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(BusinessWeek)   Old: "You suck at irrelevant interview questions and I don't like you." New: "You're just not a cultural fit for us"   ( businessweek.com) divider line
    More: Asinine, interview question, American Sociological Review, Ernst & Young, job hunting, melting pot, marketing executives, Starship Enterprise, NWS  
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20924 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Jan 2013 at 9:23 PM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2013-01-06 08:44:19 PM  
35 votes:
FTFA:""These trends are being driven by millennials because they care about culture," says Dan Schawbel, author of Me: 2.0. "Research shows that millennials typically stay at a job for about two years-and they have different priorities. They'd rather have meaningful work over more pay, or work for a company that gives back or cares about the environment. They want a culture that's less hierarchical, more flexible, and more understanding of difference, because millennials are the most diverse generation."

NO NO NO NO NO NO

WWII Gen: Hey I'll get a job and work at it for 20+ yrs, return you'll give me benefits like a pension
Business: Okay

Baby Boomers: I'd like what my parents had
Business: nope you'll have a 401K that we will raid and no job security

Millennials: If I'm not going to be making great money and have no job security I'd rather work someplace I like and move on when I burn out
Business: Why do you have no loyalty? come back?

If I had the choice between culture or a place that actually took care of it's employees without screwing them over I would take the security. Having fallen into IT I have to say the contractor system is not going to inspire me to do anything less then the bare minimum, what incentive do I have? I have no profit share, no chance of getting hired on (always a false carrot they dangle), and very little security. At best Millennials are just waiting for the huge delayed wave of Baby Boomer to retire and open up the job market for them, at worst you are looking at generation that will have far less opportunity and quality of life then their parents.
2013-01-06 09:51:57 PM  
13 votes:
"Cultural Fit" is merely a way to disqualify an otherwise qualified candidate without having to disqualify them for one of those illegal reasons.
2013-01-06 09:47:21 PM  
11 votes:
New: "You're just not a cultural fit for us"

Translation: you're older than me and have more experience, so you're a threat.
2013-01-06 09:35:18 PM  
10 votes:
fta As a result, Rivera argues, "employers don't necessarily hire the most skilled candidates."

Filling your office with less competent clones is sure to please your competition
2013-01-06 09:37:37 PM  
8 votes:
Someone in HR once told me that the purpose of all the candidate screening was intended to discover two things:

1) can this person do the job?

2) do we like this person enough to spend 8 hours a day, every day, for years in the same room with them?
2013-01-06 09:46:43 PM  
7 votes:
A resource is something that exists to be exploited.

When personnel became human resources is when it all went to hell.
2013-01-06 08:23:55 PM  
7 votes:
Is that how they're describing nepotism now?
2013-01-06 09:53:56 PM  
6 votes:
I have, in the past, just refused to answer bullshiat questions. I am polite, but I explain that I don't really understand how that pertains to me performing my job tasks, and if I ever came in to work with a DVD player to screen my favorite movie, or expected to just knock off for a month to go to the south of France in the summer, I wouldn't be working there anyway.

I've actually gotten jobs after that.

Of course, where I live there is a hideous worker shortage and you can show up to an interview with poo in your pants and be fine. So I dunno.

But seriously, I do NOT socialize with my coworkers. I do not talk to my coworkers. I do not share personal or private information with my coworkers. It's none of their damn business and I will not play games or jockey for position. This is, incidentally, why I will never be in charge of anything, but fark it. I don't like the admission price.
2013-01-06 09:33:12 PM  
6 votes:

zedster: FTFA:""These trends are being driven by millennials because they care about culture," says Dan Schawbel, author of Me: 2.0. "Research shows that millennials typically stay at a job for about two years-and they have different priorities. They'd rather have meaningful work over more pay, or work for a company that gives back or cares about the environment. They want a culture that's less hierarchical, more flexible, and more understanding of difference, because millennials are the most diverse generation."

NO NO NO NO NO NO

WWII Gen: Hey I'll get a job and work at it for 20+ yrs, return you'll give me benefits like a pension
Business: Okay

Baby Boomers: I'd like what my parents had
Business: nope you'll have a 401K that we will raid and no job security

Millennials: If I'm not going to be making great money and have no job security I'd rather work someplace I like and move on when I burn out
Business: Why do you have no loyalty? come back?

If I had the choice between culture or a place that actually took care of it's employees without screwing them over I would take the security. Having fallen into IT I have to say the contractor system is not going to inspire me to do anything less then the bare minimum, what incentive do I have? I have no profit share, no chance of getting hired on (always a false carrot they dangle), and very little security. At best Millennials are just waiting for the huge delayed wave of Baby Boomer to retire and open up the job market for them, at worst you are looking at generation that will have far less opportunity and quality of life then their parents.


perfectly put.

we're done here folks
2013-01-06 11:24:46 PM  
5 votes:
When I was a recruiter, along w/the normal interview questions, I would give a "general knowledge test":  Name 5 European capitols, how many inches in a yard, name 1 of the 7 wonders of the world, what is the equator...real 5th grade stuff, 10 questions in total.  And it would appall me how many applicants couldn't answer more than 2 or 3.  I found that test to be a far better indicator of an applicant's qualifications than any job history or stupid "where do you see yourself in 5 years" questions.

I have no problem with ascertaining a "cultural fit" or very basic personality.  You could be the most brilliant coder in the world but, if you're not going to fit in well with the rest of the coding team, you're not going to stay at that job.

/Strangest question I ever got on a job interview:  "What is the meaning of life?"
//It was for an IT company and I answered, "42".
///Interviewer (Director of sales) paused for a split second, cracked up, and said, "You just got yourself into the second round of interviews!"
2013-01-06 10:55:32 PM  
5 votes:

xsarien: BokerBill: What's your favorite movie? What's your favorite website? What's the last book you read for fun? What makes you uncomfortable?

- None of your business
- None of your business
- None of your business
- A rock in my shoe

/Not a good cultural fit with any company that thinks these are important questions to ask in a job interview.

Do you give douchy answers to those questions when they're asked in a casual setting? Because what's being measured here is your ability to have a normal conversation that doesn't involve "talking shop."

It's a little jarring and their purpose is pretty transparent these days, but they can also serve as a bit of an ice breaker in a normally tense situation, like, say, a job interview.


On the other hand, discovering the folks carrying the "YER NOT THE BOSS A' ME!" chip on their shoulders in four questions or less makes a job interview go that much faster.
2013-01-06 10:02:46 PM  
5 votes:
I've conducted plenty of job interviews in my time, and cultural fit has always been a consideration when I'm considering whether to recommend a hire.

However, most of the questions cited in that article are borderline, if not outright, illegal. Asking an interviewee questions that have nothing to do with their ability to perform the job in question is asking for trouble.

Finding a cultural fit is more about picking up on aspects of the interviewee's personality. How you believe they will fit in with the rest of the company, it's people, and it's procedures. How well they will pick up on things and be able to contribure. Asking where they go on vacation is just stupid.
2013-01-06 09:48:51 PM  
5 votes:

falcon176: loyalty is dead don't give employers 2 weeks notice, they won't give you 2 hours


My department has a little over 200 employees. Half of the staff have been there 2 years or less. There's no reason to worry about "cultural fit" if the defining cultural characteristic is turnover.
2013-01-06 09:32:03 PM  
5 votes:
I"m not going to get a job. That's it. I'm just going to do something that people will pay me for and screw working for people who want me to "culturally fit in" with them.

Your loss not mine.
2013-01-06 11:21:56 PM  
4 votes:
Biggest problem in our society: High School never ends.
2013-01-06 10:59:22 PM  
4 votes:
It must be nice to be in an industry where you can afford to bypass the most skilled workers because they were not cool enough for you.
2013-01-06 10:57:45 PM  
4 votes:

Nemo's Brother: Lsherm: When I was in college I was a manager for the engineering school's "tech crew" - students who fixed computers on campus.  They were cushy jobs, and there were 10 slots to hire for every year.  The first year I got to hire students I was informed by another employee that it was a "Pakistani year."  Turns out for years the Indian students and the Pakistani students had been swapping out the tech crew jobs because they refused to work with one another.  So on an Indian year, only Indian students would apply, and on a Pakistani year, only Pakistani students would apply.

I asked the employee what would happen if I hired a white or black employee, and he assured me that wouldn't happen.  I asked him why.  "Because I throw those resumes out," he said.

Few places are more racist than in the Mecca of liberal thought.


This has nothing to do with liberals, dumbass. This is racism practiced by certain ethnic groups who would scream bloody blue murder if anybody discriminated against them.
2013-01-06 10:57:18 PM  
4 votes:

GilRuiz1: Someone in HR once told me that the purpose of all the candidate screening was intended to discover two things:1) can this person do the job?2) do we like this person enough to spend 8 hours a day, every day, for years in the same room with them?


Exactly, but look at it from the other side. As a prospective job seeker I seriously wonder if I could stand to spend 40+ hours a week with fellow employees of a prospective employer, but what chance do I have to find that out? Short of having overwhelming qualifications, being a job seeker feels like being a desperate groveler.

"Star Trek or Star Wars?"
"Which one fits in better here?"

/Had one job that worked out for five+ years, temp to perm until regionalization brought my layoff. I can hardly imagine where to start out again.

//I like to think I'm reasonably smart, hard-working and competent, but I feel like my chances of being a stunning cultural fit anywhere are negligible, so this article depresses me.
2013-01-06 10:37:31 PM  
4 votes:
i've interviewed at zappos many times for multiple positions. they usually decide that i'm not a 'cultural fit', sometime around the time i say ' hey if maybe you took a break from the cube wars and telling everyone how wacky you guys are and hired real security guys like me, you maybe you wouldn't have had that security breach back in January'. really, they're not interested in people that WANT to get shiat done, they want people who spend 2 hours a day writing haikus in Klingon. It's been a year since their breach, they still don't have an infosec program put together. Like I told their "ZISO" the last time I talked with him "culture is fine. culture is fun, but at some point you have the let the serious guys roll up their shirtsleeves and do serious things. It's not cool, it's not hip, but it's how you keep your data".
2013-01-06 10:34:09 PM  
4 votes:

Lsherm: When I was in college I was a manager for the engineering school's "tech crew" - students who fixed computers on campus.  They were cushy jobs, and there were 10 slots to hire for every year.  The first year I got to hire students I was informed by another employee that it was a "Pakistani year."  Turns out for years the Indian students and the Pakistani students had been swapping out the tech crew jobs because they refused to work with one another.  So on an Indian year, only Indian students would apply, and on a Pakistani year, only Pakistani students would apply.

I asked the employee what would happen if I hired a white or black employee, and he assured me that wouldn't happen.  I asked him why.  "Because I throw those resumes out," he said.


Few places are more racist than in the Mecca of liberal thought.
2013-01-06 10:21:31 PM  
4 votes:

my alt's alt's alt: i'm NOT an outgoing "people person" so when the interviewer is looking for a buddy or a fluid exchange of pointless small talk, it's game over for me. like i'd even WANT to work for a company that heralds fluffy social behavior over quality of work.


Problem is, the two aren't disconnected in a lot of jobs. What you call "fluffy social behaviour" could just as easily be called good interpersonal/collaboration skills. And the blunt fact of the matter is, those are important. I've seen firsthand the differences in quality that result from teams that really jive well together, and teams where effective collaboration is killed by a lack of cohesion or overly introverted people.

Yes, there are a lot of jobs where being introverted isn't as big a deal. But a lot of knowledge worker type positions require people who enjoy interacting with others.

The other reason employers care about "fluffy social behaviour" is that even if there's not a direct impact of said behaviour on employee collaboration, a sociable workplace often boosts employee morale and engagement, which in turn leads to higher job satisfaction and less turnover costs.
2013-01-06 10:15:26 PM  
4 votes:
i'm NOT an outgoing "people person" so when the interviewer is looking for a buddy or a fluid exchange of pointless small talk, it's game over for me. like i'd even WANT to work for a company that heralds fluffy social behavior over quality of work.
2013-01-06 10:02:43 PM  
4 votes:
The moment an interviewer starts asking me about hobbies, vacations, and movie/musical preferences instead of why I'm qualified to do the job, I know the job is bullshiat.
Interviews go both ways, HR goons.
2013-01-06 09:59:22 PM  
4 votes:
If I had a nickel for every time I got to the final stage of an interview process and heard the "not a cultural fit" line....

/eventually learned to stop saying "start my own software company" when asked about my long term goals.
//telling people what they want to hear really is a good idea during job interviews.
2013-01-06 09:42:44 PM  
4 votes:
turtlebella.files.wordpress.com
2013-01-06 09:41:05 PM  
4 votes:
loyalty is dead don't give employers 2 weeks notice, they won't give you 2 hours
2013-01-07 08:46:50 AM  
3 votes:
I'm sensing a lot of "I'm a petty, angry, introverted asshole, but you are obligated to hire me because of my self-categorized superior skillset even though you would rather punch me in the face than look at me" in this thread.

While aptitude is certainly important, making sure that you're not hiring some self-absorbed shiathead that is going to bring down the moral of the entire office is equally so. If you can't handle being asked what was the last movie that you saw then my question would be what is it you are trying to hide?
2013-01-07 01:24:17 AM  
3 votes:
I just recently had the "cultural fit is/isn't BS" discussion with some folks I know at various places. One proponent of the "is BS" side made the point that it is all too easy to go from "hiring people who work well together" to "hiring people who work the same" to "hiring people who are the same" (including the more illegal manifestations of that). Which I agree is bad, especially as nobody "fits" 100% on day 1, ever, anywhere.

But I've had personal experience of the other side of it -- the employee who is highly qualified, obviously can do the work, but for whatever reason (sometimes a "soft skills" failing, sometimes just being radically at variance with the others in some way) nobody at the office can stand them. About two out of every three places I've worked has had one. The worst cases are when a new team has accreted around the remnants of an old one (sometimes a single holdover from the "old days"), developed its own new culture, and it's actually the longest-serving employees who no longer "fit".

Somehow you have to strike that happy medium between Dudebro Island and Prima Donna Central, where you have employees with differences and even the occasional argument but it doesn't turn into entrenched dislike. It helps if you're careful about hiring truly skilled employees and quickly correcting mistakes, because then everybody can start from the assumption that the other person isn't just disagreeing because they're incompetent.
2013-01-07 01:09:39 AM  
3 votes:

coldf33t: balisane: God help the introverts. It probably takes me about a month to really feel comfortable and start cracking jokes in a new work environment, unless someone makes it their buisiness to shorten that warm-up period.

