5 Interview Techniques for Assessing Job Fit 

5 Interview Techniques for Assessing Job Fit 

Hiring the right candidate is crucial for business success. However, it’s not just about filling vacancies but about discovering a match where both the candidate and company thrive. An unsuitable hire can lead to reduced productivity, increased training and supervision costs, higher turnover rates, and significant financial losses due to the cumulative effects of these issues. One thing you can do to avoid this is to conduct a thorough job fit assessment to verify your choice of candidate. 

What is Job Fit Assessment? 

A Job Fit Assessment is an evaluation of how well a candidate’s skills, experiences, and personality traits align with the specific requirements and culture of a job and organization. The goal is to ensure that the selected candidate is not only capable of performing the job tasks but also integrates well with the team and organizational culture. 

Candidates who fit well tend to have a sense of purpose and find it easier to excel at their jobs. This sense of purpose can, in turn, potentially increase engagement. A study by Gallup, which analyzed over two million employees, underscored a robust link between employee engagement and critical performance outcomes, including profitability, productivity, customer loyalty, and employee well-being.¹  

The study revealed significant disparities in these outcomes between the most and least engaged teams. Specifically, businesses in the top quartile of engagement reported 81 percent lower absenteeism, a 10 percent increase in customer loyalty and engagement, an 18 percent increase in productivity (sales), and a 23 percent increase in profitability compared to those in the bottom quartile. 

Types of Assessments 

Below is a list of assessments that can best be combined to get a holistic view of a candidate’s fit for a position. The choice of assessment depends on the job’s nature, the company’s culture, and the qualities and skills deemed most important for success in the role. 

1. Skills and Experience Fit 

This assessment is the most straightforward component, involving a review of the candidate’s professional qualifications, technical abilities, and work history. This ensures the candidate has the necessary background and expertise to perform the job tasks effectively. Skills assessments may include proficiency tests, practical assignments, or detailed discussions about previous work experience. A good example would be examining coding ability for a software engineering position or writing skills for a content creator role. 

2. Personality Fit 

Personality traits play a significant role in determining how a candidate will fit into a role and the broader organizational culture. Personality assessments aim to gauge traits such as extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and emotional stability. These traits can predict how well a candidate will interact with team members, manage stress, and adapt to the company’s work environment. 

3. Cognitive Ability Tests 

Cognitive abilities encompass a candidate’s problem-solving skills, analytical thinking, and adaptability. Assessments of cognitive abilities evaluate how well a candidate can learn new skills, adapt to changes, and handle complex situations. These abilities are crucial for roles that require innovative thinking, strategic planning, and continuous learning. 

4. Work Style 

Work style assessments focus on how a candidate prefers to work, including their approach to teamwork versus independent work, their need for structure versus flexibility, and their preferred communication style. Understanding a candidate’s work style helps in determining whether they will thrive in the organization’s working environment and how well they will integrate with existing teams. 

5. Motivational Fit 

Motivational fit refers to the alignment between a candidate’s career aspirations, work values, and the opportunities provided by the job and organization. It assesses a candidate’s enthusiasm for the role’s responsibilities and their long-term career goals. Understanding a candidate’s motivations helps predict their engagement, satisfaction, and longevity within the company. 

6. Culture Fit 

This assessment examines how well a candidate’s values, beliefs, and behavior align with the company’s culture and values. This component is crucial for ensuring a harmonious work environment and high team cohesion. 

Mastering Job Fit Assessment: 5 Interview Techniques 

When assessing job fit during interviews, open-ended questions can be very useful because they require more than a simple yes or no answer, prompting candidates to provide detailed responses. With this, you’ll be able to examine the candidate beyond the confines of their resume.  

Here are some ways you can incorporate open-ended questions into your interview process to enrich the conversation and assess job fit: 

1. Use Behavioral Interview Questions 

Behavioral interview questions are designed to understand how a candidate has behaved in past professional situations. When candidates recount specific instances of their work life, listen not just for the outcome but also for skills like leadership, teamwork, and adaptability. The way they tackled past challenges gives clues about how they may handle similar situations in the future. Examples include: 

  • “Can you describe a situation where you had to overcome a significant challenge at work? How did you handle it?” 
  • “Tell me about a time when you worked as part of a team. What was your role, and how did the team achieve its objectives?” 
  • “Describe a situation where you had to learn a new skill or technology on the job. How did you approach the learning process, and what challenges did you encounter?” 

2. Ask Situational Questions 

Situational questions take things a little further by presenting candidates with hypothetical work situations. It’s not just the solution they propose that’s important, but also how quickly they can think on their feet, their creativity, and their ability to foresee potential pitfalls. Examples include: 

  • “Imagine you are leading a project that is critically behind schedule. What steps would you take to get it back on track?” 
  • “You’re working on a team project, and two team members have conflicting ideas about the best approach. How would you facilitate a resolution and ensure that the team remains productive?” 
  • “Suppose you discover a critical error in a report that has already been submitted to a client. How would you handle the situation and communicate the mistake to the client?” 

3. Incorporate Job Simulation Exercises 

Create exercises or simulations that mirror tasks or situations the candidate would face in the role. This could include case studies, role-playing exercises, or technical assessments. Observing how candidates perform in these simulations provides valuable insight into their practical skills and their fitness for the position. 

4. Consider Conducting a Cultural and Motivational Assessment 

Cultural assessment questions aim to uncover a candidate’s values, work style, and how they manage work-life balance, aligning with the company’s culture. For instance, questions like “How do you define success?” or “What work environment allows you to thrive?” reveal a candidate’s priorities and whether they match the organizational ethos. 

Motivational assessment, on the other hand, focuses on understanding a candidate’s motivations and career aspirations. Questions such as “What motivates you to excel in your work?” or “Where do you see your career progressing in the next five years?” offer insights into the candidate’s ambitions, ensuring they align with the role’s growth opportunities and the company’s potential career paths. 

5. Perform Reference and Background Checks 

While not part of the interview with the candidate per se, conducting thorough reference and background checks can validate or question the impressions formed during the interview. Think of it as an extension of the interview, but rather you’re looking to other credible sources to confirm and help finalize your assessment. References can offer third-party insights into a candidate’s past job performance, work ethic, and ability to mesh well with team dynamics. Overall, be sure to maintain a structured, consistent approach across all candidates to ensure fairness. 


At Galt, we are on a mission to redefine the workplace into a space where diversity is not just welcomed but celebrated. Specializing in creating employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities, we have set a benchmark in the staffing industry by successfully placing over 25,000 candidates since 1998. We believe every person deserves the chance to have a fulfilling career free from barriers and biases. 

Our approach is meticulously designed to ensure that your new hires are not only capable but also the perfect fit to propel your team and company forward. Reach out to us today to transform your recruitment process and secure candidates that drive lasting success. 


1 “The Benefits of Employee Engagement” Gallup, 7 Jan. 2023, www.gallup.com/workplace/236927/employee-engagement-drives-growth.aspx

More Stories

Contact Us

Let’s start a conversation! Are you a person with disabilities searching for a job or an organization with temporary or long-term employment needs? We look forward to helping you realize your potential.

Contact Us

Let’s start a conversation! Are you a person with disabilities searching for a job or an organization with temporary or long-term employment needs? We look forward to helping you realize your potential.