Interview Questions to Test for Culture Fit


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Screening a candidate to hire for your organization takes careful consideration. Assessing an applicant thoroughly is important to ensure that the person you hire can help bring your company to success.

The first few things you need to know about a candidate in the screening process—aside from their basic information—are their experience and qualification. You can determine this by looking through each applicant’s resume and seeing if the qualifications and experience they listed match what you are looking for. Then, you can verify the information they provided using an in-depth assessment test and through a series of job interviews.

You may also conduct a background check on the applicant. Completing this extra step can help you assure that the individual provided truthful information on their resume.

Aside from assessing applicants’ hard skills, you should also test their culture fit. This concept will help you determine if a candidate will be able to adapt to your company’s core values and joint behaviors. An individual’s culture fit will also allow you to figure out if their beliefs, values, and behaviors will align with the principle of your management and other employees.

Looking for Culturally Fit Employees

To ensure a harmonious workplace, you should aim to hire for culture fit when screening applicants. This is important because although an employee’s performance is largely dependent on the technical skills that they need to accomplish their tasks, their work conduct may also be affected by their culture fit within the organization. If they do not have a good cultural fit in your company, an individual may find it hard to feel comfortable in the workplace and may even cause conflicts with other employees.

One way that you can determine an applicant’s culture fit is by providing them with a personality exam for employment. You can use the results of this assessment to see if their beliefs and principles align with those of your organization.

You can also conduct an interview to assess how well a candidate fits with your company’s culture. For successful results, you should carefully choose the best interview questions for culture fit.

Culture Fit Interview Questions

Coming up with the culture fit questions to provide in the interview can be challenging. There might be several things that you want to ask a candidate to fully determine if they are a good culture fit for your organization. To help you get started, here are some company culture fit interview questions that you can pick from.

Work Environment and Culture

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One of the easiest ways to know if a candidate is a good culture fit for your company is by learning about their preferred work environment. Knowing the answer to these questions will help you determine if your current work setup and culture will be conducive to the applicant’s productivity:

  • What type of work environment makes you productive and happy?
  • Where/when do you do your best work?
  • How would you describe a successful company culture?
  • Do you like working alone or with a team?

When you get an applicant’s answers to the questions listed above, you will have an idea or image of what their most preferred work setup is. This actual or imagined ideal work environment culture is where the candidate will feel the most at ease and productive while working.

You can also use these questions to gauge if a candidate prefers accomplishing their tasks independently or while working with a team. This information can be crucial depending on your company culture. If most of the tasks require collaboration with other people, an applicant who does not work well with a team will not strive in your organization. Therefore, you should aim to find someone who can thrive on the environment and culture that your company has, whether it involves working independently or closely with a team.

Work Style

When interviewing a candidate for culture fit, you should aim to learn about how their work style looks like. You can use the following questions to have an idea of an applicant’s workday and the things they value that may affect their working style:

  • How would you describe your work style?
  • How would your former colleagues best describe your work style?
  • How would your current manager describe your work style in three words?
  • What does your decision-making process look like?
  • In what ways do you prefer to communicate with your coworkers?

Learning the answers to these questions will allow you to determine what a candidate values on a day-to-day basis. The answers will tell you whether the candidate you are screening prefers having a daily routine or more freedom to schedule their day.

You can also use these questions to learn about what the applicant prioritizes and what they are aspiring to achieve. Then, you can assess whether their personal objectives align with the role they are applying for and the goals of the department and the organization.

Additionally, acquiring the answers to the questions above will help you learn more about how a candidate completes tasks assigned to them. This will give you an insight into how they decide on which tasks to prioritize when faced with strict deadlines.

Knowing all these pieces of information about a candidate will incredibly help you in determining their culture fit within your organization. By finding out about their working style, you can assess whether they will match your company’s existing culture and become successful in their role.

Previous Job Experience

Aside from using an applicant’s previous job experience as proof of their qualification for the role, you can use this information to determine their culture fit. Here are some interview questions that you can ask the candidate you are screening:

  • What were the positive/negative aspects of your previous job and work environment?
  • Are you still friends with any of your previous coworkers?

These questions are focused on the candidate’s experience in their previous workp outside of their tasks. Learning the answers to these questions will let you know whether the candidate had a good or bad experience with their previous employer. It can then help you decide if the applicant will enjoy working on your company depending on the work’s pace and your company’s structure.

For example, you found out that the candidate did not like working with a team in their previous job. If the work they are applying for mostly involves projects that require working with other members of your company, they might not be the best fit.

However, you do not have to reject their application right away. If you still want to benefit from the technical skills, you may offer them another position that is more independent.

Stress Management

It is important that you learn about how a candidate manages and works through stressful situations. You can do so by asking them the following company culture fit interview questions:

  • How do you handle stress or tight deadlines?
  • What did you do to cope with a stressful situation at your previous work?
  • How do you manage the stress brought about by overtime and peak hours?

By asking these questions, you can assess how the candidate’s attitude changes towards different problems and stress levels. You should look for an individual who responds with a constructive reaction instead of succumbing to the stress and pressure and letting it affect their work. This is also important because people who are often overwhelmed by stress can lash out at other employees and bring down the team’s morale.

Management Style

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Another thing you need to know about an applicant is how they prefer to be managed. To determine this, ask them these culture fit interview questions:

  • What is your ideal management style?
  • What management style motivates you to do your best work?
  • How can a manager best support you?
  • What characteristics are you looking for in a great manager?

Matching the candidate’s preferred management style will allow you to improve your organization’s retention rate. This is possible because employees that like how they are managed stay longer at their company.

Having a good manager-employee relationship in your organization will also boost your employees’ morale. Because of this, they have more reasons to work well and stay longer at the company to help it become more successful.

Make the Right Decision for Your Organization

The recruitment process is a tedious task that requires a lot of decision-making. From determining if a candidate has the right technical skills for a position to ensure that they will fit the company’s culture, recruitment officers need to be thorough in screening every applicant.

However, screening every resume and assessing every candidate can be challenging and provide more room for error. Optimize your recruitment process through the employee testing and recruitment services that we offer at Aptitude. Contact us today for more information.