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Jason AzocarAug 17, 20203 min read

Hire Like HubSpot: Build Culture Starting with the First Impression

Loving what you do is easy, but being part of a team that fosters that love can be more difficult. The key to creating a harmonious team isn’t a secret, but we’ll give you a hint — it starts and ends with culture. 

Your culture is unique to your organization. It’s your values and beliefs put into action, how you work together and with your customers.

When hiring, finding the candidate with the right “fit” can be a challenge. But if you engage with culture in mind, from the beginning, you’ll boost your chances of filling that role with a rockstar who shares your values and culture.

Setting the Stage

Culture creates the first impressions that could make or break the candidate’s ultimate decision if offered a spot on your team. That used to be more predictable. It happened as soon as they walked in the door.

But they’re not always walking through the door. They’re logging on to video calls for interviews, with no clue what to expect with the rise of remote working. The candidate’s interview experience could be a defining moment that set expectations.

Regardless of the interview method, there needs to be clear communication between the interviewer and the interviewee, especially if open and honest communication plays a big role in your team culture (and it should). 

Be upfront. Let the candidate know what the interview process will be like — including the number of rounds of interviews planned, who will be involved, and the communication to expect from you throughout the process.

Be excited and eager to get to know the candidates, because they’re going to be too. Candidates can feel your excitement when they meet with you, so if it’s lacking, they’ll note it as just another interview, not one that will lead to their dream job. They are also interviewing you just as much as you are interviewing them and that’s important to remember.

At HubSearch, we build relationships with our clients, getting to know them and their company’s culture. We can set the scene for the people we find for you. We let them know what working for you will be like, presenting it to candidates so your team culture shines. Honesty and transparency about a company’s culture sets expectations for what working there will really be like.

Creating a Positive Experience

In the interview itself, focus on making it a positive experience that relates to how your team and company functions. Don’t be focused on how they will fit into your culture — concentrate on the value they can add to your culture.

It can be intimidating and off-putting to launch right into the tough interview questions immediately. Start with some icebreakers and get to know them. Show them you’re interested in who they are and what brought them to you, not just what they can add to your team. While you’ll have some idea before the interview even begins of who they are and their capabilities, getting to know them as a person is crucial.

Set up the interview as a discussion rather than a cold question-and-answer session to encourage your candidates to feel more comfortable and confident. It allows the candidates to break away from the stereotypical mode of interviewing and get to know you more, giving them further insight into the culture of the team and company. 

Closing Out the Interview process

If everything went well, you’ve found the perfect fit for the role. What do you do next? The primary question we get from candidates who weren’t selected is why they didn’t make the cut. 

They want to know how to do better in their next interviews, or where they fell short. Candidates are always looking to improve and grow their skillsets. Make the time to tell them. Again, it’s about clear communication — it’s key throughout the whole process, and shows who you are as an interviewer and an employer. 

Culture doesn’t end when you hire someone great. You’re just getting started! The employee experience is the time to put your team culture into action.


Jason Azocar

Jason is a former HubSpot Recruiting Manager, a leader and a start-up veteran. A passionate team builder and an expert in recruiting and talent acquisition program design.