In that time, though, the office will be spotless, I'll have fixed at least three lingering issues, and have brought cookies twice. Don't look over the quiet ones.

Who says the "quiet ones" aren't a cultural fit?


Because the whole interviewing process is designed to make extroverted people loook good. And there is a tremendous bias against introverts that people are attempting to justify by this "cultural fit" nonsense.

Extroverted people don't recognize (and frankly don't seem to care about) this fact. As they are the people who are (usually) making the hiring decisions in the first place.
2013-01-07 12:18:34 AM  
3 votes:
Also, as someone who has to do a lot of hiring, yes there is a reason behind bullshiat questions. Such as:

Seeing how well you think on your feet. Sure, they could just ask you if you think well on your feet, but as we have established already, a lot of people just say what they think the employer wants to hear. Random, unexpected questions catch people off-guard and test how well they really think under pressure. Actually test some of those skills they claim to be so good at.

Adaptability. Throwing out a question that has nothing to do with your skills or relevance to the job is a great way to see how well someone can adapt when the obvious path disappears. Give them a chance to work outside the checklist of basic on-the-nose "Can you code in Java" type questions. Can someone take a "pointless" question and use it to make themselves come off as even more relevant to the job?

Tolerance to Bullshiat questions. If your job has ANYTHING to do with customer service, you will have to deal with bullshiat questions all the time. If you show no tolerance for having to deal with small talk and irrelevant topics, you are effectively saying you are not qualified for the job.

Interviewers are actually a lot smarter than people give them credit for. Whenever someone throws a seemingly dumb question at you, take the time to realize that your actual answer to that question is probably not what they are looking for from your response.
2013-01-06 11:57:18 PM  
3 votes:
Hiring an employee without regards to how they will fit in the company's culture is like buying a piece of awesome furniture with no regards to how (or if) it will fit in your house.

Happy employees = productive employees. It is as simple as that. Having a work environment they actually enjoy being in with people they can get along with and work well with is the best way to have happy employees. Hiring someone who disrupts that environment is just bad business logic. No matter how talented and qualified they are, no one employee is worth dragging down the productivity of the rest of the team.
2013-01-06 11:36:33 PM  
3 votes:

Bucky Katt: itsfullofstars: Its so damn hard to fire people today that these questions help weed out the people who just wont fit in.

I take it that you live in one of the few states that aren't fire-at-will aka "right to work"


You're thinking of at will employment, not right to work. Right to work is where you don't have to pay union dues if you don't want to. At will employment is when the employer can fire you at any time for any reason, as long as it doesn't violate the various Civil Rights Acts. Pretty much everybody outside of a union or CBA has at will employment in the US.
2013-01-06 11:26:40 PM  
3 votes:

Sygonus: whatshisname: What's asinine about it? Fitting into a workplace is just as important as skills.

A hundred times this.

The company I work for has a fantastic organizational culture, in part because we hire people who mesh well together. Collaboration in small teams is critical for the work we do (research/analysis), so having someone who doesn't fit with the culture is a potential buzzkill to the quality of our outputs.

I often get called on to conduct peer interviews of potential recruits, and you're damn right I'm looking to make sure the individual fits well with the org culture. By the time people get the peer interview stage, we know they have the skills to do the job. The question is: will we like spending time for over 40 hours a week with this person? Between two equally qualified candidates, I'm going to pick the outgoing, energetic individual who has similar interests to the rest of the team - they're going to jive better in the department then someone who is equally qualified but has no interest in contributing to the org culture.


Sounds like a good way to practice age discrimination, but not worry about those pesky lawsuits.
2013-01-06 11:23:08 PM  
3 votes:
Some of us are grown ups and really tire of games. Both in relationships and at work.

The last time I interviewed for a job, one place had me run the gauntlet interviewing with 10 different people (for a half hour, each) culminating with the big boss who asked me some "WTF" questions. As in, "Seriously, I have no idea what you're talking about and I'm not sure what the appropriate response is." In the back of my mind was "what was the point of that?".

I might add, I have a doctoral-level degree and the question was about being replaced by technology which doesn't exist and won't during my lifetime.

So yeah, I really tire of the stupid questions.
2013-01-06 11:12:22 PM  
3 votes:

zedster: FTFA:""These trends are being driven by millennials because they care about culture," says Dan Schawbel, author of Me: 2.0. "Research shows that millennials typically stay at a job for about two years-and they have different priorities. They'd rather have meaningful work over more pay, or work for a company that gives back or cares about the environment. They want a culture that's less hierarchical, more flexible, and more understanding of difference, because millennials are the most diverse generation."

NO NO NO NO NO NO

WWII Gen: Hey I'll get a job and work at it for 20+ yrs, return you'll give me benefits like a pension
Business: Okay

Baby Boomers: I'd like what my parents had
Business: nope you'll have a 401K that we will raid and no job security

Millennials: If I'm not going to be making great money and have no job security I'd rather work someplace I like and move on when I burn out
Business: Why do you have no loyalty? come back?

If I had the choice between culture or a place that actually took care of it's employees without screwing them over I would take the security. Having fallen into IT I have to say the contractor system is not going to inspire me to do anything less then the bare minimum, what incentive do I have? I have no profit share, no chance of getting hired on (always a false carrot they dangle), and very little security. At best Millennials are just waiting for the huge delayed wave of Baby Boomer to retire and open up the job market for them, at worst you are looking at generation that will have far less opportunity and quality of life then their parents.


Nail on the head. As a gen x member who thinks millenials expect to be rewarded before paying their dues, I realize they are hep to the realization that you don't get rewarded for paying your dues anymore anyway. Company loyalty is a two way street, any every company that asks why they have no loyalty should be asking what they've done to earn loyalty in the last 30 years.
2013-01-06 10:57:19 PM  
3 votes:
Back when I was on the job market, I was just happy if they even got back to me to tell I didn't have the job. If I had a dollar for every time I was told something to the effect of, "we'll be making a decision very soon and I'll definitely let you know one way or the other whether you got the position", I wouldn't need the job I have.

/ended up working for a place part time more or less interning, eventually was made full time after several months
//love the place I work for, even if upper management makes decisions like they have minimal brain damage sometimes
2013-01-06 10:56:20 PM  
3 votes:

Sygonus: whatshisname: What's asinine about it? Fitting into a workplace is just as important as skills.

A hundred times this.

...

Between two equally qualified candidates, I'm going to pick the outgoing, energetic individual who has similar interests to the rest of the team - they're going to jive better in the department then someone who is equally qualified but has no interest in contributing to the org culture.


Which is why the people who were bullies in high school continue in that role in the corporate world.

Because "social skills" trump "knowledge" and "competence" every time.

Sad.
2013-01-06 10:50:54 PM  
3 votes:

BokerBill: What's your favorite movie? What's your favorite website? What's the last book you read for fun? What makes you uncomfortable?

- None of your business
- None of your business
- None of your business
- A rock in my shoe

/Not a good cultural fit with any company that thinks these are important questions to ask in a job interview.


Do you give douchy answers to those questions when they're asked in a casual setting? Because what's being measured here is your ability to have a normal conversation that doesn't involve "talking shop."

It's a little jarring and their purpose is pretty transparent these days, but they can also serve as a bit of an ice breaker in a normally tense situation, like, say, a job interview.
2013-01-06 10:39:02 PM  
3 votes:
It's farking weird out there right now. I've never seen anything like it. I'm well qualified, over-qualified in many cases, for the jobs I've been applying for and have never had a single problem getting work before. I've always gotten accolades for my work and was well-liked everywhere I worked. What people in this thread don't seem to be understanding is that nowadays, their definition of "company culture" is less about finding someone who will get along with everyone else to help create the most productive environment possible and it's more about trying to create a clubhouse atmosphere. Ever seen the marketing or production departments at Revision3, CNET, or the like? It's more like a frat house than anything. Now I constantly lose out to kids that seem like they'd be better bar buddies than me. Three months later, the exact same job is back up because the kid couldn't handle the real work involved. I try again, get told again that I'm not a good cultural fit, they hire some kid that seems like he might be a blast to go grab some Pad Thai with, they shiatcan him two months later because he started crying the second he opened After Effects to do his first project without a template or a teacher holding his hand, wash, rinse, repeat. Thankfully I'm not the only source of income and make enough freelancing to fill the gaps. I'm about to give it one more go. If I find something, great. If not, fark it. Time to take the risk and fully strike out on my own. They want to be stuck in perpetual amateur hour because they're more concerned with finding a bestie? They're welcome to it.
2013-01-06 10:32:41 PM  
3 votes:

falcon176: loyalty is dead don't give employers 2 weeks notice, they won't give you 2 hours


I remember at the first staff meeting I had with my job, our CEO told my department that if we didn't like our jobs, he's always taking resignations (although his demeanor implied "turn in your access card and go play in traffic"). I won't even mention what we have to do if we want to leave with our accrued vacation time. My state is "at-will," so I could be fired the moment I walk into work tomorrow and I'm under no obligation to give them any notice or reason whenever I quit. Either situation makes me look bad because of a little thing called social conditioning.
2013-01-06 10:32:22 PM  
3 votes:
Bullshiat.

Otherwise why would companies continue to rely on work visas? Those Indians from one of many diploma mills is not a cultural fit, nor do they wish to be.
2013-01-06 10:12:38 PM  
3 votes:
"what would you say your biggest weakness is?"

"tolerating bullshiat interviews."
2013-01-06 10:08:07 PM  
3 votes:

Omnivorous: New: "You're just not a cultural fit for us"

Translation: you're older than me and have more experience, so you're a threat.


Or you're younger than me and have no experience, so you're a threat.
/you know, rookie farks up, everybody else has to fix it...well, depending on the magnitude of the farkup and whether the interviewer is held responsible for the misadventures of the people he hires...
2013-01-06 10:06:17 PM  
3 votes:
I'm always curious; what metrics do HR personnel use to justify their processes and techniques? Do they have actual evidence that their system of irrelevant and arbitrary qualifiers results in better hires than, say, letting some random person in the office pick somebody?
2013-01-06 10:03:40 PM  
3 votes:
what makes you uncomfortable?

People asking me stupid questions
2013-01-06 10:02:36 PM  
3 votes:
Asinine tag is asinine. When I've been in charge of hiring, you'd better believe that "cultural fit" (I didn't use stupid terms like that) was just as important as skill set. I'd take someone with slightly less skills but who would be a great fit for our team and my management style than someone with great skills who wouldn't be right for our workplace. If a person fits well with the rest of the staff and is someone you feel good about working with/managing, that a huge plus over someone who will be an outcast on your staff or who you'll hate working with. You can teach them, they'll have the support of their colleagues, the whole team will function better as a team, the new employee will be happier (and thus more productive and receptive to learning), and so on.

So yeah, your skills aren't the only thing that matters. This is nothing new. And it just makes sense.
2013-01-06 09:59:07 PM  
3 votes:

zedster: Business: Why do you have no loyalty? come back?That's OK, we'll get the government to import a bunch of third world indentured servants to work for half what we'd pay you otherwise.

2013-01-06 09:53:06 PM  
3 votes:

whatshisname: What's asinine about it? Fitting into a workplace is just as important as skills.


There's a difference between being inoffensive and being everyone's friend. If we can work together, fine. You don't have to be a "cultural fit." You must not smell like spoiled goat cheese, however.
2013-01-06 09:45:47 PM  
3 votes:
If you're lucky enough to work for a company where everyone gets along and has a good time together, that's worth a lot. When office drama is minimal, it just makes everyone's lives easier and more pleasant. It doesn't mean you hire someone who is under-qualified just because you like them, but you certainly don't want to hire or retain someone that his ruining the atmosphere for everyone. I spend 45 hours a week in the office with these people. You're damned right I want people to fit into the company culture. Not that I'm the one in charge of these things, but we do get asked about whether the newbies are fitting in before their probationary period is over.
2013-01-06 09:39:40 PM  
3 votes:
In 10-15 years when the boomers are out of the workforce, applicants will be asking questions to the dic.face HR people who are rejecting them today.
2013-01-06 09:36:18 PM  
3 votes:

zedster: FTFA:""These trends are being driven by millennials because they care about culture," says Dan Schawbel, author of Me: 2.0. "Research shows that millennials typically stay at a job for about two years-and they have different priorities. They'd rather have meaningful work over more pay, or work for a company that gives back or cares about the environment. They want a culture that's less hierarchical, more flexible, and more understanding of difference, because millennials are the most diverse generation."

NO NO NO NO NO NO

WWII Gen: Hey I'll get a job and work at it for 20+ yrs, return you'll give me benefits like a pension
Business: Okay

Baby Boomers: I'd like what my parents had
Business: nope you'll have a 401K that we will raid and no job security

Millennials: If I'm not going to be making great money and have no job security I'd rather work someplace I like and move on when I burn out
Business: Why do you have no loyalty? come back?

If I had the choice between culture or a place that actually took care of it's employees without screwing them over I would take the security. Having fallen into IT I have to say the contractor system is not going to inspire me to do anything less then the bare minimum, what incentive do I have? I have no profit share, no chance of getting hired on (always a false carrot they dangle), and very little security. At best Millennials are just waiting for the huge delayed wave of Baby Boomer to retire and open up the job market for them, at worst you are looking at generation that will have far less opportunity and quality of life then their parents.


I was lucky to fall into a job where the owners are very loyal to their employees, give us a lot of freedom to be creative and it is perhaps the best IT job I ever had. Sure it a little less pay than my last job, but it gives me a stable work place, 10 minutes away from home and I get great benefits and not crushed by depression. Sure I eventually get offered better pay somewhere else, especially when I finished working on the current programming projects but that is 2-3 years away at least. There not many places like that any more unfortunately.
2013-01-07 11:24:24 AM  
2 votes:

Electriclectic: Where do you see yourself in five years?


That depends on whether or not you hire me. I"ll either be working here or working somewhere else. Either way I'll be doing much the same thing as I'm doing today. Squeezing every bit of BIM out of Revit as possible and making plenty of money doing it. It all just depends on who wants me making money for them as to where I'm at in 5 years.
2013-01-07 07:45:38 AM  
2 votes:
The "cultural fit" thing goes both ways; it's the primary reason I quit my last two jobs. (First DoD, then a military subcontractor). The money was fine, but I just reached a point where I got out of bed in the mornings and could not bear the thought of willingly subjecting myself to that environment any longer.

