When we prepare for interviews we’re taught to think about how our experience and education relate to the skills of the position we’re interviewing for. My standard advice, and the way I’ve always prepared for interviews, has been to think of at least three points that I can build my story around. According to Glassdoor we also need to be thinking about how to answer the questions: “What’s your favorite movie?” and “What’s your favorite website?”
A recent Bloomberg Businessweek article reports that employers are thinking more and more about cultural fit – how prospective employees would fit in with the existing organizational culture. Zappos offers employees $4,000 to quit if it’s apparent he or she doesn’t fit in after a week. Cultural fit is believed to be a strong predictor of retention, saving companies on hiring costs and training costs.
Millennials, Bloomberg reports, especially want to work in an environment that offers more than a paycheck. They want camaraderie and to work for a company that cares about more than just the bottom line.
No one would dispute it’s more fun to work with people you like, but in an increasingly competitive employment environment you may be thinking, “And now in addition to multiple degrees and experience I have to like the same movies as the hiring manager?” Though reality is reality, and you might as well prepare yourself for it.
So that you’re not caught off guard in your next interview think about how to answer questions that veer towards the personal. Surely you have more than one “favorite” film; it may be to your benefit to share the one with the broadest appeal. Or you may embrace the trend towards hiring for cultural fit and tell then your favorite film is A Clockwork Orange. It’s up to you, but even if you are the perfect fit work is still work; you should never get so comfortable you forget to self-censor.