Powerful Must-Have Job Interview Questions for Cultural Fit

Powerful Must-Have Job Interview Questions for Cultural Fit


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When it comes to the hiring process, employers want to ensure that their new employees will fit with the company culture. 

At Your People Partners, we are great believers that finding a candidate based on cultural add over their skillset makes a huge, positive difference in growing your team and helping your business thrive. Job interviews are usually one of the main ways we can assess the cultural fit of a person for your team.

What does cultural fit mean?

Cultural fit (also known as culture fit) is the concept of hiring new employees based on their core values and behaviours. Instead of looking at experience and skillset alone, the interviewer dives deeper into assessing how well the candidate will fit into the culture of the company. 

Ultimately, a candidate could have a great deal to offer the company based on their CV but when it comes to sharing the same values, if this feels unmatched, will the candidate be able to represent the company in the best way and help the business grow?

’In determining the right people, the good-to-great companies placed greater weight on character attributes than on specific educational background, practical skills, specialized knowledge, or work experience.’’ – Jim Collins, Business consultant and author of Good to Great

What is a cultural fit interview?

You can probably guess by now that a cultural fit interview is simply an interview that focuses on gaining insight into a candidate’s personality, behaviours and values. 

Although questions are based on cultural fit, the overall setup can be similar to a traditional interview where the interviewer/hiring manager asks a number of questions in a formal manner. 

Equally, it can be argued that a less formal setup for these types of questions may be more beneficial. The more free-flowing and conversational an interview feels, the more at ease the candidate will feel when answering questions. This gives the interviewer a more genuine idea of the candidate and how they fit within the company culture.

How to prepare for a cultural fit interview?

If hiring based on cultural fit is a new concept to you and your company, it’s important to keep these in mind when preparing for an interview.

It’s key to remember that finding the right candidate for your team isn’t just based on skills. Skills can be gained through training and job experience, but when it comes to values… not so much.

Hiring when trying to find the right cultural fit can seem overwhelming and more difficult compared to other hiring processes; however, it will be a huge benefit for your company in the long run.

So, stick to it!

Cultural fit Interview Questions

Questions like “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” or “Tell me about your last job.” won’t tell you whether an applicant has the right cultural fit for your business. 

They just don’t cut it!

So, if you want to know what interview questions you should be asking about cultural fit, here are ten questions you should consider, as recommended by the team here at Your People Partners.

  1. What appeals to you most about this role?
  2. What gets you excited about coming to work?
  3. Where/when/how do you do your best work?
  4. What motivates you to do your best work?
  5. Who inspires you and why?
  6. What does a successful company culture look like to you?
  7. What does a work-life balance mean to you? 
  8. What advice would you give to someone who is starting out in your career?
  9. What has been the most valuable lesson of your professional career?
  10. What role does kindness/empathy/humour play at work?

How to Assess Cultural Fit in a Job Interview

Whilst the questions mentioned above can all be great indicators to help you understand how well the candidate will fit in within your company, there are a few tips to be aware of when trying to assess cultural fit during an interview.

Remember your company culture

It goes without saying that you should know exactly what your company stands for, what the company values are and how this is reflected throughout the business. Keep this in mind throughout the interview as you listen to the candidate’s response to your questions. Does the candidate’s answer feel aligned with your company culture? Do their values match up?

Consider the candidate

You’re probably thinking, ‘Of course I’m considering the candidate, I’m already interviewing them’ but let’s dive a little deeper, shall we?

Throughout the interview stage, you may already have a good idea as to whether or not you want to make a job offer. If you are feeling positive about the candidate, it’s a great idea to allow them to ask questions. This allows the candidate to consider if they can see themselves as a good cultural fit for the company. 

Be aware of your own bias

You know the company inside and out and you already have a good idea of your ideal candidate. Whilst having this knowledge can be a blessing, it can sometimes lead to clouded judgment too. 

Try to keep bias at bay when taking on board the candidate’s answers and assess with benchmarks in mind instead of your own feelings and intuition.

Now that we’ve talked about the benefits of a cultural fit interview and some questions to help you find a great ‘cultural add’ to your growing company, are you ready to start finding candidates? 

You deserve employees who believe in your mission and help your business thrive!

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Helen Sanders Managing Director and Chief People Partner
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