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Assuming you're asking about assessing cultural fit, we do a couple of semi-overt things.

First, we make sure that every interviewer, including initial contacts and phone screens, offers the candidate a chance to ask their own questions and I make it a point to state that "you're picking us just as much as we're picking you". From the questions the candidate asks, we get some insight into what's on their mind and they get their questions answered and can form a more informed opinion of us as well.

Second, we generally schedule an informal lunch in our cafeteria (we buy, of course) with the candidate and a 1-3 of our engineers, often from the team they're interviewing with but sometimes just other non-team peers. This is explicitly meant to be informal and similar-level peers, but you can't help sharing data about who we are, how we interact with each other and the candidate, and learning/teaching whether there's likely a good fit.

If you're asking about creating/enhancing cultural fit once hired, that's an ordinary leadership challenge.




I also had such a lunch on an on-site interview day and must say that I really liked it. Not only can the company assess your fit but you can also assess whether you like the company and your future colleagues.


Indeed, I've gone through a similar process and it was really nice for both sides. Although I believe that this should be done carefully, because when people get close and personal, they tend to "judge" others based on the personality, which is important, but not really what they are doing, instead they should focus on the cultural fit having in account the candidate's personality and other factors.


This is explicitly meant to be informal and similar-level peers, but you can't help sharing data about who we are, how we interact with each other and the candidate, and learning/teaching whether there's likely a good fit.

A formalized process of informality. Interesting.


You can't take all the context away; we just try to make it as low-pressure and "normal" a lunch as is possible, given the obvious context. (And yes, we've had candidates "fail" the lunch slot. I'm sure we've "failed" the lunch slot for some of the candidates who ended up turning us down. Those are usually beneficial "fails" IMO.)


It was just amusing to see such a formal engagement labeled as the opposite. It can be a good idea, beneficial for both parties, etc. But if a candidate can fail it, it's certainly not normal or informal.


For clarity, candidates fail the lunch slot not by chewing with their mouth open, keeping their pinky on their cup, or putting elbows on the table, but rather by being overtly bigoted, racist/sexist, or otherwise extraordinarily A-hole-ish. (I can only recall two instances in 14 years; perhaps I should have not mentioned it, but I'm an engineer at heart... :) )


How does that work out for people who eat only halal, kosher, vegan, etc.?


I'm not on the recruiting scheduling side, but we have a cafeteria that serves ~500 people every day and includes 5-6 different stations, including a salad bar. I suppose if someone had a really specific dietary requirement that the typical cafeteria couldn't meet, that they'd be accustomed to bringing their own food (or raising the concern ahead of time so recruiting coordination could accommodate them somehow).




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