What is company cultural fit? At its most basic, cultural fit is the way a workplace functions and how employees behave. For example, a company culture can be laidback, 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. Maybe you didn’t have the right education. Or maybe you and the company weren’t a great cultural fit. The hiring manager might not have felt your personality and the company culture worked well together. But it’s also 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.

First, 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. If you make a strong connection with someone online, set up an informational interview with them 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 on your ideal company’s culture so they can speak to how you fit into that culture.

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, you can 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, you can tell your reference to talk about the birthday parties you threw for fellow staff.

Once you’ve figured out the company’s values, tailor specific interview answers to speak about those qualities.

You know those off-the-wall questions you sometimes get in interviews? Those are designed for you 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. You should know what the company wants in all of these areas before you head into the interview. This way you can tailor your answers to demonstrate you’ll fit right into their company culture.

Tailor your resume to include language that describes your personal branding.

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. Mention that you’ve worked as a mentor for children for years. If you tailor your resume to the exact language on the job description using Jobscan’s resume optimizer, you’re that much more likely to be picked for an interview, not only because you’ve proven you’d fit in well, but also because a tailored resume is more likely to make it through Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and into hiring managers’ hands.


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