Workplace Culture Interview Questions You Need to Ask Candidates

woman doing a panel interview with four recruiters

Nowadays, recruitment trends show that it is not enough to find a candidate that meets the job qualifications. Rather, hiring managers need to find someone that has all the qualifications but also is a great culture fit. Culture fit is not easy to determine, but you can get an idea by incorporating workplace culture interview questions.

What are these questions that will help you determine if a job applicant would be a good culture fit for your organization?

What is Culture Fit?

First, let’s define what culture fit means, so you know what you’re looking for.

In a nutshell, culture fit is about alignment with the company’s core values. Employees should value the same principles as the ones the company is built on.

Furthermore, the candidate’s personality and attitude should match the organization’s workplace culture. For example, an individual who prefers working quietly alone will feel strained in a workplace that values team collaboration.

As you can see, culture fit is about your and your employees’ core. This is not about having similar interests or the same alma mater.

In a good culture fit, the employee will likely thrive and feel fulfilled in their job. With higher job satisfaction, employees are less likely to quit, thereby improving your organization’s turnover rate.

four smiling employees connecting big pieces of puzzle

Culture Fit Versus Discrimination

However, hiring managers should be careful to make sure that hiring for culture fit does not become a tool for discrimination.

An emphasis on similar interests, for instance, would exclude candidates from a lower socioeconomic class because they may not afford the same hobbies as others.

You can avoid this, however, by emphasizing core values as the primary criteria for cultural fit. Learn how to ask behavioral questions and make sure that your reasons for choosing a candidate are based on their potential contributions to the company.

Best Interview Questions for Culture Fit

Not sure how to incorporate company-fit interview questions into your interview strategy? Here are the best questions that will help you efficiently determine if a candidate would be a good culture fit:

Two professional business people working together in office

Where/When/How Do You Work Best?

Let’s start with a somewhat superficial aspect — the physical workplace. Most companies exert effort to set up their office in a way that promotes their ideal culture.

So, a company that values collaboration will likely have an open space concept. However, an open space concept may not be ideal for employees who prefer to work quietly. They may find such an environment too distracting and may not thrive in a collaborative working style.

A candidate’s working style will reveal whether they will fit in the company’s culture.

What Makes You Excited About Work?

This question reveals what the applicant values in their professional life, and whether that fits with the company’s culture and what the position needs.

This question could also reveal how passionate the candidate is about their work.

Was There a Goal You Didn’t Meet? How Did You Deal with Disappointment?

Different companies and people deal with goals and disappointment their own ways. Often, how an individual deal with failure affects how a department reacts to not meeting its goals.

Do you want someone who sees failure as an opportunity to grow? Does someone who takes their time to evaluate their mistakes fit in your workplace?

The candidate’s answer will help you see if their attitude matches what you want to foster in your organization.

male employee discussing in a corporate meeting

What Did You Like Most/Least About Your Previous Company?

This is one of the best culture fit interview questions because it reveals what the candidate is looking for in a company, what they value in their career, as well as what they disapprove of in an employer.

It’s an efficient question that will help you determine if you will be a good match as an employer-employee.

What is the Best Way Can a Manager Support You? What Characteristics Do You Look for in a Leader?

Disagreements between employees and managers are often rooted in differences in leadership style and how the employee likes to be managed.

Do your leaders possess the characteristics the employee looks for? How do they feel about the predominant leadership style in your company?

The answer to this will help you determine whether they will get along with their manager.

female and male employees talking in office

How Do You Prefer to Communicate with Coworkers?

Communication style is a major aspect of company culture. You can tell whether the candidate will thrive in the company based on whether they match the company’s predominant communication style.

Someone who prefers regular face-to-face communication may feel isolated and struggle in an organization that prioritizes remote work and online communication. As a result, they may leave for a company that holds team meetings more often.

What Does Work-Life Balance Look Like for You?

Work-life balance is a rather controversial topic in the professional world. Some professionals turn off all notifications the moment they end their shift while others will respond to an e-mail even on weekends. Likewise, companies have varying takes on this.

Given the polarizing stances on this aspect, it’s important to establish both sides’ ideas of work-life balance. Ignoring incompatibility regarding work-life balance will only lead to burnout for the employee and put a strain on the work process.

wooden person climbing on wooden steps

What Changes Have You Seen in Yourself in the Last Five Years?

This is a great culture fit interview question if you value a growth mindset. Hiring someone who constantly works toward self-improvement will help foster a growth mindset in the organization.

Asking this question during the interview will reveal whether they prioritize growth, are willing to grow, or are resistant to it.

What Kind of Events Do You Attend Outside of Work Hours?

If your organization holds a lot of after-work events to allow employees to socialize, you may prefer an employee who enjoys attending these social events.

Differences in willingness to attend such events may signal a difference in how the potential employee handles relationships in the workplace from how other team members do.

Why Did You Choose to Apply Here?

Essentially, this question asks the applicant whether they think the company’s core values align with theirs.

The things they mention also tell you what they prioritize and look for in an employer. You may also get a hint of their opinion of your company, allowing you to prioritize individuals who believe in your organization and are excited to work with you.

Culture Fit encircled using red pencil

Create Targeted Workplace Culture Interviews with SkillFuel

Hiring managers contend with numerous considerations when deciding to hire a candidate. These top interview questions for culture fit will help you make your interviews more efficient.

Couple this strategy of finding a culture-fit employee with SkillFuel’s job interview scheduling software and you will surely fill vacant positions with the right people faster.

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