Question Overview

Winning at Work: How Would I Assess Person–Organization Fit (P-O) When Applying for Jobs?

It is important that you and the job or the organization are a good fit for each other. Person–environment fit (PE) represents the compatibility between you as an individual and your work environment and if these characteristics are well matched. Person–organization fit (PO) reflects the extent to which your personality and values match the climate and culture in an organization. PO fit is important because it is associated with more positive work attitudes and task performance and lower intentions to quit and stress. To assess fit, start with an evaluation of your strengths, weaknesses, and values. Then, learn more about a company by researching it online and by talking with employees. You will want to prepare a set of diagnostic questions to ask during the interview process to enable you to determine fit. To improve your level of fit, you can find ways to build your strengths into your work role, seek to overcome any weaknesses, assess any misalignment between your values and those endorsed by the company, or seek a lateral move to another position. If those actions don’t work, it may be time to move on.

Discussion Questions/Topics:

  • Have you ever had a job where you felt like it was not the right “fit?” If so, describe the factors that contributed to this lack of fit. If not, in what ways was your current or most recent position the right fit?
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using a company’s website to try to determine fit.
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using websites such as Glassdoor to try to determine fit.

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