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  • Writer's picturePolly Chan

Finding Your Best Fit Job: The Often Underestimated Cultural Fit

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

One month into your new role, you know your skills, personality, and motivation all fit perfectly, but something’s off - you feel like you are dispensing a lot of energy but not going far. What went wrong?

Let me first share a story with you.

There were two friends that lived in different parts of the world - John and Andy. One day, they started talking about how they are keen to get a vehicle they really want. It was a very exciting discussion, they talked about functionality, price point, personal preference, and all. Eventually, both of them found the vehicle of their dreams. John got a convertible Porsche and Andy got a Yeti mountain bike. It was perfect - John likes adrenaline, is a great driver, and loves the attention; whilst Andy loves nature, freedom and is a great biker.

Oh wait - I forgot to tell you one thing, John lives on an island in Thailand and Andy lives in the city center of Tokyo.

When looking for a best-fit job, we often underestimate or overlook the importance of a Cultural Fit. To shine - you must first be a star, but equally important, you must also be on the right platform and have the right spotlight.

So what should you consider when thinking of Cultural Fit, or even better, how can you learn about your Cultural Fit with the company you are interviewing for?

Here is an opportunity for you to identify the match.

As a confident talent, you should view the interview process as a two-way street, they are gauging you as a talent and you are gauging them as a potential employer that will provide the “right platform” for you to shine. So, to understand the Cultural Fit, consider the following criteria, do your research and try to gain more insights in the interview process:


Pacing is probably one of the most critical determinants of a company's culture. What is their rate of change and decision making? This is something we may gauge through research, factors like the size, duration, and industry of the organization will probably give you a good sense of their pacing before the interview.

The key question is, do you know what pacing you desire or works best for you? And how can you validate it through the interview process?


Is this a highly hierarchical or relatively flat organization? Some may prefer a hierarchical structure so they consider themselves having more layers for promotion. Some may prefer a flat organization so that they will be able to voice out their opinions directly with the CEO.

You may ask questions like, “how are changes normally implemented?” or “how does senior leadership interact with the teams?”


An organization’s culture should technically be a reflection of their values. Mind you, when we say value, we are not referring to the perfectly worded paragraphs on the company website. As a job seeker, you must be able to look beyond what’s on paper but truly understand the values in practice.

If you set it as a goal for validation during the interview process - you may be able to identify the alignment or differences between your personal values and the company. Asking for examples would be a good way to understand how values are actually transformed into actions.

To summarize, if you have put in the work to look inward and truly understand your motivation and personality fit, then finding the cultural fit will be like icing on the cupcake - the additional piece that can truly bring your job satisfaction to another level.

We hope this series has given you some fruitful thought on your career and your Best Fit Job. If you are looking for a more in-depth and personalized consultation, please contact us at for an assessment or coaching session.

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