How we hire Product Designers at Wrike. Part 4. Cultural Add Interview

Kristyna Cervena
5 min readFeb 28, 2021

What should you expect during the cultural add interview?

Hiring for “culture add” helps us find employees who bring valuable insights to Wrike. The culture add interview is an important stage in our recruitment process to build a more diverse team.

This stage is also for the candidate to get a taste of our company culture and values.

This interview can take up to 90 minutes.

Who are the interviewers?

🙋‍♀️ Recruiter.

🙋🏽‍♂️The hiring manager: This is the person you’ll be reporting to. The recruiter will provide a name, but you can also find the hiring manager’s name in the job ad.

🙎🏼‍♀️HR business partner: The HR business partner knows all the team members very well.

👩🏽‍💼👨🏻‍💼Engineering and product management lead: Because you’ll be working closely with cross-functional teams, such as engineering and product management, engineering and/or lead product manager may also join the interview.

We’re proud of our core values

At Wrike, we hire for values. In this final stage, we want to be sure — and we want you to be sure as well — that you’ll be a great addition to the team, as well as to the company.

So what values do we have at Wrike?

🧑‍💻Execute

One of Wrike’s goals is to stay on top of the market of collaborative project management tools. So we always challenge ourselves to achieve even greater heights.

🦸🏽Grow

Wrike is a place where you can grow as a person and as a professional.

👩‍👩‍👦‍👦 Collaborate

We value collaboration — from small to large teams, and everything in between.

🚀A Wriker’s competencies

We want to know how these values resonate with you, what motivates you at work, and what values are important to you.

To assess this, we created a list of competencies (qualities) every Wriker should have.

Adaptable to change

Adaptability is one of the most important skills that Wrikers should have. Being adaptable makes it easier to accept new ways of working. And when challenges arise, adaptable employees can find effective solutions. They’re also more likely to stay calm under pressure and work through dynamic, changing work environments.

Open to feedback

Wrikers should be open to constructive feedback. Effective feedback benefits the giver, receiver, and wider organization. Receiving feedback involves adopting an open-minded listening strategy, reflection, and a willingness to improve one’s performance.

Work well with others

Wrikers should be able to work with others toward a shared goal, participate actively, and share responsibility and rewards.

Willing to learn

A willingness to learn is the desire to learn new things and improve. Wrikers should strive for professional and personal development, and keep up to date with the latest business trends.

Results-oriented

Being results-oriented means recognizing what results are important and how to achieve them. It’s an important skill in many careers, as it can be pivotal to the success of an organization. Wrikers should be proactive and results-driven, and will always take the necessary steps to achieve set goals or targets.

Self-starter

Wrikers are self-starters. We take the initiative and can work without supervision.

Culture and diversity

Why is diversity so important?

Cultural diversity in the workplace can be beneficial to the retention and productivity of employees. In an increasingly globalized world, a diverse workplace can help an organization be more flexible and responsive to the diversity of its clients.

Other benefits include: attracting diverse talent, building communication skills, increased problem solving (different perspectives), and creating an environment where everyone feels like they belong.

How can you prepare for the cultural add interview?

The STAR method

When an interviewer asks you a behavioral question (based on your past performance in specific circumstances), it’s useful to answer using the STAR method. This stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. This method structures your answers to make them as compelling as possible, while also providing the relevant information that your interviewers need to hear.

To make the most of this technique, answer honestly and thoroughly — without rambling. Give only the most relevant details to keep your answers concise. The interviewer will ask if they want more information.

Example question: Tell me about a time when you were under a lot of pressure at work. How did you handle the situation?

Example Answer:

Situation: What were the circumstances? What was the challenge? In my previous role, an important member of the team quit in the middle of a major project. We knew we wouldn’t be able to hire and onboard a new team member before the project’s deadline, but this was a major project for a large client and we didn’t want to lose the account.

Task: What goal were you working toward? I was tasked with taking over their responsibilities in addition to my own to ensure the project was successful.

Action: What did you do specifically to address the situation? I worked with my manager to deprioritize some other projects I was working on so that I could dedicate more time and effort to this account. I made myself completely available to the client, including taking calls with them some evenings to ensure they were satisfied.

Result: What was the outcome? What did you learn? The project was delivered on time and to a high standard. The client was so happy that they went on to sign a larger contract with us.

Just be authentic

It might seem complicated or even scary, but it’s not. You’ll be asked to share examples of what you did in specific situations. Nothing you wouldn’t know.

The important thing here is to prepare ahead of time. Think about what kind of situations you experienced in the past, and be ready to share a few examples in a concise, but clear way.

The STAR method should help you provide a more structured answer to the question.

💡Any questions, feedback, or comment? Contact me at kristyna.cervena@team.wrike.com.

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Kristyna Cervena

Scaling Wrike 🚀 | Tech | Leadership | Mentoring | Company Culture