’t have the ideal qualifications. Or the right experience.

Or… maybe the hiring manager felt your personality and the company culture wouldn’t work well together.

In that case, it is more than possible that you just didn’t demonstrate how compatible you and the company could have been. Here we’ll give you advice about how to pinpoint a company’s culture, and use that information to your advantage through the hiring process.

Research Your Dream Company’s Culture

To learn about a company’s values, find them on social media and set up news alerts. After that, follow company employees on social media and strike up virtual conversations with them. When you make a strong connection, set up an informational interview to learn more about the company. You’ll be able to ask questions about culture more freely to a potential peer, rather than a boss.

Brief Your References

Your references are your advocates. Brief them on the company culture where you’re applying so they can speak to how you’d be a good fit. If the company is looking for a self-motivated worker, tell your references to mention how task-oriented you were in completing a big project. If the company is looking for someone who is friendly, tell your reference to talk about the birthday parties you threw for fellow staff.

Tailor Specific Interview Answers to Express Cultural Fit

You know those off-the-wall questions you sometimes get in interviews? Those are designed to indirectly address your fit with company culture, so be prepared. A lot of hiring managers ask strange questions so you’ll speak about your creativity and innovative thinking. Others ask questions to ascertain your passion for working for their particular company. Questions about teamwork are looking for you to answer about how well you collaborative and/or how well you work alone.

Know what the company wants in all of these areas before you head into the interview. Then tailor your answers to demonstrate you’ll fit right into their company culture.

Include Personal Branding on Your Resume

Skills and abilities aren’t always enough to demonstrate to a company you’d be a good fit.

Once you’ve figured out a company’s culture, highlight qualities that are relevant to them in your resume. Use accomplishment statements to talk about team-building activities you spearheaded in your last company.

Want even more help? Tailor your resume to the exact language on the job description using Jobscan’s resume optimizer.


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Jobscan.




???????????????????????????????About the Author: James Hu earned his bachelor’s of Information Systems and Finance from University of Washington. He is currently the Founder and CEO of Jobscan. James has also enjoyed work experiences at Boeing, Microsoft, Groupon, Kabam Games, and a start-up of his own. Through his work in the United States, China, and Spain/Gibraltar, James truly integrates a global mindset into his career. In his free time, he enjoys water sports and backpacking. Follow James on Twitter.



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