Four Interview Questions to Gauge Cultural Fit

The candidates you invite for an interview can certainly do the job. Their experience, education, and credentials are likely listed on their resumes, and after reviewing their applications and talking to their references, you probably feel confident they can do the work. But which of the candidates will offer the right “fit” with your existing staff and work processes?

Cultural fit is key when it comes to finding employees who will do their best work in the long term. Employees that mesh well with your organization’s existing staff and ways of doing things get more done, and they do it more effectively. They’re more likely to stay, and the company is more likely to get the best from them.

Here are four interview questions that can help you assess cultural fit:

  1. “Describe the work environment or culture in which you are most productive and happy.” One of the easiest ways to find out if a candidate will fit well with your company’s culture is to ask. Candidates who describe a work environment that parallels your company’s own are more likely to be happy with your organization. An added bonus: candidates who can answer this question well are also more likely to be self-aware and aware of their surroundings – making them more likely to spot and fix potential problems before their work is seriously derailed.
  2. “Tell us about the best boss you have ever had or wished you had. What were they like?” Like the question about work environment, asking about the qualities of a candidate’s ideal boss can tell you a great deal about their interpersonal skills and awareness, as well as how they work best. You’ll also be able to gauge whether your company can match the candidate with a boss who has similar traits. Since the number-one reason employees leave a job is a bad supervisor “match,” this question can become crucial in hiring.
  3. “What are the positive aspects of your current job? What would you change if you could?” Few jobs are a total mismatch between employee and workplace culture. By asking candidates to talk about what parts of their workplace culture they love, as well as what they would change, hiring managers can learn more about a candidate’s best “fit” in the context of a real-world example.
  4. “When you work on a team, what role are you most likely to play? How would your coworkers describe the role you’re most likely to play on that team?” Asking these questions provides insight into the candidate’s approach to teamwork, a key part of success in most positions and organizations. It also reveals whether a candidate’s approach will match well with the needs of the job and the culture of the department. For example, if a department has plenty of “team leader” types but few “detail-oriented” staff members, a candidate who talks about keeping track of the details may be just the right person for the job.

At THE RIGHT STAFF, LLC, our experienced recruiters can help you find candidates who are likely to offer a good cultural fit with your organization, so you can make better hiring decisions. Contact us today to learn more!

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