One of the most interesting aspects of ReadyTalk’s corporate model is our approach in hiring for culture. As most professionals have established norms around what to expect in an interview process, the cultural interview often takes applicants by surprise.
I recently attended a training with our CEO Dan King on the cultural interview process. The training encompassed why it’s so important to the knitted fabric of our staff and the practices that we’ve developed around this most important piece of the hiring puzzle.
In our training, Dan explained workplace culture as “how we work together to get things done.” The “how” in this definition is where values tend to come into play. When interviewing a candidate for culture, we want to understand what makes this person tick and what attributes they bring to the table. We want to know if this is a person that we would like to work with, and a person that—on the flip side—would also like to work with us.
The basic setting is a panel interview with four to five employees that will most likely be interacting with that candidate on some level. The actual interview is typically around two hours long, and the idea is to engage the candidate in a way that is value-focused rather than talent-focused. As there is a ton of gray area in this aspect of the interview, it can oftentimes feel less structured, more conversational in nature, and definitely less formal than your typical professional interview.
Some questions that we look to answer within the cultural interview are as follows:
- What type of energy does this person have?
- What are their core values?
- What is this candidate passionate about?
Although talent and professional capabilities are both highly important parts of fitting someone to an open role, the cultural interview provides a way to better understand how they might fit into the greater context of the position and the company as a whole. If you’re interested in applying for a position and a possible shot at the cultural interview process, you can check out our open positions here.
Do you have any experiences with interviewing for cultural purposes? Is there a part of the process that you find interesting or perhaps have a different take on? We’d love to hear in the comments section below, and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.