How to Assess Your Fit With a Prospective Employer

Remember these words: The comfort of your fit within an organization remains long after the excitement of a new job is over.

How exciting! You’ve just completed an interview with a great employer and feel as if you are on their short list of candidates. Your post-interview self assessment confirms that you’ve done everything in your power to be the ideal candidate. So is it the right time to indulge in a little speculation about what you’d do if you got the job?

The answer is YES! One important step of your assessment is to evaluate the cultural fit between you and the prospective employer. That means projecting yourself into the workplace based on what you know – or additionally need to know – to see whether or not you’d fit the workplace into which you will be placed if hired.

Why is fit so important? Because poor fit is a primary factor driving low employee engagement and high employee turnover. The Gallup Organization said in 2015 that only about a third of US workers were engaged. Another 2015 study indicated that by the end of their first month on the job, 63% of employees had decided whether or not they would stay with their company long term. The numbers bear this out: in an older study as many as 80% of employees who failed on the job did so for reasons of poor fit (versus 11% failing for technical reasons).

Getting the Fit Right: How can a job seeker determine the likelihood of being a good fit with an employer? Here are four key areas to evaluate:

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a. Aligned Behavioral Traits – Behavioral styles in the workplace differ greatly. Highly respected behavioral profile systems such as DiSC and Myers-Briggs point out that gaining team fit is one of the main challenges employers face, often preventing or aiding the accomplishment of any enterprise’s work. Making sure that you fit the preferred behavioral styles of your employer and supervisor is key. For example, if your personality favors variety and a fast pace, you’ll fit it difficult to feel comfortable in a slow, meticulous and detail-loving workplace.

b. Aligned Business Values & Ethics. The values governing how work is done underpin your relationship with customers, clients, and ultimately your work satisfaction. Business values are the set of guiding principles that influence the way that decisions are made. Are your prospective employer’s values, ethics, and integrity ones that are in tune with your own?

c. Aligned Work Teams. Well-aligned work teams share common goals and genuinely respect the contributions of others. They value differences of opinion when vetting an idea, and full commitment by members in completing tasks. Communication is two-way, transparent, and frequent.

d. Aligned Motivation and Work Ethic. Some organizations value employees more for working long hours than they do for the actual results achieved. Other organizations place a premium on delivering results and are flexible in the expected working hours. A poor fit here with what you want for work/life balance will lead to personal and family frustration down the road.

Bottom Line: The allure of a great job title, strong compensation, with a prestigious employer soon fades when you find yourself dreading coming in to work every day because of a poor fit. Withdraw prior to the offer phase rather than finding yourself regretting you ever accepted employment where you recognized a poor fit.

Boyer Management Group works with employers, organizations, and job seekers alike to help them become more successful. For employers, we offer world-class talent management, acquisition and onboarding tools and programs to help employees and volunteers achieve consistent, optimal performance. For job seekers and universities, we offer tools, assessments, books, and curricula to help connect people with careers. To find out more, please visit us at info@boyermanagement.com, or call us at 215-942-0982.

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