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The 5 Best Interview Questions You Need to Ask for Cultural Fit

The 5 Best Interview Questions You Need to Ask for Cultural Fit

A job candidate may look great on paper, but will they fit within your organization?

Cultural fit is one of the most important things hiring professionals need to evaluate for in a job interview, but it’s also one of the most challenging traits to identify. Without working with an applicant, or knowing them, determining whether they are a good fit for the team is difficult. But, asking the right interview questions can help.

Here are some of the best interview questions to evaluate a job candidate’s potential to fit within your company culture:

1. “If I walk by your desk at 5:30 p.m., what will I see?”

Their answer will reveal their view of work and their thoughts on what a workplace should be like. You can evaluate that against your culture.

Does everyone stay until 9 p.m. to work? Is everyone gone at 4:30 p.m. to beat traffic? Is there a startup feel where everyone works remotely, but all the time?

If the candidate says, “I’m long gone,” then you know how they stack against your culture. If they say, “I’m working hard and ordering takeout dinner,” you know whether they fit in or if they are an outlier.

I’ve gotten answers all over the map from, “I’d be organizing my desk for the next morning,” to “You’d see my phone forwarded so I can work from home in the evening.”

Joseph Campagna

Joseph Campagna III, President, My Virtual HR Director

2. “What are you most passionate about?”

What ignites excitement and fire in your heart? The common denominator of success and happiness is painfully simple — it’s our fuel of purpose.

A life fueled by a purpose of passion will always create more passion. Passion begets passion;

positivity begets positivity. So, an interviewee that is able to identify their passion is one step closer to being able to work toward — and for — that passion, which will, in turn, yield happiness and, ultimately, success.

Kris Fannin

Kris Fannin, CEO and Founder, Intelivate

3. “Describe your ideal work environment.”

If you had a magic wand and could create your perfect job and work environment, what would it look like?

I like the idea of giving a candidate a blank slate to articulate what he or she desires in an organization. In my experience, their responses immediately highlight whether or not their ideals align with the company culture.

Amber Hunter

Amber Hunter, Director of Employee Performance, A Plus Benefits, Inc.

4. “If we were stuck, what would you do?”

I ask myself this question throughout the interview process, as well. The question is: If I were traveling on business with this individual and we got stuck at an airport for an unexpected 12-hour layover with nowhere to go, would it be a comfortable experience or a nightmare?

When the going gets tough — and it does within any organization — I need to know that there is enough of a comfort zone with each one of my employees where we can weather any obstacle that comes our way. As a scaling firm, we experience growing pains and need people who reflect our values and with whom we are comfortable navigating any hurdles.

Marina Byezhanova

Marina Byezhanova, Partner and Director of Candidate Experience, Pronexia Inc.

5. “Walk me through your perfect work day.”

This question provides a candidate the chance to highlight what they value in a workplace. Do they prefer to work independently or with teams? How does socializing fit into their idea of working?

Most interviews are structured to assess a candidate’s competence to do the role and then how they will fit. This question provides a glimpse into what the employee values, which we can compare to our company.

Todd Horton

Todd Horton, Founder and CEO, KangoGift

What are your favorite interview questions to assess cultural fit? Let us know in the comments below!

Josh Tolan

Josh Tolan is the Founder and CEO of Spark Hire, a video interviewing platform used by 6,000+ customers in over 100 countries.

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