Both employers and job seekers alike value culture fit as one of the single biggest factors in determining the success of the hiring process.
So how do you rapidly assess cultural fit & get it right in the interview process?
Elena Ktori from specialist travel recruiter TMS Talent shares her insights for both travel employers and employees.
“Open and honest communication is essential from both parties in order to get the perfect match” says Elena.
A great cultural fit is finding a candidate that embodies your company’s values, ethics and behaviours. This doesn’t mean they need to have the same personality or work style as you or the rest of your team, but fundamentally they must be able to thrive & succeed in your business environment and work cohesively with all stakeholders internally and externally.
“There is no single answer, but asking open ended questions focused on getting to know the candidate: who are they as a person, what motivates them to succeed and what they value, is the best place to start” Elena comments.
Your own company values and employee value proposition should help guide the conversation.
Elena reveals “As a recruitment professional, I always try to observe how candidates interact with others, not just myself. How did they treat the receptionist upon arrival? How do they speak with my colleagues on the phone? What do they say as they are leaving the interview on the walk to the lifts? Those moments can often be quite telling of a person’s true personality.”
Other observations hiring managers should keep in mind are:
- Can they adapt when asked difficult questions?
- Do you feel a genuine connection?
- Can you imagine working with this person every day?
- How will they engage with the rest of the team?
The single most important thing as a travel job seeker you can do is assess a potential employer’s culture. How to do this in the interview can be tricky, but Elena shares some useful advice:
Elena says “Use the time when you are asked “do you have any questions” wisely by asking open ended questions of the interviewer around culture.”
Some examples are:
- Why do you enjoy working here?
- How would your team describe working here?
- Describe the working style of the team / your management style?
- How do employees give and receive feedback?
Elena advises “If at all possible, at the interview try and take a tour of the office. Is it quiet or loud? Are people working together or independently? Do they have a lunch room or break out space being used? What is the working environment like? These things will give you some visual clues as to what it will be like to actually work there every day.”
Above all you need to be authentic in the interview. Try to find out a little bit more about the interviewer and connect with them. In travel, Elena says “a great way to do this is to share some of your travel experiences with the interviewer, which often opens up the conversation, building rapport.”