The place I work now is much better - beer Fridays, quarterly team outings (fully funded, except alcohol), giant sharks roaming the halls, and a whole bunch of people who are damn good at their jobs. Both competence and culture figure heavily in their interview process. First, candidates are pre-screened through an online test. The ones who pass that are invited for a grueling day-long interview (by fellow team members and managers, not HR). The on-site interview begins with technical skills, including another written test, then moves on the "softer" questions mostly involving the phrase "give me an example of a time when...". The thing is, if the candidate doesn't do well on either the online or on-site technical portions, they're dismissed without even getting to the cultural part. And yes, there have been candidates who did well technically but were turned down because they weren't a "good fit".

As a result, everyone on the team is the cream of the crop, the team is tight, the work environment is both fun and serious at the same time, and the turnover rate is incredibly low for a tech company.
2013-01-07 04:34:05 AM  
2 votes:
HR people can just die..Burn in the fire pits and die.. Humans are not "Resources" to be mined like
and exploited like a vein of minerals. HR is a arbitrary construct to squeeze the life from people
through mindless regulation and policy and legalese and give back as little as possible using the
same.
2013-01-07 03:04:13 AM  
2 votes:

stiletto_the_wise: This kind of mentality is how likable frat boys get hired over people who studied hard and know their shiat. Feel lucky you don't have a "Google equivalent" in your industry to compete with.


I've only needed one asshole competent worker to realize that "cultural fit" is an extremly important condition. Being competent does not mean shiat when you manage to piss off half the persons you are supposed to collaborate with on a day-to-day basis.
2013-01-07 01:04:40 AM  
2 votes:
I'm not a good culture fit. I don't like *people*, as a general rule. I really don't like my co-workers. I enjoy tasks that are similar to my job; but I don't really want to do my job. I get paid a 'fair wage' but that limits me to only put in a 'fair amount' of effort. I don't bust my ass for the good of the company, I do just enough to get 'good' reviews - nothing more. And the entire time, I have one foot out the door waiting for anything better to come along.

But I'm REALLY GOOD at interviews.

It's strange. I've had a lot of similar situations growing up. When I'm 'on' I can act a certain way - for example - high school debate or theater or being the class clown; but take that away and even though I appear outgoing and social, I just like *attention*, not the people that give it. Once I'm not 'on', I really don't care. I'm not friendly. I don't want to hear about your wife or your kids or your husband or your funny story or anything else. Meh. I just want to dick around for five hours, take a long lunch, and go home.

But put me in an interview - and bam - I'm Mr. Popular! Mr. Good Culture fit. Friendly, funny, knowledgeable...I don't know or plan what I'll say before I show up - but I'm really good at picking up on what they want me to say. Maybe, with some training, I could be some sort of cold-reading psychic...I don't know. One interview I find myself saying how work-life balance is important and how working at a big, faceless insurance company just wasn't for me; that I wanted to 'make a difference'. Got that job. Next interview I'm saying that I just wasn't challenged enough, that I was tired of doing a good job, I wanted to do a great job! I wanted to push myself and see just how far and how good I can become. Even the lunch-interview with co-workers....I could go 10 years without having lunch with a co-worker or asking them a question or caring about an answer; but when I'm on my job interview and we go out to lunch, bam, I can pretend to care. You like that sport? Oh yeah - me too! Why, I even used to play in high school. You guys are all nerds and have level 60 toons on WoW (this was years back when 60 was the cap) oh man! I love that game, let me tell you about my bot wrote! Yeah it *IS* awesome. You guys can't stand slackers who talk about WoW all day? Oh man, me neither. I had some coworkers and all they'd do is talk about stupid computer games. I mean seriously......

Whatever. All complete bullshiat. I want to do the minimum amount of work for the maximum amount of pay. I don't care what I work on. I don't care what the company does or makes or if it exploits 3rd world labor or donates profits to 3rd world countries - I just want my damn check. I'm currently in the banking/finance sector, so that's a more acceptable attitude, but I'd say it even if it weren't true in situations where I think people want to hear it.

But it's a GREAT feeling when someone tells you that you are overpaid for your work history, but offers you your asking salary. Or when they say, 'You don't quite have the qualifications we're looking for; but we are going to take a chance on you, because your a great fit for this role'.

I don't know what a better system would be, but putting a lot of value in someone's interview skills will get you candidates who are good at interviews - not good at work. If you put a value in cultural fit, you'll get people who can pretend to be likable during the interview/hiring phase.

I'm seven for seven in job interviews. If I can make it to the interview, I've gotten an offer 100% of the time. And I'm just some crappy slacker. I've got buddies from college who are twice the employee that I am, who interview poorly, who would be a MUCH BETTER choice than I - but companies are happy enough to hire a-holes like me.
2013-01-07 12:46:07 AM  
2 votes:

badhatharry: Sorry, you didn't get the job. Yes, you are qualified but you are a boring asshole.


OK, suppose I'm NOT an asshole ... but I AM boring, but I DO like paychecks and therefore I WILL show up on time and put in a full and honest day of work, week in and week out, for whichever employer I've chosen to offer those services to. NOW do I get the job?
2013-01-07 12:33:03 AM  
2 votes:

aerojockey: Poor cultural fit is a stupid reason not to hire someone talented.  Poor communication skills is a good reason not to, but heaven help someone trying to argue there's a difference.


I can argue against that.

I work in a place with a very laid-back and playful environment. We have things like Nerf guns and employee's dogs hanging around the office. Everyone is down with this culture and as such, they all manage to be very productive despite what some might refer to as distractions around the office. Recently we were looking to higher another programmer. We came across someone who was very talented in his field and had a lot of the knowledge and skills we wanted. But he made it very clear during the interview that he cannot stand idle chatter/frivolous activity in the work place and prefers a much more "traditional" business environment. While there is certainly nothing wrong about that, but it would have been a horrible fit for the company. He would have been miserable and he would be making the rest of the team miserable. And productivity would have tanked, not to mention the level of customer service.

This is not "communication problems" or "teach-ability", this is simply cultural fit, and paying proper attention to it probably saved our company a lot of time and money .
2013-01-07 12:26:21 AM  
2 votes:
People who support "cultural fit" are petty and the practice is, in reality, just a culture of cliques and ego driven. Nothing more.
2013-01-07 12:18:42 AM  
2 votes:
coldf33t:  If the person is not a team player and not teachable

This is what I love and find ridiculous about these threads.  "Team player" and "teachable" are two different things, and they are both different from "cultural fit".

It's as if all of human behavior is a dichotomy between technical stuff and non-technical stuff, and there are no further divisions.  So if someone argues that "cultural fit" isn't important for a job, then a bunch of howler will be all like, "No, I never hire anyone unless they show me they can communicate well with their peers."  Yeah, I wasn't talking about communication skills, I was talking about cultural fit.

Poor cultural fit is a stupid reason not to hire someone talented.  Poor communication skills is a good reason not to, but heaven help someone trying to argue there's a difference.
2013-01-07 12:05:43 AM  
2 votes:
This topic is so abstract and subjective. I mean, I can't get the interview until I pass the HR gatekeeper, but, are the HR person's Cultural fit parameters anywhere near those of the actual people *I* would work with? I'm guessing usually: "no".

Now, my son did well on his last interview. His supervisor asked a few random questions, and the kid, who is 18, quoted appropriately in context from Musashi's Book of Five Rings. Since the supervisor was a martial arts nut in his spare time, this landed my kid the job. I can guarantee you in this town, my kid is the only one aged 18 to 28, to have read Musashi.

I haven't had to interview in years, but one time I did, the HR person asked me at the end of the interview what questions I had for her. I asked her what her evaluation of the company's corporate culture was. She just sighed, and didn't answer. What I was trying to get was a sense of if they were conservative or progressive. I didn't get the job, don't know of she thought my question impertinent, or if she knew the culture was asinine, and was sighing because she was trapped in it, and she saved me some grief by not hiring me.

I'm glad I'm nearing retirement age and might not ever have to go thru HR bullshiat again. I'm sure there are a few exceptions, but overall I have found HR people to be generally terrible. I can't say if they started out okay and the job makes them bad, or if they are already bad and attracted to that work. I have to work with an inordinate number of patronage hacks on a daily basis, and that might be coloring my opinions.
2013-01-07 12:02:57 AM  
2 votes:

Mr. Eugenides: zedster: Baby Boomers: I'd like what my parents had
Business: nope you'll have a 401K that we will raid and no job security

I have to take exception to this. A pension is an IOU that assumes your employer will still be there in 50 or 60 years. A company can underfund a pension. A company can raid a pension. A company can declare bankruptcy and the pension fund is screwed as are all retirees depending on it.

A 401-K is owned and (at least partially) managed by the employee. A 401-K is a retirement savings account that is owned by you the employee personally. The only negative thing a company can do to your 401K is to stop making a matching contribution.

401-K > pension in all ways.


The company picks the plan administrator and the "investments" you are allowed to invest your money in.
2013-01-06 11:57:51 PM  
2 votes:
If you hate the interview, you'd probably hate working there, so consider yourself saved from a big mistake.
2013-01-06 11:57:16 PM  
2 votes:

Mr. Eugenides: zedster: Baby Boomers: I'd like what my parents had
Business: nope you'll have a 401K that we will raid and no job security

I have to take exception to this. A pension is an IOU that assumes your employer will still be there in 50 or 60 years. A company can underfund a pension. A company can raid a pension. A company can declare bankruptcy and the pension fund is screwed as are all retirees depending on it.

A 401-K is owned and (at least partially) managed by the employee. A 401-K is a retirement savings account that is owned by you the employee personally. The only negative thing a company can do to your 401K is to stop making a matching contribution.

401-K > pension in all ways.


Because it's defined-benefit rather than defined-contribution, a pension is far superior to some crappy 401(k). Also, California now offers a state-run private sector pension. Years from now, other states will, too.
2013-01-06 11:49:25 PM  
2 votes:

zedster: Baby Boomers: I'd like what my parents had
Business: nope you'll have a 401K that we will raid and no job security


I have to take exception to this. A pension is an IOU that assumes your employer will still be there in 50 or 60 years. A company can underfund a pension. A company can raid a pension. A company can declare bankruptcy and the pension fund is screwed as are all retirees depending on it.

A 401-K is owned and (at least partially) managed by the employee. A 401-K is a retirement savings account that is owned by you the employee personally. The only negative thing a company can do to your 401K is to stop making a matching contribution.

401-K > pension in all ways.
2013-01-06 11:44:48 PM  
2 votes:

Iron Felix: In 10-15 years when the boomers are out of the workforce, applicants will be asking questions to the dic.face HR people who are rejecting them today.


baby boomers cover 1946 - 1964 so yeah, there's your 10 - 15 years.

i love whining youngster job threads. the sooner you find out every generation gets screwed by the man the better off you are. if you weren't born to money or connections you most probably will never step in shiat. idiots that ask "so where's my incentive?" should ask themselves:

so do i like to eat daily? so should i walk 45 miles each way? so what about a roof over my head?

it takes a long time before employers are wiling to pay, if they ever are. they have a screw you set up for everyone of every age. businesses are horribly run all over and up and down the Fortune 500 list. it's always someone else that catches the breaks. quit whining and get to work, you'll get noticed.

BIG SAD REALITY: in way too many areas there are a crap load of good paying jobs held tightly by people who have no need to work. they have money or married well and are too selfish to be volunteers or too moronic to just go to school and better themselves, or stay home and enjoy hobbies. the employer is not far from where they work, they've developed a social clique in the workplace and they've convinced themselves they like it. farking dooshbags. when you've identified these arseholes where you work be sure to thank them for being selfish.
KIA
2013-01-06 11:38:21 PM  
2 votes:

Meow928: I post this, because it was a totally unrelated question there at the end, and I've always suspected that's where things went wrong.


I read that as: You wouldn't be able to chew the late-night fat with the conspiracy theorists who pay the bills there and you don't have a perky smile or anything else to keep their attention, so you got nothing he needs.
2013-01-06 11:31:03 PM  
2 votes:
Went on a interview once that gave me a "scenario" to answer.

The scenario: "You're a line lead working on the line with someone who has a personal problem with you and has let you know that they don't like you. Eventually, the situation escalates and this co-worker is refusing to accept any direction from you. How do you resolve this situation?"

My response: "I would tell the co-worker to act like a professional and do what we were hired to do, this isn't high school and I don't care if they are not my friend. Then I would go to my superior to inform them why we're not getting work done."

Apparently, my answer was not the one they were looking for, I didn't get the job.
2013-01-06 11:19:27 PM  
2 votes:

Atomic Spunk: Are you kidding? For anyone who's ever given their employer a 2 week notice, that may end up being the best 2 weeks that you will ever have on the job.


In my experience, a 2 week notice turns into being wished well 2 days later by HR as they tell you just go ahead and leave early. Many companies are real jumpy about employees that are leaving, even under good terms.
2013-01-06 11:17:03 PM  
2 votes:

AloysiusSnuffleupagus:
So let's not split hairs about "all things being equal". Because we all know, and the comments and article itself acknowledge, that the less qualified and dumber applicant who is the better sycophant has the leg up on the more qualified and smarter applicant who isn't as skilled in kissing ass.


Incorrect. You're just using a defense mechanism to help you feel better about not getting a job. "I'm WAY more knowledgeable, but I won't kiss ass, so FARK THEM! WAHHHHH!"

Chances are pretty good that you not only have a crappy personality which doomed you from the start, but you were neither more knowledgeable nor more qualified. They picked someone better. Get over it.
2013-01-06 11:13:51 PM  
2 votes:

The Stealth Hippopotamus: First question in every interview I conduct: "so, Star Was or Star Trek?"

First it show me how the person reacts to a curve ball if the candidate is off guard and nervous that's bad if it gets them to relax that's good. If they get off guard by such a simple question than they'll never make it in shipping. The truckers will get you alive. Second it keeps all the damn Trekkers away from me.

The last girl I hired answered "Firefly". Best filing clerk we got.


You're a fan of Star Was? That explains a lot.
2013-01-06 11:12:25 PM  
2 votes:

Nemo's Brother: Aces and Eights: Weirdest question anyone asked me in a job interview: "What would you do if you were on a bus and someone was drunk and threw up in the aisle?"

Somehow I must have given the right answer. I was offered the job, and accepted it. Didn't stay long. The place was stranger than the interview.

How did you respond?


After stammering awkwardly for a while, I said I would alert the driver, check to see if the person needed medical attention, and ask for something to help clean up the mess. Then wash my hands thoroughly and see what I could do to make sure the person got home safely.

