Shifting from Culture Fit to Culture Add: As the Candidate

Companies are dispensing with the term “culture fit” but how can candidates shift to a culture add mindset? Learn strategies and questions you can ask to help understand how you will add to the culture and not just fit in.

Recently, I had an interview for a mid-level manager role in a local college student life office. Right before I had my Zoom conversation, I read up on the team and their programming. I evaluated their mission and vision statements. And I came up with some questions about the position based on the job description.

What I didn’t do was do what I usually do: look up and read through the biographies of the people working in the office.

Instead, I tried to become more familiar with their organization and what I could add to it rather than imagine how I could fit into the existing organization. I stopped trying to be likable and instead focused on being employable!

This mind-shift helped shift the focus on usually prepare for interviews, from trying to be someone people would relate to rather than someone with skills that could move the organization towards achieving its mission.

While many have written about culture fit versus culture add from the hiring company point of view, I wanted to apply this concept to my own job searching. I will share what I learned below, with some strategies on how to ascertain a company culture while showcasing your own personal strengths, skills, and personal identities that will add to the company.

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