Finding the Right Cultural Fit

Finding the right cultural fit in a new job is key to your future success. When you go shopping for clothes, it is a commonsense practice to try garments on to get the right fit. But when you’re searching for a job, or navigating a career and making big decisions, more often than not, you don’t have the luxury of trying it on first!  True, contract positions offer flexibility in this regard, yet successfully completing your contract and/or converting to full-time employee status significantly depends on your fit within a company’s team and culture.

So, when we look at team chemistry and company culture, how do we define and determine “fit”?  I believe we can focus on two key factors: personality traits and core ethics or values.  The soft skills associated with personality are prime motivators for integration into a team, group, or division.  Knowing yourself in this regard can greatly inform your decision when targeting opportunities and companies by aligning these traits with the expectations of hiring managers and the insights of HR professionals.

One personality factor that can affect your finding the right cultural fit, for instance, is your Power Distance Index (PDI) score. According to, “the Power Distance Index measures whether an employee will be highly autonomous (able to make his or her own decisions throughout the day), be dependent on instruction from a manager, or, as is more likely, fall somewhere in between.”

To gauge your own PDI, advises Flazingo, ask yourself whether you listen and do your best to complete tasks on your own with the resources you have (low PDI), listen/observe and question your peers (middle PDI), or question your supervisor closely to understand the task and desired outcomes (higher PDI). Once you’ve surmised your own PDI, you’ll want to pay close attention in your interviews to learn how well your PDI matches that of your future supervisor.

When taking stock of ethics and values, it’s prudent for you to establish an understanding of the company’s corporate overview and mission statements to ensure that your personal values are aligned with the way the company does business. Arriving to work each day at a place that compromises your personal ethics is not going to be an environment for your long-term success!

And as with fashion and apparel, there is a broad range of personal style and type of fit.  As we wrap our minds around personality, chemistry, culture, and ethics, it’s always good to know if you need that skinny jeans look, or if you’re more comfortable with loose and flowing garments! In this analogy, candidate fit into company culture is never strictly formulaic, and is always open to interpretation, trial, and error. But having an honest dialogue with your potential employer can often build a great bridge to finding the right cultural fit.

If you’ve landed a new job, here’s how to start it off right!

Candidates, do we have the most current version of your resume? If not, click here to post it, and visit our job board for professional and technical jobs while you’re at it! You or a friend might be a good fit for one of our open positions. Also, join our Talent Network to receive updates and alerts with new job opportunities that match your interests.

Amtec Bitz Newsletters

Essential industry highlights & expert insights every month.

Latest Posts

View all posts