Organizational Fit

Organizational Fit – What You Should Know

You may have heard the terms “organizational fit” or “cultural fit”. They are both used interchangeably when referring to an organization.  According to Harvard Business Review, “cultural fit is the glue that holds an organization together…before the hiring team starts measuring candidates’ cultural fit, they need to be able to define and articulate the organization’s culture – its values, goals, and practices…” Keep reading below for information on organizational fit and what you should know surrounding it.

While interviewing for a position, interviewers are trying to assess whether you fit into their organization by asking certain questions. While you are being interviewed, it is important to keep another fact in mind – you are also interviewing the company! Yes, that’s right. As you are finding information out about the organization, you should ask yourself if it is an organization you want to become a part of as well. At that point, you have to make a judgement call. What will you decide?

When candidates are asked questions, this is really what is being drilled down – how well the hiring managers, interviewers, or recruiters feel you fit into the organization. Therefore, keep in mind organizational fit is very important in the hiring process.

Organizational fit is the company’s established values, goals and practices. While you are answering questions, it is being determined if you will mesh with that fit. For example, if there is a strong sense of leadership within the organization, the company will ensure potential candidates are those with a track record of showing leadership in different environments in which they have been involved. That would be a key quality of organizational fit.

Organizational fit is the company's established values, goals and practices

There is a very good reason around why hiring officials want to hire those with a good organizational fit. It’s because when that person begins their career with the company, chances are they will have the same core beliefs, attitudes and values that make up the core. It then means that person will remain with the organization for a longer amount of time.

Before an interview, research the companyWHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU
One of the first things you need to do when you find out you have an interview, is do your research about the company. Try to find out as much as you can about the company’s mission, value and vision statements. That will be a great place for you to start.

When you are contacted about an interview, the first thing you should do is research the company you are interviewing with to find out information about them. In your research, try to find out their mission, value and vision statements.

As you are going through the company’s statements, determine how you fit into each statement. Once you determine how you fit in, you will be able to convey that into your interview answers.

Another thing you may want to do is find someone you know who works for the company you will be interviewing with to shed some light on the company’s culture.

One important thing to do is ensure you are sincere as you are answering questions during the interview. If you are not sincere with your answers, a seasoned recruiter will be able to pick it up right away.

Before going to an interview, practice some interview questionsBefore going to your interview, it is a good idea to practice some interview questions. Some of the questions around organizational fit may include the following:

1. When was the last time you made a big mistake?
2. How do you handle stress on the job?
3. What is one thing that surprises people about you?
4. What did you like most (or least) about your last job?
5. Describe the qualities of the best boss you ever had?
6. Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
7. What motivates you to do your best?
8. How do you feel about becoming friends with co-workers?
9. Who has inspired you the most and why?
10. Why did you choose to apply here?

When you practice these questions, try to see if you can practice with someone. Then obtain feedback about your answers to the questions.

Watch the below video for more information about cultural fit and what companies are looking for in candidates:

When getting ready to interview for an organization, finding out about the company is the first thing you should do to prepare. Keep in mind when you are interviewing, hiring managers are trying to assess if you are an organizational fit. However, you are interviewing the company as well. You will need to decide if the company is a place that fits well with your standards and values as well.

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6 thoughts on “Organizational Fit – What You Should Know

  1. This is a very useful information that I wished I was informed when I was in college. Every company has a culture and not only does this company have to decide if you fit with them but you also have to determine if they fit with you and your values. What a great and informative website this is 🙂

    1. Kareemah, thank you for the comments and all your kind words. I really appreciate it. You are absolutely correct when you say you have to find out if you fit the company’s culture as well as if the company is going to fit with your values. In order to be a successful partnership, everyone definitely needs to be on the same page. As mentioned in the article, as soon as you know you are going to interview with a company, you should conduct research on that company. Knowledge is power – especially in an interview so you are better prepared. Once again, thank you for visiting. Please come back again, soon.

  2. I appreciate this blog. Organizational culture is something that candidates searching for employment, as well as employers should always keep in mind. When I decide to apply for a position, one of the first things I do is look at the website of the company/organization I am applying for. Before you even read the mission, values and practices of the company, you can typically tell if their culture fits your personal vision by the way their website is laid out. Doing this type of research prior to an interview can actually save you and the employer time.

    I also like the interview questions that you mentioned in this particular blog. Some of them I have never been asked before during the interview process, so I am glad I was able to take the time and self-reflect/prepare for when they are asked.

    1. Welcome back to my site, Rachael! Thank you for your comments. I appreciate the experience you share about how you go about looking at the company through research to find out if it is an environment you want to be a part of before moving forward. That is a very good practice because you are correct – it saves time on everyone’s part. I am glad you found the interview questions helpful. Please feel free to contact me if you need any additional help in this area.

  3. I agree. As I was told from a veteran Human Resource professional, not only are you interviewing for the organization, but you too, should be interviewing the organization to see if you fit in with the organization’s principles. Moreover, during the interview, it is important to ask the recruiters questions to get a feel for the organization.

    In addition, as a young college graduate in my mid 20’s, I’ve had multiple successful interviews because of proper preparation through Building Toward the Future Student Program. I agree that researching the organization is an important key for a successful interview. Many times recruiters have asked me the question, “What can you tell me about the organization?” By doing research on the organization I was able to confidently answer the question. Recruiters will be impressed when you can recite the organization’s mission, vision, and value statements. This “Organizational Fit” article offers a great piece of advice on how to handle interviews. Great article!

    1. Malcolm, thank you for visiting my site and for sharing your personal experiences. I am so happy to hear you enjoyed the article and that the training you obtained from Building Toward the Future Student Program has proven to be advantageous during your interview process. It is awesome you have had successful interviews because of this training. I totally agree that it is a great opportunity to ask recruiters information about the organization during the interview. It is one of the best ways to find out if the company is a fit for YOU as well.

      I see you have done a great job of doing your research by being able to answer questions around the company. That is wonderful to hear that. Keep up the great work as you progress in your career. I wish you all the best in your career endeavors. Please visit my site again soon.

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