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How important is cultural fit at Netflix?

Recorded – watch the full episode on YouTube.

‌How do you judge someone in an interview if they are a cultural fit for your team or company? Have you ever come across someone who you thought was overqualified?

Jordanna Kwok: I think culture fit is always hard to define. I don't like how people assess for a culture fit, so we don't assess for culture fit. That's something way too ambiguous – some people are like, “can I go out and have a beer with them?" And if the answer is no, they're not a culture fit. Well, that's really biased – what about people who don't drink for example? Or might have a different personality than you?

So this is kind of an interesting thing that I find a lot of people are worried about – do I have to change myself to fit in? And the thing is, we're more interested in seeing how we can be more inclusive, and what does the team need to do to make sure you feel like you can belong. So when we look at that, we look at seeing the cultural values at Netflix, so it's a little bit more I guess objective in some ways – there are these values, do they resonate with you?

"We're more interested in seeing how we can be more inclusive, and what does the team need to do to kind of make sure that you feel like or we feel like you can belong in the team."

If the majority of those values really don't resonate with you, maybe on both ends it's not a great fit. But if there's a lot of them that seem to stand out and that you're really a strong believer in communication, for example? Those are great values, we want great communication, and if you're the type of person who sees that as not just a skill but also a value that you really resonate with, then there could be a great fit there.

Paul Hudson: I certainly think there's an important distinction to be made between a company having a strong culture folks bond with, where they all want to point in the same direction or the same goals, and this “cultural fit” thing, which in an interview can easily turn into misogyny or subtle racism or who knows what – “I just don't like the look of them” or something, you know? I think that just kind of masks other deeper problems sometimes.

"There's a lot of interesting values there and it doesn't need to be the case that every single thing has to resonate with you, but I think largely if it does then, yes, I think there could be a good fit."

Jordanna Kwok: I think that’s what you're going to end up with if you don’t define what culture means. So, there's a lot of interesting values there and it doesn't need to be the case that every single thing has to resonate with you, but I think largely if it does then, yes, I think there could be a good fit.

Paul Hudson: And I've got to know, is watching large amounts of Netflix a requirement? Because I watch a lot of Netflix – I'm the perfect candidate!

Jordanna Kwok: Certainly not a requirement! I think being aware of that there's Netflix and these original shows and movies and films and whatnot, kind of understanding the business is certainly something that we hope people will do some research on. But needing you to watch all of it, not a requirement.

This transcript was recorded as part of Swiftly Speaking. You can watch the full original episode on YouTube, or subscribe to the audio version on Apple Podcasts.

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