Interviewing prospective candidates for an open position gives recruiters an opportunity to look beyond the qualifications listed on a resume and get to know them on a personal level. This step allows the interviewer to learn whether a candidate is a good fit for your company’s culture. A cultural disconnect cannot be fixed, and it can negatively impact the productivity and work satisfaction of existing employees, so it’s important to consider cultural fit carefully when hiring someone new. Cultural fit questions will vary between companies because you want to tailor them to your business’s culture. Here are 20 cultural fit interview questions to get you started.
- How would you define leadership?
- Tell me about your favourite supervisor. What were that supervisor’s greatest assets?
- Describe the managerial style you feel you’ve been most successful under.
- Tell me about a time you worked with a team and a time you worked alone. What challenges did you face? Which scenario worked better for you?
- When working with a team, what role do you generally assume on that team? Why do you think that is?
- Tell me about a time when you had to work closely with someone you didn’t like. Do you feel you were effective? Why or why not?
- When meeting people for the first time, what is a common misconception they may have about you? Why do you think that is?
- Describe an ideal relationship with a co-worker.
- How would you describe the office politics of the last company you worked for?
- Tell me about a time when you were given a responsibility you felt unqualified for. How did you manage the situation? What did you learn from this experience?
- Tell me about a time when you were faced with a competitive challenge at work. Do you feel the competition had a positive or a negative influence on your performance? Why do you believe that?
- Give me an example of a professional situation you’ve experienced when it was important to follow the rules and one where you had to find your own way of doing things.
- Describe your ideal work environment. What makes it ideal?
- Imagine you are starting a company from scratch. Give me five words to describe the culture of your company.
- Describe your ideal workday.
- Who do you look up to professionally? What are three characteristics you believe contribute to their success?
- What is the most interesting thing about you that isn’t on your resume?
- What was the first job you were paid for in your youth? What lessons did you take away from that experience?
- Tell me about a time you went out of your way to please a customer.
- How did you hear about our open position? What made you decide to apply?
The answers given to cultural fit interview questions are less important than the way in which they’re given. Keep an eye out for “canned” responses. These show a lack of authenticity and could be signs of deception. Dishonesty can also be identified by speaking with past colleagues or people they interact with in the company on the day of the interview. Ideally, you want to get a sense of the candidate’s values and determine whether those values, their work style, and their social approach to co-workers are a good fit with the culture of your company and any team they will interact with.
Understanding candidates on a personal level allows you to select someone who will enhance your team and thrive in your company’s environment. Before you conduct your next interview, check out the resources on the Whozwho platform to help you find the dream candidate your company has been waiting for.
Anthony Goodwin is a founder, entrepreneur, consultant, data scientist and coach with 25+ years of experience in business management, recruitment, and human resources. He holds a bachelor of business management – human resource management and postgraduate qualifications in data science.