(Did not mention I would secretly gag and later throw away my shoes, although I was thinking that).
2013-01-06 11:09:27 PM  
2 votes:
I've interviewed candidates for a couple of different outfits I've worked for, and I can say that I did look for the ones that would fit in better than others, all other things being equal.

The one exception to that was when I was interviewing people for a job on a remote atoll that was 1500 miles away from the nearest emergent land. If somebody was an ass on day one, the next flight out was two weeks away...you don't want that guy ever setting foot there if you can help it, so yeah, I did ask 'cultural fit' type questions in that situation, simply because I'd seen the result of NOT asking those kinds of questions in other departments, and those people would make everyone around them miserable 24/7 (remember, isolated island...you live with your co-workers).

Otherwise, though, I find 'cultural fit' questions to be BS for a 8-5 job. If they can do it and not not manage to piss everybody else off, even if they aren't going to be buddies with everyone in the office, that's good.
2013-01-06 11:04:24 PM  
2 votes:

hdhale: Back when I was on the job market, I was just happy if they even got back to me to tell I didn't have the job. If I had a dollar for every time I was told something to the effect of, "we'll be making a decision very soon and I'll definitely let you know one way or the other whether you got the position", I wouldn't need the job I have.


Ran into a couple of those over the last decade or so. It's easy to handle - mentally give them a time limit, say, 5 days or so, and if they haven't made a decision by then, call them and explain that they can remove you from consideration. Ensure that you've followed up with them at least twice - immediately after the interview, and three days after the interview, if they didn't give you a specific decision timeframe or didn't contact you within that three day window. If they haven't responded within three days of your second contact, then, let's face it, you're not their first pick and they're farming for more candidates. If they've given you a specific decision timeframe, wait until that timeframe has passed for that second follow-up, and then wait three days after that before closing the door.

I've had to tell two different recruiters that very thing, because they couldn't figure out how to operate a telephone or an inbox - an employer that isn't willing to communicate with you during the hiring process, probably won't be communicating with you during the actual job, either. That's a real problem if you're a contractor, as I was, because problems can come up fast and you don't have time to wait a week for a turnaround. Also, I don't want to lose a week's networking time, and I certainly don't want to lose a week's pay, all so some lackadasical recruiter can shine me on. No one's got time for that these days.
2013-01-06 11:00:00 PM  
2 votes:
Glad my job interview was more technical questions that actually pertained to the position I was applying for and not bullshiat social ones. Feels good working a job where my ability to fix stuff is more important than what I did over the weekend.
2013-01-06 10:52:00 PM  
2 votes:

itsfullofstars: Its so damn hard to fire people today that these questions help weed out the people who just wont fit in.


I take it that you live in one of the few states that aren't fire-at-will aka "right to work"
2013-01-06 10:49:16 PM  
2 votes:
OK, personalities can clash, and there are fit/no fit extremes out there. However, can you really tell someone's "cultural" aspects from an interview? I've seen people hired who are charismatic and make a great first impression -- only to turn out to be failures or farked in the head (or both).

If only they'd asked the right question at the start, they could have weeded out those Star Wars fanboy losers...

[ducks]
2013-01-06 10:40:15 PM  
2 votes:

falcon176: loyalty is dead don't give employers 2 weeks notice, they won't give you 2 hours


Are you kidding? For anyone who's ever given their employer a 2 week notice, that may end up being the best 2 weeks that you will ever have on the job. You can come in late. You can leave early. You can take an extra long lunch. You can work at half speed, or not even work at all. Nobody's going to say shiat about it because you have the ultimate comeback: "So, what are you going to do? Fire me? Ha ha ha ha!". Then for two weeks of barely showing up, they give you a check as you walk out the door. WINNAR!
2013-01-06 10:40:05 PM  
2 votes:

It's Me Bender: zedster: Business: Why do you have no loyalty? come back?That's OK, we'll get the government to import outsource those positions to a bunch of third world indentured servants to work for half what we'd pay you otherwise.

/ftfy
KIA
2013-01-06 10:37:46 PM  
2 votes:
From the interviewing side, it is incredibly hard to filter for malcontents and incompetents. I have had people tell me to my face: "I think it is my job to help you get things done so you look good" then turn around the day after the probationary period ended and say "Well, sure, but I can't learn stuff from a manual or powerpoint, so you'll have to do it yourself." I've had people get upset - upset! - when I told them their vacation approval was conditional upon coverage for tasks, making sure email was up to date before they leave and basic out-of-office procedure was followed. At that point, they divulged that they were 700 emails behind and felt that I was intentionally killing their vacation by making them answer their emails.

One classic case, after the person got a $50.00 holiday gift card and quit in a huff, the cleaning crew (who came in after 7:00 PM while I was still there working every night after everyone else went home) said "Wow, we're surprised she lasted that long." When questioned, they said she was drinking on the job. When asked how they knew that, they said "Oh, we could tell when you were out of the office because there would be beer bottles in her trash can. When you were in the office, they were in the ladies' restroom trashcan."
2013-01-06 10:37:31 PM  
2 votes:
To play devil's advocate for a moment:

It's not such a black and white issue. If I have two candidates in front of me, one with excellent qualifications and an OK personality and the other has good qualifications but a great personality, I'm going with the latter.

The ability to interact with other human beings, play well with others, and generally not walk around like you're the hottest shiat since sliced bread goes a long way.

/ A software manager who would blame sun spots and your own personal failings before her code is on maternity leave.
// I sincerely hope she never comes back.
/// Hired on qualifications alone (by someone else). QED.
2013-01-06 10:36:39 PM  
2 votes:
I just got a new senior level IT job and sat through a panel interview with 8 engineers grilling me for an hour and a half.

HR wasn't involved in my interview process at all, other than helping me fill out the required paperwork once I was hired. I'm assuming they've checked my creds, college and stuff, but haven't had any contact with them about anything.

That is how it should be.
2013-01-06 10:30:05 PM  
2 votes:

DiggidyDan: "what would you say your biggest weakness is?"

Blunt honesty. . . That's an inane, loaded question that you are only asking because it's on your script.


This is probably one of the most useless interview questions ever. It's so common that most people, unless they're completely clueless, will have some carefully crafted non-weakness "weakness" to respond with.
2013-01-06 10:28:25 PM  
2 votes:
"what would you say your biggest weakness is?"

Blunt honesty. . . That's an inane, loaded question that you are only asking because it's on your script.
2013-01-06 10:26:53 PM  
2 votes:

stiletto_the_wise: This kind of mentality is how likable frat boys get hired over people who studied hard and know their shiat. Feel lucky you don't have a "Google equivalent" in your industry to compete with.

You're creating a false dichotomy between "qualified" and "sociable/cultural fit". This isn't the case. Most employers often have more than one well-qualified candidate. So they're going to pick the candidate who is qualified AND will work well on their team. It's not an either/or situation in most cases, especially given it's still an employer's market in most industries.
2013-01-06 10:25:08 PM  
2 votes:

shoegaze99: I'd take someone with slightly less skills but who would be a great fit for our team and my management style than someone with great skills who wouldn't be right for our workplace.


What defines this, though? It doesn't seem to be movies and hobbies, like they are suggesting asking about. At my last job before going back to school, the person with the most similar hobbies was probably the person I got along with the worst of anyone. On the other hand, there were plenty of people quite different from me who I got along with fine.
2013-01-06 10:07:12 PM  
2 votes:
An ex girlfriend was helping her boss interview candidates for a position. After the boss left the room, the candidate says "wow I hope I don't have to work for her, that woman is a biatch!"

Needless to say, she didn't get the job.

//she did file and EEO complaint claiming racism though.
2013-01-06 10:06:20 PM  
2 votes:

GilRuiz1: Someone in HR once told me that the purpose of all the candidate screening was intended to discover two things:

1) can this person do the job?

2) do we like this person enough to spend 8 hours a day, every day, for years in the same room with them?


Exactly.

And yes, BOTH things are important. No one is suggesting hiring an incompetent just because you like them, but all things being equal you pick someone who gets a "yes" on question #2, and if all things are not equal, but they're at least close, you still go with the "yes" on #2.

Obviously that changes if the person just isn't suited for the job. That should go without saying.
2013-01-06 10:05:50 PM  
2 votes:
I work in an "at will" employment state. "Cultural fit" is rampant here, but it's not considered as important as your skill set. However, it is a deciding factor when it comes to multiple candidates - and given that I work in the competitive industry that is software development in Washington, "cultural fit" is important.

"Bleeding edge" implies that you're current - and not just on your skills, but on your audience, your customer, your mindset, your...everything, really. So, cultural relevance can be important, because it implies self-motivation - information is a pull, not a push, for you. You'll seek out the new, not wait until it's thrust at you, and you'll deal with it as you encounter it, not as it encounters you. This is even more important if you're in a decision-making position. Can't be bothered to stay current or seek out new information? Well, you're not going to make decisions that will place a company ahead of its competitors. You're not going to design games that will approach not just this generation, but the next generation, of gamers. You're not going to have that "deep dive" detail needed to stay on top of trends in your particular niche industry. You're not going to be "bleeding edge."

Just how does an employer find that out, though? The set of barely-tangibles for that characteristic are very specific to not just an industry, but to a company and even a team. Often, those barely-tangibles are determined by having a lead or manager observe a team not just during working hours, but by ensuring personal connections with them and observing what they do for recreation, hobbies, and other tangential activities. People with similar skill sets can be wildly divergent in terms of success or failure, and so the "little things" tend to matter more when deciding which one gets the job.

So, yeah, "cultural fit" can be misused to screen out candidates using criteria typically considered unethical or lillegal, but it also can be used to ensure you've the right people for the job. Far too many "paper tigers" in the software development industry - folks that look great on paper, but are near-useless in person - coupled with coaching on how to ace a technical interview make "cultural fit" a useful criterion.
2013-01-06 10:02:04 PM  
2 votes:

falcon176: loyalty is dead don't give employers 2 weeks notice, they won't give you 2 hours


Let me guess, you've gotten the "Here's a box, clean out your desk, your computer access has already been locked, this security guard will make sure you don't take company property with you" treatment at least once.

*checks profile*

Why I can't imagine why somebody would do such a thing to a person with SUCH a charming personality.
2013-01-06 09:56:02 PM  
2 votes:
No wonder I ended up getting a civil service job. None of the crap mentioned in the article, and I get decent pay, benefits, and retirement.
2013-01-06 09:48:34 PM  
2 votes:

limeyfellow: I was lucky to fall into a job where the owners are very loyal to their employees, give us a lot of freedom to be creative and it is perhaps the best IT job I ever had. Sure it a little less pay than my last job, but it gives me a stable work place, 10 minutes away from home and I get great benefits and not crushed by depression. Sure I eventually get offered better pay somewhere else, especially when I finished working on the current programming projects but that is 2-3 years away at least. There not many places like that any more unfortunately.


I found a place like that, sadly they got sued out of existence. I buried my grandpa on a Sunday and got laid off on that Friday due to the place going into bankruptcy. Damn 2012 was a crappy year for me
2013-01-06 09:39:20 PM  
2 votes:
I work in a hellish place for a crappy boss in an adrift organization. But I don't complain cause it pays enough hush money.
2013-01-06 09:30:24 PM  
2 votes:
Millenial here. I work for a company that operates almost exclusively on that premise. They'll be happy to hire you, but if three months later they decide you're not a "good culture fit," you abruptly get fired. Your first year working there is pretty stressful never knowing if you'll get fired for some arbitrary reason...but if you can make it past the one year mark, you'll most likely make it.

I didn't particularly have that attitude about jobs. It's hard enough to find one these days, why make it harder by trying to find somewhere that's warm and fuzzy?
2013-01-06 08:57:44 PM  
2 votes:
When I was in college I was a manager for the engineering school's "tech crew" - students who fixed computers on campus.  They were cushy jobs, and there were 10 slots to hire for every year.  The first year I got to hire students I was informed by another employee that it was a "Pakistani year."  Turns out for years the Indian students and the Pakistani students had been swapping out the tech crew jobs because they refused to work with one another.  So on an Indian year, only Indian students would apply, and on a Pakistani year, only Pakistani students would apply.

I asked the employee what would happen if I hired a white or black employee, and he assured me that wouldn't happen.  I asked him why.  "Because I throw those resumes out," he said.
2013-01-08 12:22:21 PM  
1 vote:

ReverendJasen: The moment an interviewer starts asking me about hobbies, vacations, and movie/musical preferences instead of why I'm qualified to do the job, I know the job is bullshiat.
Interviews go both ways, HR goons.


Ironically, HRs and recruiters tell you not to put that shiat on your resume.
2013-01-07 06:36:21 PM  
1 vote:

Yoyo: Can someone tell me what it means when at the end of a telephone interview with a company's vice-president, he says the next step is to get me out for a site visit to their facility, and then in a few days the HR middlemen call to say the company isn't interested in me?

/I'm available immediately if you're looking for an engineer.


It means you'd better take a look at your credit report or maybe do a background check on yourself to see if there are any surprises. Sometimes these things have mistakes. There are people who's background checks turn up felonies all because someone else had a similar name or something like that.
2013-01-07 06:16:24 PM  
1 vote:

Fark Rye For Many Whores: Fartiste: Unlike the past, people don't retire after 20 years of service anymore and (especially the current and future generation) are more likely to work for 40-50 years.

Wat. You didn't inherit your father's successful gyro stand, the biggest in all Athens, as you'd planned. Is that it?



I don't get the reference (if there is one) but I chuckled a bit anyway.  It does make me think of three things, however.

1) The concept of a 40 hour work week, and really permanent employment at a company, only came about fairly recently.  At the start of industrialization our ancestors worked much longer hours than we do now and had really poor living conditions.  There was no shortage of work to be done, unlike today, and people worked a lot harder than we do. We're on a swing back towards longer and shiattier working conditions. Work-life balance is a luxury, and retirement is something of a luxury as well.

2) I *wish* my family actually had something I could inherit. Unfortunately, positive-value inheritance and estates are largely a thing of the past for middle class families. Only the very rich get to leave anything behind, most of the rest of us would either inherit debt (if laws didn't protect against that) or come up with next to nothing after taxes hit.

3) I also wish my family hadn't sold its farm and farmland. For one thing the land is worth a lot more money than it sold for.  For another, it was beautiful land and how houses a cookie cutter subdivision (hate). In hindsight I think farming the land would have been more fulfilling than corporate work. Unfortunately, the State also decided that the land was too valuable for a small subsistence farmer to own, even though the family had owned it for the better part of 200 years. Keep in mind, you don't own any land in the US unless your State has fair property laws - in most cases, you're basically on a long-term lease and the landlord can kick you out anytime it wants by jacking up tax rates to ridiculous levels.  Sadly, it's the same thing that happens to a lot of retirees -- old people don't necessarily sell their homes to downsize but often do so because they can no longer afford the high property taxes.

