A job interview is a two-way street. As much as you’re evaluating each candidate, they’re assessing you at the same time. The mutual goal is to determine whether this partnership will be a viable option for the short and long-term future.

Job Fit + Cultural Fit = Success

Research supports the premise that cultural fit is just as important to a successful career experience as a candidate’s skill set, education and professional history. To truly make the right match, there needs to be a balance between these two key factors.

Cultural fit is especially critical to today’s Gen Web candidates. This demographic is even more inclined than their older counterparts to move onto another job if their expectations around core values, beliefs and work environment are not fulfilled.

  • Look for objective proof of a candidate’s ability to perform. If they’ve done their homework, they’ve researched your organization and the position on the table. Use a standard checklist and ask the same questions of every candidate, though you may have to vary verbiage slightly to fit their specific backgrounds. This method ensures objectivity and makes post-interview debriefing and final selection more effective.
  • Hiring mistakes hurt. The average bad hire winds up costing approximately three times an employee’s first-year salary. This encompasses the cost of rehiring and retraining, lost productivity and related severance dollars. Equally bruising is the collateral damage to morale and possibly your corporate reputation. Often, hires fail due to cultural mismatches, so take every step to avoid this pitfall.
  • Get to know each candidate. Use a combination of biographical, situational and competency-based questions. Include queries about their lifestyle, hobbies and interests. Determine whether their personal and professional goals align with your company’s mission and core values.

It Takes a Team

If I’m interviewing for a position – and keep in mind, I probably have other options as well – I want to land somewhere where I feel at home and can make an immediate impact. I need to feel like I belong, without having to change too much about myself, my lifestyle or my personality. And I want to know who I’ll be spending 40 or more hours a week with as I pursue my career goals.

  • Take a 360-degree approach to the interview. Involve not only the candidate’s prospective manager, but also potential peers and direct reports, as well as employees who hold similar positions. You can debrief afterwards with team members and candidates can likewise determine if they like the fit. Best case – It works out and the candidate is “the one.” Worst case – which beats the alternative: You find out that it’s not a good match well before you make an offer.
  • Listen. Give candidates time to ask their own questions and provide honest answers. For instance, be prepared to describe what happened to the employee who last held the position. You don’t have to provide every detail, of course, but this is a good opportunity to sell your company and the job. Emphasize that you’re currently seeking someone who best meets the needs and direction your organization is taking as it moves forward.

A professional staffing partner can provide further guidance as you prepare to interview your next superstar. Read our related posts or contact Magellan Search & Staffing to learn more. If you are looking for renewable energy jobs in Philadelphia PA, contact us today.