Cultural fit interview questions

joseph cole

Updated on February 28, 2023

Uses these cultural fit interview questions to find candidates who share your company’s values and guarantee that they're most successful for the the role.

Why ask candidates cultural fit interview questions

Your culture is a reflection of your company’s mission and values. It builds your team members’ style of working. Recruiting employees who fit perfectly with your company improves your chances of achieving business objectives and assists you in putting up a great work environment. It will also improve your retention rates.

However, keep in mind that cultural fit doesn’t mean recruiting candidates you like or being partial. Recruiting for cultural fit means hiring candidates who will thrive in your company.

Start the recruitment process by defining your company’s long-term goals and objectives. Then assess if candidates share the same values as you.

Cultural fit interview questions

  • Your manager assigns you an urgent task right before the end of the day. What would you do?
  • Have you ever found a company policy inefficient or unfair? If yes, what was the policy? Did you take any actions against the policy?
  • Tell me one thing that you didn’t like in your previous company?
  • How do you keep your team motivated during a challenging project?
  • Why did you leave your previous company?
  • What would be your work plan for the first 6 months here?
  • How do you prefer to get feedback from your manager: through weekly/monthly meetings or formal performance reviews? Why?
  • In what type of work environment do you feel most efficient?
  • Do you prefer working in a team or alone? Why?

Tips to assess cultural fit during interviews

  • New hires can improve or disturb your company culture. If you have established a great culture, hire candidates who closely align with it. Or, recruit people who will improve it.
  • Look for candidates who can steer your team in the right direction. For example, if you are planning to increase your talent pool, give preference to candidates with strong leadership skills who will help you in reaching challenging goals.
  • Prepare your questions according to the sub-culture of the specific department you are recruiting for. For example, a sales or marketing team is likely to have different work goals and habits from development department.
  • Prefer candidates who are polite and friendly. Also, don’t just reject introverts who might look nervous in the interview.
  • Explain the job role and responsibilities to the candidates and ask them if they think they are a great fit for the role. Taking a candidate’s vote is equally important.

Red Flags

  • Disrespectful of policies: It is okay to ask questions about the company but disrespecting or ignoring them is not okay. Candidates’ past work experiences will tell you if they follow company policies and can suggest improvements when and where needed.
  • Inflexibility: New recruits should be able to adapt to your working style as well as suggest new processes of doing things. If candidates have a “know it” attitude and show signs of arrogance, it is a red flag.
  • Different leadership styles: When recruiting for senior positions, consider the working style of each team. For example, if a candidate has a leadership style they may not be a perfect fit for senior-level roles for a team where team members work independently.
  • Discrepancy: A candidate is a perfect fit, if they have common goals, work methods and same values as your company. For example, if your company prefers flexibility and innovation, don’t shortlist process-driven candidates.
  • Dishonesty: Many candidates do their research before coming for the interview. Also, they prepare impressive answers for some of the common interview questions. But, if you feel they are saying things just to impress you, ask follow-up questions and tell them to share experiences.

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