Finding a Good Culture Fit when Interviewing Remotely

by James Hitti on 04 November 2021
Finding a Good Culture Fit when Interviewing Remotely

Let’s face it - The remote / video interview isn’t going anywhere.

Remote working is on the rise and here to stay - the number of employees who may never even set foot in their company’s office is rapidly increasing.

So why then is culture even important? 

I mean, if you’re sat at home or the beach, or wherever getting things done, why does it matter?

Well, there are a few reasons:

  1. Interaction - We are human and as long as we are working with other humans there will be interaction. We all want that to be pleasant, right?
  2. Behaviour - Company cultures encourage behaviours. There will be some things you like and somethings you don’t … you really want to be in a place where people behave in a way that you like and is compatible to your values, surely?
  3. Growth - Personal and Professional growth. We all need these to feel fulfilled. Does the company encourage growth?

So, interviewing remotely means we miss out on the little things we don’t get to see - The company feel.

What do I mean by that?

  • When you walk into a company from the very first moment your brain is taking it all in
  • How the person on reception greets you
  • How they speak to your interviewer when making them aware you have arrived
  • How you are guided through their building
  • How other employees, who are nothing to do with your interview treat each other in the hallway
  • How they present their business to the outside world
  • How the interviewer greets you
  • The tiny almost imperceivable movements that give the complete body language picture that tells your subconscious how to behave or if you like them or they like you

This is by no means a complete list but you get the idea!

So if we are missing all these subtle ques, how do we understand through our computer screen if the company is the place for us?

  1. Know what you are looking for

Define it. Spend time thinking about what the environment that will make you the best version of you looks like. And importantly, think about the 3 key qualities you are looking for.

  1. Look at the Company’s online presence

There is so much information out there now, if a company isn’t shouting about what they do, they are definitely in the minority. That might not be a bad thing, depends on your industry but more than likely you can find lots of info about them online. If you keep finding negative stuff, you may even want to question it at interview.

  1. Question. Question.

Ask questions that will uncover the key behaviours you are looking for.

Do not be afraid to ask probing questions to find out about how the company works. And if you don’t like an answer / it doesn’t give you what you are looking for, reframe the question to try and uncover the answer.

Think about having questions ready such as;

“What three words would you use to describe the work environment?”

“Why have you chosen to stay here?”

“How do employees find out about decisions being made by senior leaders?”

“Where do you see the company’s values in action?”  

  1. Be Inspired

If you are not thrilled to be working somewhere because either your Manager’s passion and drive is lacking or not aligned with your values OR the company has no vision for the future. 

Guess what - I guarantee you, you won’t stay there long. Unless that matches your passion, drive or vision of course!

For further information, a confidential chat about the market and opportunities available to you, please feel free to get in touch with the team at G2 Legal Scotland.

0131 278 0000

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About the author

James Hitti
Director & Head of Scotland, Commercial & International
James started his career in Legal recruitment in 2005, joining G2 in 2017 to manage the Scotland team. He specialises in qualified solicitor appointments, from NQ to Partner, in Private Practice & In-House across Edinburgh & Glasgow.

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