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4 Interview Questions to Determine Cultural Fit

4 Interview Questions to Determine Cultural Fit

Cultural fit is a hot topic when it comes to interviewing today’s candidates.  If you are unsure of how to know if a candidate fits in with your company culture, rest assured you are not alone.  However, there are 4 simple questions that can help you get to the bottom of a candidate’s cultural preference when it comes to work environment.

1. What is your ideal work environment?

It’s always best to be straight forward, so I like to ask a candidate outright what type of work environment they prefer.  Don’t let this question bog you down though – some candidates will simply tell you what they think you want to hear.

Sometimes, you have to take a candidate’s answer with a grain of salt when it comes to this question, but the following questions will help you get closer to their true preference.

2. What is your ideal management style?

Pay close attention to the response to this question.  I have seen many candidates trip over themselves when answering this question, only to end up flat on their face.

Many candidates will tell you how they prefer a hands-off management style, but how do you know if this is true?

I typically like to follow this question up with some other questions surrounding their work experience such as: Give me an example of a time when you were faced with a problem and your manager was unavailable.  Tell me what the problem was, what you did to solve it, and what was the end result. 

Asking a candidate to provide real world examples as a follow up to this is a great way to have them prove to you that they are being honest when it comes to working well in a hands-off management environment.

3. Tell me about your favorite working experience. Why was it your favorite?

I love asking this question during the interview because once again, it gives the candidate a chance to explain a real work environment from the past.  You will learn so much about a candidate’s cultural preference when you understand their likes and dislikes.

4. What are you passionate about?

This is my favorite question and probably one of the most important questions when interviewing for cultural fit.

When you ask what a candidate is passionate about, you are opening the door to not only work related topics but also to personal hobbies and interests.  If your company is greatly involved in local community events, a candidate who has a passion about volunteering time to the community could fit well with your company culture.

What are some other questions you typically ask when interviewing for cultural fit?  Please share your suggestions in the comments below.

Image: Sergey Nivens/

Julia Weeks

Julia is a skilled Recruiter with over 8 years of experience in sourcing, interviewing, and hiring within many industries globally. She works closely with hiring managers and job seekers to understand needs and desires, while offering guidance and ensuring the right fit. When not recruiting or writing, Julia enjoys spending time outside cycling, taking her dog for walks, or honing her sailing skills.

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