Qualifications and skills will usually get you the job interview, but recruiters want to see something else once you're actually in the interview. They want someone who will fit into the company's work environment, which means it's important to do your homework.
Image by Steven Bourelle (Shutterstock).
If you're wondering why so many companies ask questions like "What's your favourite movie" and "What's your dream job", it's not because they actually want to know -- they're trying to figure out whether you'll be a good fit for the environment and the other people already on staff.
In most cases, interviewers are trying to figure out whether or not you're someone they would enjoy working with. According to a new survey by Glassdoor and a new study published in the American Sociological Review (PDF), those cultural factors can play a greater role than your skills or background.
Job applicants were also asked what they valued in a workplace. Cultural fit -- or a work environment they enjoyed going to every day -- was second on the list, just behind salary. So what do you do to make sure you're a good cultural fit? Research the company beforehand and connect with them on social media. Most companies freely discuss their corporate culture on their websites and on social networks.
At the same time, make sure you use the job interview as an opportunity to learn about the culture of the team: ask them some of those similar questions and have a genuine conversation in your interview. You'll stand a much better chance at getting the job.
Job Applicants' Cultural Fit Can Trump Qualifications [Businessweek]