7 Interview Questions to Assess Cultural Fit

During the recruitment process, it's essential that you make sure each candidate will compliment existing staff and buy into your values

7 Interview Questions to Assess Cultural Fit

One of the most important things to assess is a candidate’s cultural fit. They could be great at what they do, but if they don’t mesh well with your company, they may not stick around for very long. You need to make sure the person you hire is going to form the right kind of professional bonds in your office and feel rewarded by the work that they’re doing. Culture counts for everything.

1. What are you passionate about?

Most companies hold certain causes near and dear to their foundations. This includes charities and perspectives on what they’d like to achieve. Companies need passionate people to help them reach their goals, and even if the candidate’s passion isn’t exactly the same, you need to know that the passion is there. Conflicting passions can be problematic down the road, so it’s best to know about them immediately.

2. How do you prefer to work?

Some people love being part of a pack, while others prefer to work as a lone wolf. If your company is very big on teamwork, lone wolves may have a hard time fitting in. The spirits of independence and togetherness are very different, and you need someone who is cut out to handle the way you feel your office runs the best.

3. What can we do to accommodate you?

This question can help you assess a candidate’s cultural fit while giving you some insight regarding the way that certain individuals feel most comfortable working. If a candidate has a lot of special requests that aren’t going to fit well with the wants and needs of the rest of your team, you’ll be able to tell before these requests become problematic.

4. Describe the last time you felt genuinely great about your work

People who enjoy the work they do are far more likely to do that work for longer. You have your own customer service policy in place, and you want everyone you serve to walk away feeling better than they felt when they came to you. The answer to this question will allow you to determine how a candidate can have a positive impact on your service philosophy.

5. Tell me about a time when you had to think on your feet

Everyone wants to create a culture of innovation within their office environment. How well an employee can think on his or her feet usually leads to the kind of innovation many companies are looking for. Resourceful, quick-thinking people can enrich the future of what you do, and you’ll certainly want a few of these people playing for your team.

6. What is your relationship with your coworkers like outside of working hours?

If your company is very big on team-building exercises, you’ll want an employee who enjoys attending company parties or outings. Someone who is casual friends with every employee may not be a good fit, but someone who already has their bags packed for the office camping trip is the person you should be eager to hire.

7. What kind of manager do you need?

You may have heard before that people don’t quit their jobs, they quit their managers. You want someone who is already in tune with the management style you use. If you prefer authority figures to provide direct, specific instructions to employees on a frequent basis, someone who prefers to work as an empowered associate may not take kindly to this social dynamic.

Candidates who seem to be the best cultural fit are candidates worthy of working for you. If they’ll add something positive to your working environment, everyone’s workday will become a little bit brighter based on their presence and productivity.


With a background in business administration and management, Tess Pajaron currently works at Open Colleges, a leading online educator. She likes to cover stories in careers and marketing.

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