If you have worked before or you’re employed chances are that you have ever stopped in a midst of a frenzy and questioned your presence in the company. It is normal for questions like ‘‘Why am I still working here? How often do my workmates promote my ideas? Are my ideas legit or do they just react indifferently?” to cross your mind. The questions can help you evaluate the relationship between you and your organization and that is what is referred to as personality job fit.

Personality job fit theory is a theory that revolves around the fact that every employee and organization each have specific behavioral traits. The degree of congruence between an employee’s trait or character and the organization’s culture has a direct impact on employee satisfaction and company productivity.

The higher the congruence, the higher the satisfaction and productivity between an employee and an organization while the lower the congruence lead to less productivity and dissatisfaction. We can describe it as matching employee’s traits, values, needs, and abilities to the organizational values, demands, and rewards.

By reading this article, you will be able to understand more about personality job fit to company culture. To be precise we are going to answer the question ‘’how does your personality fit into company culture?

We will need two tools to explain and understand personality job fit theory. To determine the personality of an individual we will use the IPIP-NEO Personality tool and for company culture, we will use the Integrated Cultural Framework and how they fit into each other.

Before we get to these comparisons, let us look at the four levels of personality job fit

Levels of Personality Job Fit

i) Person job fit – Refers to an individual’s abilities, skills, and knowledge needed for the job. It is simply how well a candidate’s characteristics match those of a specific job. PJ fit also determines if the job meets the candidate’s desires. 

ii) Person-Supervisor fit – This is a person’s preferences as compared to other people around them. It describes how individuals behave towards others based on opinions, attitudes, and values. 

iii) Person-Group fit – Refers to the mutual congruence between an individual and a workgroup. A strong person-group bond leads to better cohesion of feelings and co-worker satisfaction. 

iv) Person-Organization Fit – These are shared values among employees and the culture of the organization. 

While hiring, it is important to take these levels into consideration. Personality job fit plays a big role in the company’s success as well as the employees. So, as you hire, you need to identify candidates who:

i)Show person job fit to ensure they meet the requirements needed for a certain job

ii) Possess an excellent person-supervisor fit that is compatible with their manager 

iii) Is aligned with group fit to attain success as a group.

iv) should also portray proper person-organization fit. This ensures that the whole organization is committed.

IPIP-NEO Personality to Test Candidate Personality

Photo Credits: HelloDriven

We chose this personality test because it covers several personality traits which can be directly related to the cultural dimensions that describe a working environment. The test showcases the personality of individuals on the Five-Factor Model – 5 broad domains and 30 sub-domains. You can find this personality test here HirePoint

To get a clear comparison, we will select a smaller group of characteristics from the larger group of 6 traits from the 5 known domains. This is because some personality traits like artistic interests or immoderation might not prove to be relevant in the definition of the match between an individual’s personality and fit to culture. In short, we will discuss traits that we think are relevant in terms of determining an individual’s personality trait to the cultural dimensions of a company. 

We all know the Five Broad Domains are:

i) Conscientiousness 

ii) Openness 

iii) Agreeableness

iv) Neuroticism

v) Extraversion

i) Conscientiousness

This dimension is described by features like goal-directed, good impulse control, with high levels of thoughtfulness behaviors. Individuals with high conscientiousness are most likely able to plan ahead, mind details, and are very organized. In fact, they are able to think about how their behavior affects others and are aware of deadlines.

High Scorers

  • They like to spend time preparing, finish important tasks right away, pay attention to details, and will enjoy having a set schedule. 

Low Scorers

  • They tend to dislike structure and schedules, make messes and do not take care of things, procrastinate on important tasks, and may fail to complete assigned tasks. 

ii) Openness 

This domain features traits such as insight and imagination. Individuals who are high in openness tend to have a huge range of interests. They are curious about other people and the world at large. They are eager to learn new things and enjoy new experiences. 

High Scorers

  • People with high openness tend to be very creative, like trying new things, are usually focused on tackling new challenges, and are happy to think about abstract openness. 

Low Scorers 

  • Low scorers dislike change, are not very imaginative, resist new ideas, do not enjoy new things, and dislike theoretical concepts. 

iii) Agreeableness

On the agreeableness domain, you will find traits like affection, kindness, altruism, and trust. Individuals with high agreeableness tend to show more cooperation while the ones low in this are very competitive and sometimes even manipulative.

High Scorers

  • Individuals with high agreeableness have interests in others, care about others, enjoy helping and contributing towards other people’s happiness, assist others who are in need of help, and feel empathy and concern for people around them. 

Low Scorers

  • People with low agreeableness, don’t care about what others feel, insult and belittle others, manipulates others to get what they want, and also take little interest in others. 

iv) Neuroticism

Neuroticism is a domain with traits like moodiness, emotional instability, and sadness. People who are high on neuroticism, tend to have sadness, anxiety, irritability, and mood swings. Those low on neuroticism tend to be more emotionally resilient and stable. 

High Scorers

  • Individuals who score high on this trait experience a lot of stress, worry about many things, get upset easily, experience dramatic shift moods, feel anxious and struggle to come back to normal selves after stressful events. 

Low Scorers

  • They are emotionally stable, deal well with stress, rarely feel depressed or sad, don’t worry that much, and are very relaxed.

v) Extraversion

Also known as extraversion is a domain characterized by assertiveness, talkativeness, sociability, excitability, and a high amount of emotional expressiveness. People who are high in extroversion tend to gain energy in social situations and are very outgoing. Being around other people makes them feel excited and energized.  

