You need hires who are highly skilled, but you also need hires who are a good culture fit with your company and the team they will join.
Evaluating the skills and experience that a candidate possesses will show you if they can do the job, but evaluating cultural fit will show you if they will enjoy doing the job and find meaning in it. And, in some ways, this is more important.
A new hire with a skill gap can be caught-up by a few weeks or months of training, but a candidate who does not feel a fit with your company or their team is destined to be disengaged or even a detractor from the workplace experience of those around them.
Hires who do not feel a culture fit will quit, no matter how much they’re being paid.
Hires who do feel a culture fit will come to work with a good attitude, engage with their teams and strive to improve their work as well as their working environment.
You can use our cultural interview questions and answers to see if candidates will feel a cultural fit with your company and the team they would join, or the company you are recruiting for.
Cultural Fit Interview Questions: Candidate Preferred Company/Team Culture
Before you tell a candidate about your company’s culture, you should ask them questions about the company cultures that they have enjoyed the most and been the most successful in.
If you start by telling a candidate everything about your culture, they may change their answers to match your company’s work environment, which doesn’t help anyone.
These questions will show you the kinds company cultures that the candidate thrives in and the kinds of cultures that aren’t a good fit for the candidate.
General Company Culture Questions
- What aspects of your job make you most excited to start your workday?
- Do you work better when self-directed or at the direction of others?
- What kind of work environment helps you do your best work and helps you feel comfortable at work?
- What would the company culture be like at your dream job?
- What are the red flags that you look for when evaluating a company’s culture?
- What are some principals, policies or attitudes that should be part of every company’s culture?
- What do you think a successful company culture looks like?
- What do you need from your manager in order to succeed in your role?
- Have you ever enjoyed working for a company but felt like there wasn’t a good fit between you and the company’s culture? Why do you think this gap existed?
- What do you need from a company’s culture in order to work effectively? What do you need in your department’s or team’s culture to work effectively?
- How important is it for a company’s mission, values and work to align with your interests?
- Do you tend to befriend people at work or just “keep things friendly” without forming deeper bonds of friendship?
- What expectations do you have for managers and senior leaders for their role in the company’s culture?
Work History Culture Questions
- Describe the workplace culture at the last company you worked for.
- What about this culture helped you to excel, feel supported and enjoy your work environment?
- What aspects of your previous employer’s company culture got in the way of doing your work, feeling supported at work or enjoying your work environment?
- Describe the culture and work environment of the department you worked in at your last employer.
- How did your department’s culture differ from the culture of your company? Did you ever see these two cultures clashing?
- What aspects of the department’s culture helped you to do effective work and enjoy your work environment? Which aspects detracted from your work or your enjoyment of the work environment?
- How could your department’s culture have been more supportive of you and your work?
- Describe the culture and work environment of the last team you worked in.
- Which aspects of the team’s culture helped you do great work and helped you to enjoy your work environment? Which aspects did not help you?
- How was your team different from and similar to other teams in your department?
- What was the general tone of interactions that you had while in this team? How did this help or hurt your enjoyment of work and your performance?
- How could this team’s culture have been improved to better support your work and your comfort levels while working in this team?
- Describe the company culture that you enjoyed being a part of the most in your career.
- How did this company culture help you to excell in your work?
- How did the company support you and the work you were doing? How did your team support you and your work? How did your manager?
- How did the company culture help you to enjoy your work environment and feel comfortable at your job?
- Describe the company culture that you enjoyed the least or that interfered with your work the most.
- Why did you have such a negative experience with the company’s culture?
- Were the cultural problems pervasive or due to a group of bad actors?
- What aspects of this company’s culture were the most disruptive to your work?
- Have you ever enjoyed working for a company, but felt disruptions to your work that were caused by the company’s culture?
- Describe a team with a culture that you felt was successful and that helped you do your best work.
- What aspects of this teams culture would you say are absolutely necessary for any team to have?
- What aspects of this team’s culture could be improved?
- How did your team’s culture differ from the culture in your department? What was better about your team’s culture and what was worse?
Cultural Fit Interview Questions: Assessing Fit with Your Company
Now that you know more about company cultures that have been a good fit for the candidate, ask questions that reveal their attitudes about your company’s core cultural principals.
For example, if your company values employees who are willing to help their co-workers when they get stuck, you do not want to hire people who are unwilling to help their peers.
Before you select these questions for your interview or create your own, ask people in your company about their experiences with your company’s culture and what they believe to be the defining traits of your culture. This way, your cultural interview questions are more likely to show you which candidates will feel a strong fit with your company.
Questions to Test Fit With Your Company’s Culture
- What have you noticed about the cultures of companies in our industry? What are your favorite parts of these cultural similarities and your least favorite parts? What do you wish was different about our industry’s culture?
- What aspects of our company’s mission, our values and our work do you identify with the most and the least?
- How closely does the work that we do here align with your interests?
- What changes in our industry are you most excited about and which changes are causing you to worry?
- What is a manager’s role in a company’s culture? How should managers be an extension of a company’s culture?
- If you were packing up to leave and your manager assigned you a task, how would you react?
- What is your ideal work-life balance and what policies have helped you achieve this balance in past roles?
- Do you believe it’s important to help co-workers when they need help or do you think these people should be more self sufficient?
- Are you more effective as a self-directed learner or do you learn better from instruction?
Team Culture Questions
- How would you describe the role that you most often play when working in a team?
- How would you describe the general tone of your interactions with teammates? Why do you think this is the case?
- How do you speak about clients and customers to your co-workers when these clients or customers are being frustrating?
- What management style do you respond best to?
- What management styles do you think are ineffective or get in the way of your work?
- Do you feel that teammates should always help each other when someone is stuck or experiencing difficulty?
- If you went out to eat with your team, what would they learn about you?
- What have been the most effective team building exercises you’ve ever participated in? Which team building exercises have been the least effective?
- If you were asked to receive training in a skill that you already know well, how would you react?
- If you were asked to offer assistance to a colleague who was struggling to meet performance standards, how would you react?
- If you were working with a colleague who is acting different from their usual behavior, how would you manage this situation?
- If you were to accept this job, what would you want from your team members to help you start on the right foot? Is there anything you wouldn’t want your team members to do?
- Here is an overview of the team that you would join if hired for this role. What is your initial reaction to this kind of team environment? What makes you excited to join this team and what makes you cautious?
Diversity and Cultural Fit
You’re looking for people who fit well with your company with these cultural fit interview questions and answers, but you should always emphasize diversity when hiring.
Beyond the ethical and legal obligations of creating a diverse workplace, having too few points of view will always leave an organization vulnerable to short sightedness or even blindness.
Diverse companies draw on the many backgrounds, experiences and viewpoints of their employees to outperform monoculture companies, which lack diversity in backgrounds, experiences and viewpoints.
Loxo helps recruiters identify cultural fit for their clients by providing unparalleled sourcing abilities powered by AI and tools to enable easier communications with candidates. The more you know about candidates, the better equipped you are to connect them to companies with cultures that they will thrive in.
To learn more about how Loxo helps recruiters assess the culture fit factors of candidates, schedule a demo here.