Back to company hiring practices, my most significant point should be that it's a way to exert what little control you actually have on making your work life better. It's a good way to ensure that you don't have to work with dicks, and that's worth something in an uncaring, impersonal system where the odds are already stacked against you. Few of us will ever exert enough influence to change how the corporate world works, but we should do what we can to make things better for ourselves and our qualified friends.
2013-01-07 01:08:07 PM  
1 vote:

optimus_grime: it should be illegal to deny people work because you don't like them.

life should not be a popularity contest.

grown ups should be able to work with people they don't like personally.

if you have a problem working with someone then YOU have the problem, not them.

high school ends for a reason.


optimus_grime: it should be illegal to deny people work because you don't like them.

life should not be a popularity contest.

grown ups should be able to work with people they don't like personally.

if you have a problem working with someone then YOU have the problem, not them.

high school ends for a reason.


This may be the most unrealistic view of adulthood ever recorded. Companies should, and are, be allowed to deny people employment if I think no one will get along with them because it's bad for business to have unhappy employees.

Life is a popularity contest, it's nearly impossible to advance if you don't have friends and allies who believe in the work that you do and aren't afraid to say good things about you to the people who don't know you yet.

Grownups are the same people they were when they were younger, including when they were in high school. They don't magically hit 18 and go, "Well, thank god that's over, now I can ignore all the petty bullshait I see around me every day." People are basically who they are from age 10.

If someone is a jerkoff to everyone around them, I really don't think it's me who has the problem. I've worked with jerkoffs before, you tolerate them because you have a job to do but you get out as soon as you can. That's bad for business.
2013-01-07 12:40:20 PM  
1 vote:

MycroftHolmes: Calling a decision to not take responsibility for your finances a 'scam' is the same as calling someone who sold you a car you couldn't afford a scammer.


And calling "unsophisticated investors", "investors".

There's a reason I don't play the lottery. Now it seems I must in order to retire comfortably.
2013-01-07 12:28:06 PM  
1 vote:

MycroftHolmes: The worst that you can say is that they expose the risks and rewards to equity trading to a group of less sophisticated investors who may not understand the tradeoffs.


I think that's pretty bad on it's own, I don't know about you.
2013-01-07 11:28:44 AM  
1 vote:

Iron Felix: In 10-15 years when the boomers are out of the workforce, applicants will be asking questions to the dic.face HR people who are rejecting them today.


Dream on. As Baby Boomers retire, many of those high-paying jobs are being phased out. As the United States continues to descend to third-world status, income inequality will continue to grow, and for more and more educated adults temp work will be the norm rather than the exception.

Welcome to the United States of Lotto, where the best jobs are fewer but higher-paying. Multinational corporations playing in global markets are no longer dependent on American consumers, so the American middle class becomes a burden rather than a boost to their bottom line and must be shrunk if not wholly eliminated. This is not a generational issue: the Gen-Xers doing much of the hiring today are just as willing to screw the middle class (all the while demanding tax breaks and other special favors from city and state governments, bankrupting the public sector) as their elders; perhaps even more so.

/baby boomer (barely; b. 1963)
//don't blame me, I'm unemployed too
2013-01-07 10:55:39 AM  
1 vote:
While I respect the idea that there is a need for some cultural fit in a work environment, it shouldn't be anywhere near the top criterion. In a well defined and designed hiring methodology, "cultural fit" shouldn't make up more than 10 percent of a candidate's score.

I have worked in two environments that are heavy on cultural fit. The first was a small, family run research firm. I left after a year because the boardroom basically became the second home of dinner table arguments and it was impossible to get anything done. With a homogenous work culture, there were never alternative ideas or viewpoints. This is the main reason the company was failing. I also worked with a police organization. Most of us who watch the news, have seen the pitfalls of police organizations too hung up on their culture. Again, no new ideas, and the same old boys club mentality. Groupthink was also a huge problem.

As a hiring manager, I NEED people on my team who can disagree with presented ideas, bring new ideas to the table, and share their different perspectives. Ultimately, I'm going to make a decision and some ideas will be discarded. This approach leads to what I think is the most important cultural fit question: "How do you handle situations where your ideas are not accepted by the group or manager"? I need people who can behave professionally, are not so hung up on their ego that their idea MUST be right, and can communicate effectively.

Ultimately, I don't want to work with my friends. I don't go for drinks with my staff regularly and prefer professional distance. Let's face it, if you're somewhat competent, there's a good chance that someday you'll get promoted. There's a mountain of evidence that demonstrates just how hard it is to fire your friends. I want colleagues - not bros.
2013-01-07 10:46:52 AM  
1 vote:
As a manager of an IT organization, I do find that I value team fit over technical skills everyday of the week. I have a very high performing team that gets the job done and I will not hire someone that I believe may cause friction to the individuals in the group.

Technical skills can be taught, personalities are much, much harder to change. The very first thing I do when I join a new organization is to find the toxic personalities and remove them from the team regardless of their skill sets or how much they individually produce.

I would rather have a team of people that can learn the technology and get along than 1 or 2 "heroes" that make it all work but are giant pricks about it.

Most of my hiring manager peers feel the same way.

So it is not "Get a Clue" it is "Get a Life"

Welcome to the workforce.
2013-01-07 10:31:25 AM  
1 vote:

browntimmy: I honestly think that anyone with at least average intellegence can be trained to do most jobs out there as effectively as someone with a degree. Obviously I'm not counting something like doctors in that. So if I was hiring for my own company, my priorities would be someone who seems pleasant to be around and isn't a slacker.


Thank this case for the beginning of degree requirements vs training.
2013-01-07 09:37:13 AM  
1 vote:

YodaBlues: DanInKansas: ModernLuddite: But seriously, I do NOT socialize with my coworkers. I do not talk to my coworkers. I do not share personal or private information with my coworkers. It's none of their damn business and I will not play games or jockey for position. This is, incidentally, why I will never be in charge of anything, but fark it. I don't like the admission price.

Take it from someone who's made the mistake: you're on the right track. The more you treat your coworkers as friends or -- even worse -- extended family, the more backs you will eventually have to stab.

Or, worse, the more knives you will have to end up removing from yours.

People who don't socialize with their coworkers have a reputation for being "standoffish" and "arrogant". We also have a reputation for working hard and getting results, because we don't spend 45 minutes bullshiatting about last night's episode of Archer or what the f ever.

TRUTH. I don't care what obscure feature you've hacked to work in Android or how the Bills did yesterday. I'm trying to get my shiat done, go away.


Some of these same people who spend a chunk of the day playing office tea party are the ones
that then turn around and run off at the mouth about how they had to come in on Saturday to
"catch up" on all this work they had...If they had actually worked during normal hours instead of
going from office to office chit chatting then over to Starbucks to re-fill their coffee in between they
would have gotten it done..ARGH! I worked with people like that, and I REALLY wanted to call them out
on it so many times when they pulled the "Ya, I was here this weekend.." crap...
2013-01-07 09:00:01 AM  
1 vote:

gadian: I've found the best work places are genuinely the most diverse. This means no one "cultural fit" for a company. You have curmudgeons, air heads, frat boys, nerds, dweebs, etc. all piled into one room and make it work because you're adults and can be professional even if you're not nearly identical to the person sitting next to you.


A culture of professionalism. Something that can cut across many personality types, if you look for it in people.

I work for a "family company". This is often touted as a positive "culture thing" around here. You want to talk about nepotism? About a third of the people who work here- most of them in influential positions- are related to one another by blood or marriage. I'm among the few who isn't. I actually had one vendor tell me that- before his company even considered working with us- they did a mini-genealogical study of the company. it was probably a wise decision on their part.

I had the occasion of being in a meeting the other day regarding a company website we're having an outside contractor work on. The contractor has only been in a handful of times. We don't know him overly well. Despite all that, our CEO/Owner (and also head of the family) was behaving in a way that would have been more congruent with drunken Friday night bar revelry. Swearing like a sailor, being belligerent and rude to the contractor, all that good stuff.

It's not the first time I've been embarrassed by my "superiors" in this company, but it was the first time it involved the CEO. I felt bad for the contractor, and I could see it in his face- the same thing I felt: "oh for the love of god and all that is holy, get me out of this room".

I've overheard things- things of a very personal nature- that I tend to dismiss or sublimate because, frankly, the less I know about their little interpersonal drama, the happier I am apt to be. I'm not a gossip, personal scandals and entanglements with people I wouldn't associate with outside of the need for a paycheck don't interest me much.

Which isn't to say I haven't been friendly with people in my places of work in the past- or that I haven't cultivated relationships of a personal nature- even here. But these have always been conducted in a mutually beneficial and sensible fashion, and they "escalated" in a natural way. People who are over-loud, and who blurt out all manner of personal things without regard for tact don't really interest me in a personal way.

I'm not that sort of person. Mostly, I want to do my work and I want to go home at the end of the day. If you're an interesting enough person to me that I'd like to strike up a conversation about personal things, I'll do that. Otherwise, I'm more than happy to be 'that strange guy who doesn't quite fit here, but boy is he good with computers'.

I'll never criticize you for the company you keep, or the affairs you conduct, the substances you're addicted to (the porn you download), and so on- because I won't know about it. I'll expect the same courtesy- the same professionalism- from you.

It's the only "company culture" that really matters to me.
2013-01-07 07:37:48 AM  
1 vote:

BokerBill: FormlessOne: xsarien: BokerBill: What's your favorite movie? What's your favorite website? What's the last book you read for fun? What makes you uncomfortable?

- None of your business
- None of your business
- None of your business
- A rock in my shoe

/Not a good cultural fit with any company that thinks these are important questions to ask in a job interview.

Do you give douchy answers to those questions when they're asked in a casual setting? Because what's being measured here is your ability to have a normal conversation that doesn't involve "talking shop."

It's a little jarring and their purpose is pretty transparent these days, but they can also serve as a bit of an ice breaker in a normally tense situation, like, say, a job interview.

On the other hand, discovering the folks carrying the "YER NOT THE BOSS A' ME!" chip on their shoulders in four questions or less makes a job interview go that much faster.

A job interview is not a casual conversation: that's really the point here. This is not about "yer not the boss of me"; it's about what's appropriate and professional in the context of a job interview. If you really want to know what book I last read for fun - rather than for professional development - I might reasonably wonder if you ever hire anyone who isn't your personal friend.

On the other hand, on the job you are emphatically the boss of me. And it's still none of your business.
Like I said, if you think it's important what my favorite movie is - important enough to base a hiring decision on the answer, then it really doesn't matter whether we agree on favorite movies: I don't fit with your organization.
And I can decide that in four questions or less, too.


And seeing if you can handle casual conversation with someone who is your boss (or potential boss or client) is appropriate.
2013-01-07 06:29:53 AM  
1 vote:

Fark_Guy_Rob: I'm not a good culture fit. I don't like *people*, as a general rule. I really don't like my co-workers. I enjoy tasks that are similar to my job; but I don't really want to do my job. I get paid a 'fair wage' but that limits me to only put in a 'fair amount' of effort. I don't bust my ass for the good of the company, I do just enough to get 'good' reviews - nothing more. And the entire time, I have one foot out the door waiting for anything better to come along.

But I'm REALLY GOOD at interviews.

It's strange. I've had a lot of similar situations growing up. When I'm 'on' I can act a certain way - for example - high school debate or theater or being the class clown; but take that away and even though I appear outgoing and social, I just like *attention*, not the people that give it. Once I'm not 'on', I really don't care. I'm not friendly. I don't want to hear about your wife or your kids or your husband or your funny story or anything else. Meh. I just want to dick around for five hours, take a long lunch, and go home.

But put me in an interview - and bam - I'm Mr. Popular! Mr. Good Culture fit. Friendly, funny, knowledgeable...I don't know or plan what I'll say before I show up - but I'm really good at picking up on what they want me to say. Maybe, with some training, I could be some sort of cold-reading psychic...I don't know. One interview I find myself saying how work-life balance is important and how working at a big, faceless insurance company just wasn't for me; that I wanted to 'make a difference'. Got that job. Next interview I'm saying that I just wasn't challenged enough, that I was tired of doing a good job, I wanted to do a great job! I wanted to push myself and see just how far and how good I can become. Even the lunch-interview with co-workers....I could go 10 years without having lunch with a co-worker or asking them a question or caring about an answer; but when I'm on my job interview and we go out to lunch, bam, I can pre ...


This is not an uncommon occurrence. Current hiring practices filter out for one skill-the ability to interview well. That skill has little to do with an employee's long term viability at the company. Even experienced and seasoned hiring managers have a low success percentage when it comes to weeding out duds. I probably would have hired you, as I have made similar mistakes in the past. Hiring someone is like proposing marriage after two one hour dates.
2013-01-07 04:31:41 AM  
1 vote:

Indypendy: coldf33t: Indypendy: Currently in the market for a job that only requires the heavy use of sarcasm, swear words, and an unfailing ability to b.s.

Sales

Oddly enough, I'm horrible in sales. I'm not a born cheerleader and have a hard time talking people into buying shiat I know they don't really need or would.struggle to actually pay for.

/sold cars for one month
//sold rainbow "home cleaning systems"
///briefly sold my soul to Avon
////fark sales marketing


Even though you are that way you can still make hand over fist, I did that while at ATT. I was the complete anti-sales anti-company stooge but boy did I sell and boy did I sell a crap ton. I was a straight shooter with people and I played no games and my customers and their friends and family all appreciated it and I got a lot of word of mouth very quickly. I ended up with a stack of awards, national recognition and a bunch of free stuff from all "high sales" conventions/award ceremonies. I am glad I left though because ATT is were souls go to die.
2013-01-07 04:16:28 AM  
1 vote:

falcon176: loyalty is dead don't give employers 2 weeks notice, they won't give you 2 hours


I've only had one job years ago that did that to me, so I guess I'm lucky. However others where I did give notice I did it on the last day of a pay period so at least a full last check was coming. Nothing like that 2 hr firing with a short pay and bills are due.
2013-01-07 03:41:32 AM  
1 vote:
I find you have to constantly reassert your role as a worker today. I like to emphasize the word worker whenever I can. I'm someone on the low-end of the totem pole, and there is this emphasis to make workers seem to the public like they are part of some movement. They call workers associates, specialists, etc., and show them smiling and happy, doing work for customers outside of their normal purview (like the ad with the Apple Genius at his customer's wife's delivery).