People with low extroversion also known as introverts have less energy in social settings, are more reversed, and often require a period of quiet and solitude in order to recharge. 

High Scorers

  • They enjoy being the center of attention, they say things before thinking about them, feel energized with many people around, find it easy to make new friends, enjoy meeting new people, and have a wide circle of acquaintances and friends. 

Low Scorers

  • They dislike being the center of attention, they carefully think things through before talking, they find it difficult to start conversations and they do prefer solitude.

Integrated Cultural Framework to Test Organizational Culture

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The culture of an organization can be described as a set of values and collective beliefs that influence behavior in a working environment. We chose to use Mallinger’s and Rossy’s ICF(the Integrated Cultural Framework) that contains six dimensions of personality and a few questions that can assess the components. 

The ICF dimensions are:

i) Ability to Influence

This can be described as the extent to which employees are able to influence decisions and outcomes in an organization. An organization with a high ability to influence is open to allow employees to have inputs and will react by considering the opinions. This can also be known as decentralization. Organizations with a low ability to influence signifies a kind of culture in which most employees or individuals do not have or barely have a chance to suggest ideas and even influence outcomes. In low ability to influence organizations, ideas and suggestions come from top-down. 

To assess this domain, you need to ask questions like:

  • Where are decisions made? 
  • Is the company decentralized or centralized? 
  • To what significance do most employees get involved in making decisions? 

ii) Comfort to Ambiguity

Comfort with ambiguity describes the significance to which employees of a certain company are okay with risk-taking and uncertainty. Questions to ask to assess the comfort of ambiguity are as follows:

  • Does the organization have rules and regulations that clearly clarify the way the company runs? 
  • Is the organization most likely to make decisions even when the information is not so clear or complete? 
  • Does the company encourage taking risks? 

iii) Individualism vs Collectivism

Individualism vs collectivism refers to the ability to which employees of a company encourage rewards and give incentives. Do they approach it collectivism-wise, which means considering the interests of the group as a whole first, or individualism-wise where incentives and interests focus on the personal gain? And the questions used to assess this culture are:

  • Are rewards group-based or individual? 
  • To what ability do employees work as a team?

iv) Achievement Orientation

This is the ability to which employees of a company strive to accomplish goals and in turn elevate their performance. To assess achievement orientation, you need to ask questions like:

  • Is it normal for the company to try and achieve its goals?
  • What is the expectation in terms of achieving goals? Is it high? Is it low? 

v) Space orientation

This is the extent to which the office or employee company space is laid out. Some companies have a culture of making it private, public, or a mix of both. 

Questions to determine the culture of this domain are:

  • How is the office shared? 
  • How many times have you seen open doors versus closed doors?
  • To what degree are employees protective of their office spaces? 

vi) Time orientation

Time orientation is the ability to which a company is focused on goals and missions. Is it the past values, present values, or future values? Sometimes, there are combinations of time orientation. An organization can choose to focus on the previous values and goals of a company while simultaneously engaging in meaningful strategies and plans for the future. Question to assess this culture are:

  • Are the goals and missions influenced and based on the value of the past ie the founders, the present ie the current working environment, or the future – ie plans and strategies? 
  • How is the implementation? Based on present, past, or the future? 

How the Culture derived from IPIP-NEO Personality test Can Fit into the Integrated Cultural Framework Company Culture

Individuals with high self-efficacy and as seen at Conscientiousness, like to challenge authority and feel empowered therefore, they tend to fit into a company with a high ability to influence. On the other hand, individuals with low self-efficacy tend to observe the hierarchical structure and therefore tend to fit into a company with a low ability to influence. 

Individuals with high adventure and low caution as seen at Openness, are risk-takers and adventurous tend to fit into a company with high comfort to ambiguity. While on the contrary, individuals with low adventure, who tend to be cautious and rigorous can fit well in a company with low comfort ambiguity.  

Individuals who are highly cooperative, have high altruism and trust as seen at Agreeableness have a trait of ‘doing it for others and therefore are more likely to fit well in a company with a Collectivism culture. On the other hand, individuals with low altruism, low trust, and less cooperation, have an independent kind of personality and would fit well in a company with Individualism. 

Employees with high self gregariousness and low self-consciousness are characterized as friendly and like to be noticed as seen at Neuroticism tend to fit well in Public space orientations. While employees’ high self-consciousness are characterized as reserved and need privacy tend to fit well in Private Office Orientation Space orientations. 

Employees who are highly assertive, high activity, and are high achievers have an active trait as seen at Extraversion and they fit well in a company that wants to achieve high goals. On the other hand, employees with low activity are contemplative and are less concerned with achieving high and that is why they can easily fit in a company with low achievement. 


It is always good to compare an individual’s personality and how they fit into the company culture. And while a huge base of common traits signifies smooth and successful interactions, how traits differ also matters. The dissimilarities offer extra sources of attraction which ultimately fuel the personality and company fit cultural relationship. 

The main aim of finding an individual’s personality job fit and how they fit into certain company culture is for an employee to:

  • To fit and feel welcome and comfortable in a company
  • To feel motivated in the organization
  • To achieve the expected goals of the company.

Once all these are met, chances are that the organization’s income will rise.

Written by

Brian Duncan W.

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