Cultural Fit Versus Functional Fit Job Interviews: What You Need To Know

Lisa Quast

You’ve made it through the job application submission process and received notification for a telephone interview by a Human Resources recruiter to screen for “cultural fit.” Uh oh. Do you know the differences between a cultural fit interview and a job interview to assess functional fit? Here’s what you need to know about each type of interview…

Cultural fit

Culture is loosely defined as the core values, behaviors and personalities that make up an organization. These are based on the beliefs, attitudes and priorities of its members as well as how they view their work and themselves.

The interview to assess cultural fit is important, because company cultures can vary greatly, and not every employee will do well or be happy in every culture. For example, there is the “Create Fun and A Little Weirdness” culture of Zappos (acquired by Amazon in 2009), an online retailer of shoes and clothing, where everyone works in a cubicle environment and employees can be seen wearing shorts and t-shirts, even sporting pink or Mohawk hairdos.

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