Inside these companies, they don't pay you well, but they have games and incentives that treat you like you're a kindergartner but that try to make you feel like your part of something. I did phone support from home for Apple, and one week the incentive was that if your team sold more AppleCare than another team, the other team's lead would have to dress up in drag and sing "I feel pretty" via webam (it was a virtual job). I would get messages from my team lead asking me if I was "pumped" about the contest.

I really had no idea what to say. If I described my feelings, they would be complex and reflect my thoughts about gender and sexuality. Culturally, I guess I was not like the other people who were able to laugh at that. Not that I am one of those politically correct people. I just don't laugh easily at stupid things. When I was in training at this virtual job, they have complete control over your computer, and during breaks they played (over my computer's speakers) this really annoying song called the "Peanut Butter Jelly Song." I never got the joke. Apparently it was funny. And people would spend their break talking with the lead about how much they liked the funny song.

But back to the contest, I was getting paid $9/hour with incredibly stressful metrics I had to meet to keep my job let alone watch some guy I didn't know sing in drag.

I just wanted to yell, "I am a worker!" I'm not whatever that person is who cares about some other person singing in drag if I sell enough AppleCare.

I was working from home, and the job was way to familiar.

I don't know that I'll ever be at the level where I am interviewing for the types of jobs described in this article, but I still resent the curiosity: where do you travel over the summers, for example, or favorite books. What if traveling to mud flats to read Mein Kampf is my thing? What does it matter?

In case you're wondering, I 1) don't travel over the summers and 2) don't read. I'm not sure if that's better or worse.

Why isn't it enough to be a worker with privacy outside of work? If they want to be voyeurs into my life outside of work, I feel like I should be charging.

/I sound like a bad cultural fit, rereading this.
2013-01-07 03:39:40 AM  
1 vote:
Just as with "social competence" this looks a lot like a good way for the HR people to just pick whoever they'll prefer to talk crap with in the break room instead of actually having to try and find out who'd do the best job. Since, you know, that'd require them to do actual work, instead of just talking crap with the applicants for half an hour.
2013-01-07 02:18:46 AM  
1 vote:

spamdog: I am convinced my employer likes me around not for my skills, but because I laugh easily and make some good one-liners.

No email funnies though. That's a no-no.


Humor and email seem to go together like toasters and bath water.
2013-01-07 02:07:25 AM  
1 vote:
It always amuses me that in a recession companies flush with shiatloads of money in a way that makes them feel that they can't "afford" to hire "just anybody," it's got to be the right candidate that will satisfy the bean counters.

Corporate tyranny FTW.
2013-01-07 01:58:54 AM  
1 vote:

FitzShivering: The sad fact is that in most jobs, if you're interviewing without already knowing someone, you're not likely to get the job. If you're relying on the interview as your big step and nothing else, you've missed the point. Hiring, from top to bottom, doesn't work that way. Step 1 is knowing someone to refer you or who works at the company itself. If you do that step well enough, you often end up with the "Formality" interview.

Despite common appearances, HR departments are not as important as you're lead to believe, even in the largest companies. If someone above them says you're hired, you're going to be hired, barring your doing something stupid like failing a drug test.

If you want to get a better job, don't do what every other moron is doing to try to get a job -- if you do that, you're quite literally in a stack of papers containing "mostly morons."

If you get lucky and your first round of interviews or selection isn't done by HR (which is becoming rarer), then you have a chance at your interview meaning something.


I have never known anyone at a company I've been hired to. Also, I have not hired anyone that was referred to me (even by a big boss up the food chain). So far in this thread, I have only seen assumptions and generalities. Oh wait.... I just realized where I am. This is much too silly.
2013-01-07 01:57:28 AM  
1 vote:

AloysiusSnuffleupagus: xsarien: BokerBill: FormlessOne: xsarien: BokerBill: What's your favorite movie? What's your favorite website? What's the last book you read for fun? What makes you uncomfortable?

- None of your business
- None of your business
- None of your business
- A rock in my shoe

/Not a good cultural fit with any company that thinks these are important questions to ask in a job interview.

Do you give douchy answers to those questions when they're asked in a casual setting? Because what's being measured here is your ability to have a normal conversation that doesn't involve "talking shop."

It's a little jarring and their purpose is pretty transparent these days, but they can also serve as a bit of an ice breaker in a normally tense situation, like, say, a job interview.

On the other hand, discovering the folks carrying the "YER NOT THE BOSS A' ME!" chip on their shoulders in four questions or less makes a job interview go that much faster.

A job interview is not a casual conversation: that's really the point here. This is not about "yer not the boss of me"; it's about what's appropriate and professional in the context of a job interview. If you really want to know what book I last read for fun - rather than for professional development - I might reasonably wonder if you ever hire anyone who isn't your personal friend.

On the other hand, on the job you are emphatically the boss of me. And it's still none of your business.
Like I said, if you think it's important what my favorite movie is - important enough to base a hiring decision on the answer, then it really doesn't matter whether we agree on favorite movies: I don't fit with your organization.
And I can decide that in four questions or less, too.

You sound like a blast to work with. No, really. I can't wait to work on a project with the guy who will give me the stink eye if I casually ask something as benign as "What did you think of 'The Hobbit?'"

Oh bollocks. The point is that your favorite movie is irrelevant ...


Hate the movie or love the movie. That's not the point. Questions that measure soft-skills are designed to measure whether or not I'm about to sign off on the company hiring someone no one wants to work with because they treat any socialization not related to the job as irrelevant and an annoying intrusion.

I suppose your outlook is fine if you just sit quietly in a cube all day, don't work with others, and have no goals beyond that. But in teams, personalities that mesh well produce better results than a bunch of people who are simply competent enough to get the job done.

I know it may be a shock to you, but being friends with people in the office - and in limited capacities this can include your manager - improves your morale and maybe you won't wake up every morning hating your damn job.
2013-01-07 01:49:22 AM  
1 vote:
The sad fact is that in most jobs, if you're interviewing without already knowing someone, you're not likely to get the job. If you're relying on the interview as your big step and nothing else, you've missed the point. Hiring, from top to bottom, doesn't work that way. Step 1 is knowing someone to refer you or who works at the company itself. If you do that step well enough, you often end up with the "Formality" interview.

Despite common appearances, HR departments are not as important as you're lead to believe, even in the largest companies. If someone above them says you're hired, you're going to be hired, barring your doing something stupid like failing a drug test.

If you want to get a better job, don't do what every other moron is doing to try to get a job -- if you do that, you're quite literally in a stack of papers containing "mostly morons."

If you get lucky and your first round of interviews or selection isn't done by HR (which is becoming rarer), then you have a chance at your interview meaning something.
2013-01-07 01:47:37 AM  
1 vote:

AloysiusSnuffleupagus: Indypendy: Currently in the market for a job that only requires the heavy use of sarcasm, swear words, and an unfailing ability to b.s.

You should try being a commenter on Fark then.


Doesn't pay a decent wage. A nickel an hour to read and come up with snarky responses to all this tripe? Not this chick. I need at least a quarter.
2013-01-07 01:45:45 AM  
1 vote:

BokerBill: A job interview is not a casual conversation: that's really the point here. This is not about "yer not the boss of me"; it's about what's appropriate and professional in the context of a job interview. If you really want to know what book I last read for fun - rather than for professional development - I might reasonably wonder if you ever hire anyone who isn't your personal friend.

On the other hand, on the job you are emphatically the boss of me. And it's still none of your business.
Like I said, if you think it's important what my favorite movie is - important enough to base a hiring decision on the answer, then it really doesn't matter whether we agree on favorite movies: I don't fit with your organization.
And I can decide that in four questions or less, too.


I work in a job that focuses heavily around customer service/tech support. I have asked similar questions to "What is your favorite movie" during interviews. In all honesty, I didn't really care about what their favorite movie was (at least in terms of the interview); I wanted to test their ability to connect with someone they never met before. Great customer service hinges heavily on being able to instantly make a connection with someone and be able to create an empathic link with them, even if you never met before. And that is something that is hard to really get from asking "professional" interview questions. You are right that interviews are not casual conversations, but they are tests and sometimes you need to think outside the box to get the real answers.

Now granted this is not the right tactic for every job and there are plenty of people out there who do ask those questions to hire people they personally like. I don't think you are totally off-base here. But I do think that immediately dismissing these kinds of questions is not seeing the forest for the trees.
2013-01-07 01:43:45 AM  
1 vote:
Can someone tell me what it means when at the end of a telephone interview with a company's vice-president, he says the next step is to get me out for a site visit to their facility, and then in a few days the HR middlemen call to say the company isn't interested in me?

/I'm available immediately if you're looking for an engineer.
2013-01-07 01:41:58 AM  
1 vote:

Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: DarkSoulNoHope: stiletto_the_wise: "Cultural Fit" is merely a way to disqualify an otherwise qualified candidate without having to disqualify them for one of those illegal reasons.

Yep. Turns out you give an answer to the question "Do you like working on Saturday?" with "Well, after I get back from Synagogue in the morning, it's a nice change of pace." means I have become "culturally unfit" for the job.

/second post nailed it too
//Employee loyalty goes way down when the employer expects maximum productivity for the bare minimum in wages and/or no expectation of longevity, nor raises in earnings

Yeah, the Jews have it so hard in the business world. Hardly any of 'em doing well.


Depends on what kind of Jew. If you're the rich Jew who has had the world handed to you on a silver platter (movie stars, business owners), then you're set for life and have nothing to worry about. On the other hand if you're a middle class or lower class Jew who is dealing with finding a new job that doesn't require Saturdays to be worked, then we're in the same boat as the rest of you. There is no Jewish cabal out there to help unemployed Jews get into well paying jobs that have flexible (to the employee, not just the employer) scheduling requirements.
2013-01-07 01:38:23 AM  
1 vote:
It sounds like they want a bunch of yes men, people who are going to agree with everything they say.
2013-01-07 01:30:07 AM  
1 vote:

Electriclectic: Where do you see yourself in five years?


Oh you know....piloting my own personal killbot mech through the city streets, strafing the mall with my machine-gun arms, and laughing maniacally as the people run screaming trying to avoid the stamping of my mecha-boots.

Why do you ask?
2013-01-07 01:23:28 AM  
1 vote:

DarkSoulNoHope: stiletto_the_wise: "Cultural Fit" is merely a way to disqualify an otherwise qualified candidate without having to disqualify them for one of those illegal reasons.

Yep. Turns out you give an answer to the question "Do you like working on Saturday?" with "Well, after I get back from Synagogue in the morning, it's a nice change of pace." means I have become "culturally unfit" for the job.

/second post nailed it too
//Employee loyalty goes way down when the employer expects maximum productivity for the bare minimum in wages and/or no expectation of longevity, nor raises in earnings


Yeah, the Jews have it so hard in the business world. Hardly any of 'em doing well.
2013-01-07 01:20:16 AM  
1 vote:

BokerBill: FormlessOne: xsarien: BokerBill: What's your favorite movie? What's your favorite website? What's the last book you read for fun? What makes you uncomfortable?

- None of your business
- None of your business
- None of your business
- A rock in my shoe

/Not a good cultural fit with any company that thinks these are important questions to ask in a job interview.

Do you give douchy answers to those questions when they're asked in a casual setting? Because what's being measured here is your ability to have a normal conversation that doesn't involve "talking shop."

It's a little jarring and their purpose is pretty transparent these days, but they can also serve as a bit of an ice breaker in a normally tense situation, like, say, a job interview.

On the other hand, discovering the folks carrying the "YER NOT THE BOSS A' ME!" chip on their shoulders in four questions or less makes a job interview go that much faster.

A job interview is not a casual conversation: that's really the point here. This is not about "yer not the boss of me"; it's about what's appropriate and professional in the context of a job interview. If you really want to know what book I last read for fun - rather than for professional development - I might reasonably wonder if you ever hire anyone who isn't your personal friend.

On the other hand, on the job you are emphatically the boss of me. And it's still none of your business.
Like I said, if you think it's important what my favorite movie is - important enough to base a hiring decision on the answer, then it really doesn't matter whether we agree on favorite movies: I don't fit with your organization.
And I can decide that in four questions or less, too.


You sound like a blast to work with. No, really. I can't wait to work on a project with the guy who will give me the stink eye if I casually ask something as benign as "What did you think of 'The Hobbit?'"
2013-01-07 01:10:25 AM  
1 vote:

AloysiusSnuffleupagus: balisane: God help the introverts. It probably takes me about a month to really feel comfortable and start cracking jokes in a new work environment, unless someone makes it their buisiness to shorten that warm-up period.

In that time, though, the office will be spotless, I'll have fixed at least three lingering issues, and have brought cookies twice. Don't look over the quiet ones.

Again spot-on. But introverts don't interview well, right?


Not at all. Personally, I'm better at it than I used to be and have learned some of the tricks, but it's never going to be an asset.

Quiet ones may be a good fit, but they're more difficult to immediately assess than extroverts. A hiring manager has their own job to do, and it's quite natural for them to prefer the people whom they can judge most easily and get on with their day.
2013-01-07 01:02:43 AM  
1 vote:

balisane: God help the introverts. It probably takes me about a month to really feel comfortable and start cracking jokes in a new work environment, unless someone makes it their buisiness to shorten that warm-up period.

In that time, though, the office will be spotless, I'll have fixed at least three lingering issues, and have brought cookies twice. Don't look over the quiet ones.


Again spot-on. But introverts don't interview well, right?
2013-01-07 12:59:46 AM  
1 vote:
God help the introverts. It probably takes me about a month to really feel comfortable and start cracking jokes in a new work environment, unless someone makes it their buisiness to shorten that warm-up period.

In that time, though, the office will be spotless, I'll have fixed at least three lingering issues, and have brought cookies twice. Don't look over the quiet ones.
2013-01-07 12:54:09 AM  
1 vote:

FormlessOne: xsarien: BokerBill: What's your favorite movie? What's your favorite website? What's the last book you read for fun? What makes you uncomfortable?

- None of your business
- None of your business
- None of your business
- A rock in my shoe

/Not a good cultural fit with any company that thinks these are important questions to ask in a job interview.

Do you give douchy answers to those questions when they're asked in a casual setting? Because what's being measured here is your ability to have a normal conversation that doesn't involve "talking shop."

It's a little jarring and their purpose is pretty transparent these days, but they can also serve as a bit of an ice breaker in a normally tense situation, like, say, a job interview.

