These 7 Interview Questions Can Help Determine Culture Fit

These 7 Interview Questions Can Help Determine Culture Fit

We know, you’ve probably been reading so much about companies and culture fit lately that it may just seem like another buzzword on LinkedIn. But it is so much more than that. In fact, culture fit is the key to bringing in new team members who will be at your business for the long haul. Because the cost of hiring, training and turnover, well that’s a whole different topic—an ugly one.

When you’re investing in a new hire, you want that employee to be a valuable, long-term asset to your organization. And according to the experts, while you can give new hires a toolkit and training to position them for success, you can’t teach someone to align with your core values.

These culture fits are the professionals you want on your team. These are the employees who will understand and align with your company’s priorities, vision, causes, and of course, really care about your customers and team members.

There are different ways to bring cultural fit into your recruiting and hiring process—at Staffing Strong we keep these top of mind.

First, you’ll want to make sure that your business has clearly defined cultural values that are hopefully visible to job seekers on your business website. Make sure you’re sharing these values with applicants.

Try to keep interviews more informal for a more casual dialogue that lets you see how your candidate can mix with your company dynamics and culture. Also, don’t leave out other members of the team who they’d be working closely with, including peers and yes, subordinates. Making sure prospective hires mesh with current team members is important and shouldn’t be seen as a privilege.

And of course, then there are the questions that you can ask to help determine if your job candidate has the skill set and the attitude to succeed at your organization. Don’t worry, we have these covered!

Here are 7 questions you can use to determine cultural fit:

 

  1. “What gets you up in the morning?”

You’ll want to know what drives your potential employee. Then you can see if that aligns with your company’s mission and values. For example, if they say it’s helping others that might support your company’s commitment to customer service. If the candidate talks about being goal-driven then that can align with your company’s relentless approach to hitting metrics.

  1. “What do you do for fun?”

It’s important to know that your potential employee has social skills, can make small talk, (and has a life outside of work). Asking this question can help you gauge appropriately and learn more about your candidate in the process.

  1. “What does an ideal company culture look like to you?”

This question will help you sniff out what your interviewee sees as being a healthy company culture and how it aligns with your own.

  1. “Who inspires you and why?”

Make sure you dig for key traits of that inspiration. If they use an example of someone who is compassionate and supportive that can be a great sign for supporting your culture. Maybe they admire someone who had a comeback and was relentless in reaching their goals. Or, you could learn that they idealize someone who is more cut-throat and competitive. Whoever they look up to, make sure the reasons align with your business values.

  1. “Which of our core values do you identify with most?”

This tells you two things: First, if they’ve been paying attention to your company culture and second, where they align most with your core values.

  1. “Do you prefer working alone or on a team?”

This question will quickly tell you how much your candidate could gel with the company culture while letting you know how well they could potentially work with others.

  1. “What would you say your core values are?”

The candidate’s answer will quickly highlight how their own value system aligns with yours as a company. It also tells you what really motivates the job seeker. Remember, you don’t have to agree with their beliefs personally, you’re just looking to see if they sync with your company’s cultural values.

What about diversity?

Finally, remember that diversity is an important part of this equation. Hiring for culture fit is all about making sure your team members treat one another with the respect, dignity and values that mirror your organization’s. Hiring with culture in mind does not mean overlooking different lifestyles and cultures, or devaluing personal values you that aren’t your own.

You want to unite your workforce with your shared mission. Different personal and political beliefs and backgrounds can empower your team to really achieve it. Bringing more voices and perspectives to the table will help your employees tackle problems in new and different ways—igniting your culture.

Meet the Author

Evelyn Vega is the Founder and President at Staffing Strong and the Past President of the Phoenix American Marketing Association. Since 1999, she’s made her career about supporting her clients in building meaningful careers and partnering with businesses in finding quality hires. In her free time Evelyn is a Girl Scout Troop leader and yes, she can help you order some cookies.