Zouma is currently on-loan at Everton.
Hiddink told evertonfc.com: “He will have learned a lot from John and that extra knowledge would have helped bring more balance to his game," said Hiddink.
“Kurt was so powerful but you do not always needs to use that power.
“Sometimes, you just have be smart in your defending. For instance, in a defensive one-on-one, you need to be able to delay the game.
“He got more and more smart and more balanced and understood to not only use his physicality.
“He developed a lot from being with John and some of the other older guys in that defence like [Branislav] Ivanovic and [Cesar] Azpilicueta.
“It was good for him to go to Stoke for regular football. He has to be playing and it is important he will be at a very good level with Everton, who are very ambitious."