On the other hand, discovering the folks carrying the "YER NOT THE BOSS A' ME!" chip on their shoulders in four questions or less makes a job interview go that much faster.


A job interview is not a casual conversation: that's really the point here. This is not about "yer not the boss of me"; it's about what's appropriate and professional in the context of a job interview. If you really want to know what book I last read for fun - rather than for professional development - I might reasonably wonder if you ever hire anyone who isn't your personal friend.

On the other hand, on the job you are emphatically the boss of me. And it's still none of your business.
Like I said, if you think it's important what my favorite movie is - important enough to base a hiring decision on the answer, then it really doesn't matter whether we agree on favorite movies: I don't fit with your organization.
And I can decide that in four questions or less, too.
2013-01-07 12:38:43 AM  
1 vote:

Mr. Eugenides: HempHead: Mr. Eugenides: zedster: Baby Boomers: I'd like what my parents had
Business: nope you'll have a 401K that we will raid and no job security

I have to take exception to this. A pension is an IOU that assumes your employer will still be there in 50 or 60 years. A company can underfund a pension. A company can raid a pension. A company can declare bankruptcy and the pension fund is screwed as are all retirees depending on it.

A 401-K is owned and (at least partially) managed by the employee. A 401-K is a retirement savings account that is owned by you the employee personally. The only negative thing a company can do to your 401K is to stop making a matching contribution.

401-K > pension in all ways.

The company picks the plan administrator and the "investments" you are allowed to invest your money in.

In what world is that worse than having the company choose the investments and control the money in such a way that you could lose it all? Yes, you have limited choices in a 401-K (i mentioned that) but I've never seen one that only had one choice. Most have dozens of options, in fact more options that a lot of people are prepared for. But if someone picks a fund for their 401-K investment and puts all their money in that fund it's their own choice.

And no, you don't get to invest in individual stocks in a 401-K because that's about the stupidest thing you could do. If you want to gamble in the stock market, do it with money that's not set aside for retirement.


My last company allowed user directed investments, which was pretty nice.

My current company restricts investments to funds with the highest fees in the industry. I have no doubt that the company (or someone high up) gets a kick back from the fees.
2013-01-07 12:29:00 AM  
1 vote:
Self employed here. I'm at a point where I don't want to play these games. My last job and the four job interviews I had before deciding to go self employed and quitting my last job proved to me that at the end of the day, HR is calling the shots in the company, unless it's a very small company and the HR department is one person no one likes. If there is a new trend that is popular with HR people, it's going to effect you eventually. Don't be surprised is the next step is cultural retro fitting the work place. "Yeah, we know you've been here for nine years with no complaints against you, but since you're the only male in your department and the only white guy in a department full of latina women, you're just not the perfect cultural fit we need here."

I did learn in my last job that there are HR magazines and national conventions. If enough companies start doing it, others will follow. Doesn't matter if it's a good idea or not. If I ran a company and I discovered my HR department was passing over the best people because they didn't think that they were a good fit for the company, then the hiring staff would be looking for new jobs while the new ones would be told "Pass over the best candidate because they aren't a good cultural fit and you'll be applying for unemployment."
2013-01-07 12:24:40 AM  
1 vote:

aerojockey: coldf33t:  If the person is not a team player and not teachable

This is what I love and find ridiculous about these threads.  "Team player" and "teachable" are two different things, and they are both different from "cultural fit".

It's as if all of human behavior is a dichotomy between technical stuff and non-technical stuff, and there are no further divisions.  So if someone argues that "cultural fit" isn't important for a job, then a bunch of howler will be all like, "No, I never hire anyone unless they show me they can communicate well with their peers."  Yeah, I wasn't talking about communication skills, I was talking about cultural fit.

Poor cultural fit is a stupid reason not to hire someone talented.  Poor communication skills is a good reason not to, but heaven help someone trying to argue there's a difference.


It'll be fun to see the defense attorney trying to quantify "cultural fit". "Yes, Mr. Smith is more qualified than the person we hired. But we chose not to hire Mr. Smith because all his heros are real people instead of action figures, and two of his favorite restaurants serve sushi. Nobody in accounting likes sushi."
2013-01-07 12:08:51 AM  
1 vote:

shoegaze99: Asinine tag is asinine. When I've been in charge of hiring, you'd better believe that "cultural fit" (I didn't use stupid terms like that) was just as important as skill set. I'd take someone with slightly less skills but who would be a great fit for our team and my management style than someone with great skills who wouldn't be right for our workplace. If a person fits well with the rest of the staff and is someone you feel good about working with/managing, that a huge plus over someone who will be an outcast on your staff or who you'll hate working with. You can teach them, they'll have the support of their colleagues, the whole team will function better as a team, the new employee will be happier (and thus more productive and receptive to learning), and so on.

So yeah, your skills aren't the only thing that matters. This is nothing new. And it just makes sense.


THIS! I just made an offer to someone for these reasons. If the person is not a team player and not teachable....then there is no way I want them under me. I do not have time for unnecessary drama or intrigue.
2013-01-06 11:51:30 PM  
1 vote:

lousyskater: Glad my job interview was more technical questions that actually pertained to the position I was applying for and not bullshiat social ones. Feels good working a job where my ability to fix stuff is more important than what I did over the weekend.


This. My interview at IBM was being sat down at the lab with a machine and the two trainers and being told to make it work. Right there on the spot.

Out of the 20 or so people that applied, I was the only one that did it that quickly?

Wow.
2013-01-06 11:44:07 PM  
1 vote:

AloysiusSnuffleupagus: Sygonus: whatshisname: What's asinine about it? Fitting into a workplace is just as important as skills.

A hundred times this.

...

Between two equally qualified candidates, I'm going to pick the outgoing, energetic individual who has similar interests to the rest of the team - they're going to jive better in the department then someone who is equally qualified but has no interest in contributing to the org culture.

Which is why the people who were bullies in high school continue in that role in the corporate world.

Because "social skills" trump "knowledge" and "competence" every time.

Sad.



There's an old joke about two guys who are out in the woods when a bear appears and charges at them, one guy calmly unlaces his boots and throws on some running shoes while the other guy screams, " Are you crazy? You can't outrun a bear!"

The guy with the running shoes starts to run, and says, "I don't have to outrun the bear. I just have to outrun you."

So....

It's not that the candidates being interviewed have to have brilliant "social skills", it's just that they have to have more social skills than the clone of farking Sheldon from Big Bang Theory that was interviewed the day before.
2013-01-06 11:43:27 PM  
1 vote:
I understand the importance of needing to get along with people. I agree that it should be a factor when hiring someone, but it shouldn't be the sole or most important factor. Being a nice guy that everyone likes does not make them a good employee.

For instance, I manage a small sub-team where I didn't get to choose my team. I have one guy on my team who is a super cool guy that everyone likes. He has a very outgoing charismatic personality. However, the guy is completely counterproductive and useless to me. He volunteers to do tasks he has no intention of completing. He makes suggestions that will never work in the context of our project or we don't have the resources to implement and then lobbies (in a very charming way) why we should do them despite being told repeatedly why they're unreasonable. He's flaky and unreliable and either doesn't show up to meetings or shows up late. That being said, I love the guy as a person. I would hang out with him all day and have a great time. However, I would never work with him again. I want to get rid of him, but everyone loves him as a person so my boss doesn't want to fire him. He just tells me to expect that he's not going to do anything and work around him. What's the point?

Of course I have another guy who is a total weirdo who is the contrary to every idea and just comes up with bizarre stuff that is 99% of the time the worst idea anyone could have ever thought of - he just has bad instincts period. He's also useless to me, but again I can't get rid of him either (although if I pushed hard enough I probably could since no one likes him). So I've seen both sides of the spectrum.

The second guy is the poster child for why these cultural fit questions are important and the first guy is the poster child of why they shouldn't be the most important criteria for hiring.
2013-01-06 11:42:31 PM  
1 vote:

Meow928: graduated from bartending school before my daughter was born, and I have a little over a year's worth of real life experience" (I know two other girls with NO bartending experience who he hired later on)...
That or he LIKES his bar filthy and disgusting and was afraid someone cleaning it would kill the "atmosphere"

Bingo. The last thing he wanted is some educated smartypants telling him how to run his bar.
With your education and experience, you'd be able to spot every health code violation...every time the till didn't add up...every time the 'top shelf pour' bottles mysteriously gained a few inches...
Hire know-nothings that he can fool into doing whatever he likes.
And your last question really was an ideological test-after all, if what you said was true then there'd be no need for the TSA, no need for 'security background checks', no need for, basically, all the things that today's Republicans like to spend money on so that they can be suspicious of the brown people.
2013-01-06 11:34:54 PM  
1 vote:

MBA Whore: GilRuiz1
2013-01-06 09:37:37 PM

Someone in HR once told me that the purpose of all the candidate screening was intended to discover two things:

1) can this person do the job?

2) do we like this person enough to spend 8 hours a day, every day, for years in the same room with them?


Yes, very much THIS.

/ HR drone
// kill me . . .


So why then do companies outsource HR, IT, manufacturing, janitorial, etc?

They have almost zero say in who the outsourcing company hires to do the work?
2013-01-06 11:33:52 PM  
1 vote:
Also --- surprised I have to post this. Would have thought someone else would have already.

Monty Python's Job Interview
2013-01-06 11:29:33 PM  
1 vote:
I wasn't going to comment on this... but I'm bored.

Last year, with a little over a year's worth of experience - I applied to work at the nastiest, grungiest bar in my town. I've wanted to be a bartender for a long time, and even though I am currently working as one, it's in more of a snobby lounge, less of a real bar. I like the seediness of a real bar.

The bar I applied at is full of rednecks and bikers, rough republicans mostly. I myself am a rough republican with libertarian tendencies.

My interview started out well - "If I hired you, what could you bring to my bar?" I was asked. My response was "Friendly, efficient service - and I like to clean while I work" (the bar needs to be cleaned badly it is really gross). He then asked "What experience do you have?" I respond with "I graduated from bartending school before my daughter was born, and I have a little over a year's worth of real life experience" (I know two other girls with NO bartending experience who he hired later on). We briefly discussed the hours I would be available and that went well, since I sell my soul to my job and will work whatever they tell me to. But then, out of left field he says "We are coming up on the anniversary of the World Trade Center, you know, 9/11 - Do you think they're going to come after us again?" I said "Of course not, first of all it's already been done, second of all we would be expecting it!" He nodded sagely told me he would make a decision in a couple days and call me back. I called to follow up, and he had hired a friend of mine's step brother. This dude he hired is a tweeker, liberal, and didn't last 3 weeks before walking out on the job.

I am STILL mad. Truth is, I make a hell of a lot more at the lounge I work in... (and he actually did me a favor not hiring me) but I would have been an AMAZING employee for that bar. Reliable, hard working, enthusiastic, and even mostly republican. I'm still trying to figure out where things went wrong.

I post this, because it was a totally unrelated question there at the end, and I've always suspected that's where things went wrong. That or he LIKES his bar filthy and disgusting and was afraid someone cleaning it would kill the "atmosphere"
2013-01-06 11:25:04 PM  
1 vote:

Atomic Spunk: AloysiusSnuffleupagus:
So let's not split hairs about "all things being equal". Because we all know, and the comments and article itself acknowledge, that the less qualified and dumber applicant who is the better sycophant has the leg up on the more qualified and smarter applicant who isn't as skilled in kissing ass.


Incorrect. You're just using a defense mechanism to help you feel better about not getting a job. "I'm WAY more knowledgeable, but I won't kiss ass, so FARK THEM! WAHHHHH!"

Chances are pretty good that you not only have a crappy personality which doomed you from the start, but you were neither more knowledgeable nor more qualified. They picked someone better. Get over it.


I have a job, asshole.
2013-01-06 11:21:57 PM  
1 vote:

tripleseven: Would you like to hear my Google interview story?

It's rather amusing. If a little sad.


*pours beer*
*pops popcorn*
*hands em around*

Yes,
2013-01-06 11:14:36 PM  
1 vote:

shoegaze99: texdent: I once got asked 'what was the last movie I saw'.

Most of the time the answers aren't important, it's your ability to answer a question you haven't thought about in advance and how you answer it. They don't give a shiat if you last watched 40 Year Old Virgin, they just want to see how well you react, your personality, etc. The actual answer doesn't matter. The manner in which you answer does.


Ditto for the "gotcha" lateral thinking questions. They are hoping not to hear a canned response or watch you sweat and say fark it, who knows.
2013-01-06 11:09:52 PM  
1 vote:
Our crews are together 24/7 for anywhere from 3 weeks to 14 weeks. Trust me, "cultural fit" keeps our homicide rate low. Even still, after about the 35th day, you have shiat to say to each other unless its directly related to the task at hand.....

/work in the oil patch
2013-01-06 11:08:45 PM  
1 vote:

stiletto_the_wise: "Cultural Fit" is merely a way to disqualify an otherwise qualified candidate without having to disqualify them for one of those illegal reasons.


Bullshiat. I got told I wasn't a good fit just a few weeks ago and I'm a white male. They don't need an excuse to not hire me and I got the not a good fit song and dance anyway.
2013-01-06 11:08:33 PM  
1 vote:

Atomic Spunk: AloysiusSnuffleupagus: Sygonus: whatshisname: What's asinine about it? Fitting into a workplace is just as important as skills.

A hundred times this.

...

Between two equally qualified candidates, I'm going to pick the outgoing, energetic individual who has similar interests to the rest of the team - they're going to jive better in the department then someone who is equally qualified but has no interest in contributing to the org culture.

Which is why the people who were bullies in high school continue in that role in the corporate world.

Because "social skills" trump "knowledge" and "competence" every time.

Sad.

I think you either missed the bolded part, or you're too stupid to know the difference.


Yeah I read it, and you and the guy who posted immediately after you seem to be the type of people of whom I speak.

So let's not split hairs about "all things being equal". Because we all know, and the comments and article itself acknowledge, that the less qualified and dumber applicant who is the better sycophant has the leg up on the more qualified and smarter applicant who isn't as skilled in kissing ass.

So go fark yourself.
2013-01-06 11:07:43 PM  
1 vote:

stiletto_the_wise: This kind of mentality is how likable frat boys get hired over people who studied hard and know their shiat. Feel lucky you don't have a "Google equivalent" in your industry to compete with.


Google seems to be one of the worst companies at this.  I believe they're good at hiring high-quality people but seem to have ridiculous criteria, but I suppose when you have so many people wanting to work for you, you can afford to lose a lot of very good candidates here and there for silly reasons.
2013-01-06 11:04:17 PM  
1 vote:
Would you like to hear my Google interview story?

