While much of a candidate’s suitability depends upon their skills, talents and professional history, culture fit is a hugely important part of the role. A candidate with the right skills but the wrong culture might be disagreeable or difficult to work with. Equally, they might simply be unhappy at your organization or find that the environment is not the right way for them to thrive. To avoid the risk of a mis-hire, build culture fit and add questions into your interview process and get a sense of how the candidate will contribute to your wider company culture.
It’s important to note that culture shouldn’t mean “exactly the same”! You can have lots of different people with different values, backgrounds, working styles and more, and that diversity will only lead to greater strength within your organization. But you are looking for people who bring an open attitude, strong communication and values that align with your own. That’s why a lot of people use the term culture fit less and instead prefer culture add - it’s not about being an exact match, but rather bringing your own strengths, passions and culture to the table!
With that in mind, let’s break down some of the best culture fit and culture add questions based on category.
Relationship and environment questions
These questions give you a good sense of the working environment your candidate prefers as well as how they approach working with other people.
- How do your colleagues benefit from working with you as opposed to another coworker?
- Tell us about a time when you came across a situation or decision that you didn’t agree with. How did you handle it?
- Have you ever had an experience where understanding someone else’s perspective helped you accomplish a goal or resolve a conflict?
- How do you like to be managed? What characteristics do you look for in a leader?
- How could a manager best support you?
- In what format do you prefer receiving feedback?
- Describe the work environment in which you are most productive.
- Do you prefer working alone or as part of a team?
- When you work together as part of a team, what role in the team are you most likely to play?
- Tell me about a stressful period at one of your previous jobs - how did you respond?
These questions help you ascertain the values, dreams, ideals and passions in life that are important to your candidate, and whether they align with your organization’s values.
- What attributes do you look for in a company when applying for a position?
- What is your impression of our company’s culture, values, and mission?
- Is there anything you think we can change or add to our company’s values? What values would you bring with you that don’t seem as present or significant right now?
- How do you see your personal value system aligning with ours?
- What does work/life balance mean to you?
- What traits do you believe make someone successful?
- What kind of work would make you excited to get out of bed on Monday morning?
- What is your dream job?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- What motivates you?
Asking about interests and passions outside of work gives a great insight into what motivates, fascinates and enthuses your candidate, helping paint a broader picture of them and how they would fit in your company culture.
- What do you like to do outside of work?
- What are three words your colleagues would use to describe you? How about your friends?
- When was the last time a film or book made you emotional, and which one was it?
- What are you most passionate about?
- What’s your favorite podcast?
- What’s your favorite team-building activity?
- Do you have a best friend at work? How do you feel about becoming friends with your coworkers? Is it a good idea?
- How do you like to relax and let off steam after a busy week?
- What is one thing you’re glad you tried but would never do again?
- What are you interested in that most people haven’t heard of?
Creative and imaginative questions
These questions are off-beat and might surprise your candidate, giving you a taste of who they are outside of the typical “interview persona”.
- What’s a common misconception about you?
- Tell me something about yourself that surprises others.
- Where on your resume have you lied or left something out on purpose?
- What fictional character do you identify the most with and why?
- Tell me about a time when you felt like a hero at work.
- Tell me about the most unique company event or outing you’ve ever participated in. Did you have fun?
- We finish the interview and you step outside the office and find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
- What was the last gift you gave someone?
- What is a question I should have asked you but haven’t?
- Cats or dogs?
Don’t leave it up to the interview
There’s more than one way to determine whether someone will be a good culture fit and add for your organization. Pre-employment testing, for example, offers data-driven and more objective insights into your candidate’s culture fit, delivered without bias. For the best culture fit and add assessments, book a demo with HiPeople today.