It's rather amusing. If a little sad.
2013-01-06 11:03:51 PM  
1 vote:

Ishidan: CthulhuCalling: i've interviewed at zappos many times for multiple positions. they usually decide that i'm not a 'cultural fit', sometime around the time i say ' hey if maybe you took a break from the cube wars and telling everyone how wacky you guys are and hired real security guys like me, you maybe you wouldn't have had that security breach back in January'. really, they're not interested in people that WANT to get shiat done, they want people who spend 2 hours a day writing haikus in Klingon. It's been a year since their breach, they still don't have an infosec program put together. Like I told their "ZISO" the last time I talked with him "culture is fine. culture is fun, but at some point you have the let the serious guys roll up their shirtsleeves and do serious things. It's not cool, it's not hip, but it's how you keep your data".

So why keep applying? Apply to a company that takes security seriously, and let the goofy hippy shoe-retailers do whatever they want. There's plenty of serious companies out there...any one with a military contract would be a good start, I'd think.

Just saying.


I don't apply anymore, and I say "good day, sir" whenever any headhunter calls with a fantastic opportunity in my area working for a high-tech, progressive, Fortune 500 company looking for a security professional. Then I usually have to tell when why Zappos can go fark themselves as far as I'm concerned. Zappos doesn't want professionals, they want guys with big Nerf gun collections, and a lot of pajamas to wear on Hawaiian shirt day.
2013-01-06 11:00:00 PM  
1 vote:

Notabunny: fta As a result, Rivera argues, "employers don't necessarily hire the most skilled candidates."

Filling your office with less competent clones is sure to please your competition


It's working wonders here. It's amazing we're still open.
2013-01-06 10:58:57 PM  
1 vote:

AloysiusSnuffleupagus: Sygonus: whatshisname: What's asinine about it? Fitting into a workplace is just as important as skills.

A hundred times this.

...

Between two equally qualified candidates, I'm going to pick the outgoing, energetic individual who has similar interests to the rest of the team - they're going to jive better in the department then someone who is equally qualified but has no interest in contributing to the org culture.

Which is why the people who were bullies in high school continue in that role in the corporate world.

Because "social skills" trump "knowledge" and "competence" every time.

Sad.


I think you either missed the bolded part, or you're too stupid to know the difference.
2013-01-06 10:56:12 PM  
1 vote:
Oh, great. So the First Date Fart Hold™ applies to work now?
KIA
2013-01-06 10:55:05 PM  
1 vote:

FormlessOne: I can't imagine anyone becoming upset at doing what's considered the absolute minimum for an expected absence...


I am of a similar mindset. Here's the followup: the employee was so upset that they tried the "I'm not speaking to you" thing. Then they went to top HR with a complaint and... I could almost weep with joy here, need a moment *sniffle* HR came back to them with a letter - and I shiat you not - that not only told them (in corporatespeak) to STFU and GBTW, but also quoted the dictionary definition of "insubordination" and cited chapter and verse from the manual what happens to insubordinate employees.

/ Love the current HR rep
// As a completely socially and politically appropriate expression of appreciation and figure of speech, not to be taken literally
2013-01-06 10:51:48 PM  
1 vote:

CthulhuCalling: i've interviewed at zappos many times for multiple positions. they usually decide that i'm not a 'cultural fit', sometime around the time i say ' hey if maybe you took a break from the cube wars and telling everyone how wacky you guys are and hired real security guys like me, you maybe you wouldn't have had that security breach back in January'. really, they're not interested in people that WANT to get shiat done, they want people who spend 2 hours a day writing haikus in Klingon. It's been a year since their breach, they still don't have an infosec program put together. Like I told their "ZISO" the last time I talked with him "culture is fine. culture is fun, but at some point you have the let the serious guys roll up their shirtsleeves and do serious things. It's not cool, it's not hip, but it's how you keep your data".


So why keep applying? Apply to a company that takes security seriously, and let the goofy hippy shoe-retailers do whatever they want. There's plenty of serious companies out there...any one with a military contract would be a good start, I'd think.

Just saying.
2013-01-06 10:50:33 PM  
1 vote:
This is not new.
2013-01-06 10:49:30 PM  
1 vote:
Its so damn hard to fire people today that these questions help weed out the people who just wont fit in.
2013-01-06 10:48:03 PM  
1 vote:

Lsherm: Turns out for years the Indian students and the Pakistani students had been swapping out the tech crew jobs because they refused to work with one another.


Seems legit. IIRC, they had a thing for threatening each other with nuclear warfare not too long ago.
2013-01-06 10:42:14 PM  
1 vote:

ReverendJasen: I interviewed at Pillsbury this last year, and really enjoyed how they did things. There was a quick phone interview with HR, just to go over education, history, and other boring matters, and then you had an interview day at the plant. You spend the entire day at the facility, take a tour, have lunch with your potential teammates, and interview with 4 or 5 other people from various departments along the way. It was a nice way to interview, and I think a even better way to gauge "cultural fit" than asking canned personal questions.


In a conference room across a desk, I might add. Which is when humble workers stumble and stutter, but bullshiat artists shine.

I like this approach.
2013-01-06 10:40:48 PM  
1 vote:
Ive had issues with "zomfg you was laid off, laid off people must have been dead wood" um no I was laid off because i was bottom of the totem pole douche. I have lots of verifiable experiance and a provable good work record.
2013-01-06 10:40:27 PM  
1 vote:

Aces and Eights: Weirdest question anyone asked me in a job interview: "What would you do if you were on a bus and someone was drunk and threw up in the aisle?"

Somehow I must have given the right answer. I was offered the job, and accepted it. Didn't stay long. The place was stranger than the interview.


How did you respond?
2013-01-06 10:40:11 PM  
1 vote:
I had a guy once ask me to name my favorite sci-fi book, along with several other "nerd cred" questions. This was at one of those startups so perhaps not that surprising.

/didn't take the job for other reasons
2013-01-06 10:39:32 PM  
1 vote:

falcon176: loyalty is dead don't give employers 2 weeks notice, they won't give you 2 hours


Protip: Swing things correctly you can keep your old job for months after starting your new one.

\You think I'm not serious...
2013-01-06 10:32:51 PM  
1 vote:

ReverendJasen: I interviewed at Pillsbury this last year, and really enjoyed how they did things. There was a quick phone interview with HR, just to go over education, history, and other boring matters, and then you had an interview day at the plant. You spend the entire day at the facility, take a tour, have lunch with your potential teammates, and interview with 4 or 5 other people from various departments along the way. It was a nice way to interview, and I think a even better way to gauge "cultural fit" than asking canned personal questions.


That was the way my interview for my first job was at a university. Meeting with search committee, tour of the building with the immediate supervisor, interview with the dean, lunch with the staff, meeting with the department, presentation, last meeting with the search committee. You get to meet everybody including in an informal session.
2013-01-06 10:32:34 PM  
1 vote:

Sygonus: Problem is, the two aren't disconnected in a lot of jobs. What you call "fluffy social behaviour" could just as easily be called good interpersonal/collaboration skills. And the blunt fact of the matter is, those are important. I've seen firsthand the differences in quality that result from teams that really jive well together, and teams where effective collaboration is killed by a lack of cohesion or overly introverted people.


Right. Someone with great skills who is also office poison can impact your entire staff, dragging everyone down with them. Those people are toxic. They can be the most highly skilled person you can imagine, but if they're dragging down morale and preventing your staff from functioning as a team, you're better off with someone else.

No one is asking that everyone be buddy buddy, hanging out on weekends, etc etc, but getting along with everyone else? Yeah, that's important.

The other reason employers care about "fluffy social behaviour" is that even if there's not a direct impact of said behaviour on employee collaboration, a sociable workplace often boosts employee morale and engagement, which in turn leads to higher job satisfaction and less turnover costs.

Right again.

At my last office, my staff was a good group, loyal and consistent. No turnover to speak of. People came on board and they routinely stayed with us 5+ years. Everyone got along well, and when it was crunch time I knew I could rely on everyone to gel really well. Another team we worked closely with, the hiring handled by someone else, was plagued by constant turnover. I think the average stay was about 9 months. They hated one another, everyone else hated them, they couldn't do their job, they didn't function as a team. They routinely fumbled projects and had no cohesion. It came down to poor hiring choices.
2013-01-06 10:30:55 PM  
1 vote:

zedster: FTFA:""These trends are being driven by millennials because they care about culture," says Dan Schawbel, author of Me: 2.0. "Research shows that millennials typically stay at a job for about two years-and they have different priorities. They'd rather have meaningful work over more pay, or work for a company that gives back or cares about the environment. They want a culture that's less hierarchical, more flexible, and more understanding of difference, because millennials are the most diverse generation."

NO NO NO NO NO NO

WWII Gen: Hey I'll get a job and work at it for 20+ yrs, return you'll give me benefits like a pension
Business: Okay

Baby Boomers: I'd like what my parents had
Business: nope you'll have a 401K that we will raid and no job security

Millennials: If I'm not going to be making great money and have no job security I'd rather work someplace I like and move on when I burn out
Business: Why do you have no loyalty? come back?

If I had the choice between culture or a place that actually took care of it's employees without screwing them over I would take the security. Having fallen into IT I have to say the contractor system is not going to inspire me to do anything less then the bare minimum, what incentive do I have? I have no profit share, no chance of getting hired on (always a false carrot they dangle), and very little security. At best Millennials are just waiting for the huge delayed wave of Baby Boomer to retire and open up the job market for them, at worst you are looking at generation that will have far less opportunity and quality of life then their parents.


Dan Schawbel, from that quote, seems to be under the asinine impression that employees have (or ever had) the choice to determine if their company--or businesses at large--would have a sense of loyalty to their employees that they do not have. I agree that it'd be sweet to be able to find and remain at a secure, long-term job without being completely screwed over in one's old age, but I don't think that is applicable to the vast majority of Americans.
2013-01-06 10:27:49 PM  
1 vote:

falcon176: checking profiles to judge people while having a profile that says "I piss people off"
mine says the same thing but it's longer get on my level kiddo


Get on MY level.
It's called efficiency.
2013-01-06 10:25:15 PM  
1 vote:

my alt's alt's alt: "what would you say your biggest weakness is?"

"tolerating bullshiat interviews."


"Bullets."

"Green kryptonite."

"Games that require timed jumps."
2013-01-06 10:24:56 PM  
1 vote:
I interviewed at Pillsbury this last year, and really enjoyed how they did things. There was a quick phone interview with HR, just to go over education, history, and other boring matters, and then you had an interview day at the plant. You spend the entire day at the facility, take a tour, have lunch with your potential teammates, and interview with 4 or 5 other people from various departments along the way. It was a nice way to interview, and I think a even better way to gauge "cultural fit" than asking canned personal questions.
2013-01-06 10:23:08 PM  
1 vote:
csb...
Funny that they chose an accounting firm as the first example. I had to go through that type of process myself at PricewaterhouseCoopers but it wasn't with the people in HR. They scheduled me to have a couple of lunch outings with current staff members. The first lunch was with a group of 3 managers and the second lunch was with associates and senior associates. I knew I had to be absolutely on my best behavior. No swearing, no politically-incorrect speech, steer clear of anything negative, try to be as blandly unoffensive as possible. Got the job.

Later when it was my turn to be on the other side of the table, they brought us in for a meeting run by the woman who was head of HR. We were given a long list of "no-no discussion items", and also told what sort of qualities we should be looking for in candidates. Most of the candidates were pretty good, but we had a couple who were clearly not cut out for the firm. One guy was a top accounting student from USC, but he used the word "fark" a few times during lunch, which upset one of my female coworkers quite a bit. Didn't bother me too much, but it did make me question the guy's judgement - this was clearly a job interview disguised as lunch.

The culture there ended up being too uptight for my personality, and it felt pretty good when I left.
2013-01-06 10:20:41 PM  
1 vote:
Weirdest question anyone asked me in a job interview: "What would you do if you were on a bus and someone was drunk and threw up in the aisle?"

Somehow I must have given the right answer. I was offered the job, and accepted it. Didn't stay long. The place was stranger than the interview.
2013-01-06 10:20:08 PM  
1 vote:

Does not culturally fit together:


www.fivesistersproductions.com


/Beet farms

2013-01-06 10:19:37 PM  
1 vote:

Smacker: I'm always curious; what metrics do HR personnel use to justify their processes and techniques? Do they have actual evidence that their system of irrelevant and arbitrary qualifiers results in better hires than, say, letting some random person in the office pick somebody?


THIS.

My interviews are pretty straightforward. Ask questions with one right answer and many wrong ones, and count how many right answers they give. I'm concerned only with competence, because you at least have a hope of measuring competence and using it to objectively compare candidates. I don't care if you like golf or play poker on weekends. Are you smart and can you get shiat done? Those are the only relevant measurements.

shoegaze99: When I've been in charge of hiring, you'd better believe that "cultural fit" (I didn't use stupid terms like that) was just as important as skill set. I'd take someone with slightly less skills but who would be a great fit for our team and my management style than someone with great skills who wouldn't be right for our workplace. If a person fits well with the rest of the staff and is someone you feel good about working with/managing, that a huge plus over someone who will be an outcast on your staff or who you'll hate working with.


This kind of mentality is how likable frat boys get hired over people who studied hard and know their shiat. Feel lucky you don't have a "Google equivalent" in your industry to compete with.
2013-01-06 10:11:34 PM  
1 vote:

texdent: I once got asked 'what was the last movie I saw'.


Most of the time the answers aren't important, it's your ability to answer a question you haven't thought about in advance and how you answer it. They don't give a shiat if you last watched 40 Year Old Virgin, they just want to see how well you react, your personality, etc. The actual answer doesn't matter. The manner in which you answer does.
2013-01-06 09:47:47 PM  
1 vote:
What's asinine about it? Fitting into a workplace is just as important as skills.
2013-01-06 09:45:34 PM  
1 vote:
I don't culturally fit in with anyone, that's why I'm self employed. Don't bother applying because you won't culturally fit in with me.
2013-01-06 09:42:42 PM  
1 vote:
I work at a software firm, and we have several stages of interview, first a technical-interview and then a team-fit interview. It's a bit like finding a girlfriend: first you figure out whether she can cook, then you see if you can get along.
2013-01-06 09:37:37 PM  
1 vote:
God Dammit, I hate the Beatles.
2013-01-06 09:25:30 PM  
1 vote:

edmo: Is that how they're describing nepotism now?


No, it's more Affirmative Action-y. Just not necessarily the racist kind.
 
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