Interviewing for culture fit

Prevent backfills by ensuring candidates are aligned with your culture.

Adding culture to interviews

It’s important for both your organization and your candidates to ensure there’s a good cultural fit. As you’re bringing potential new hires into your organization, consider asking them questions that will help you both identify whether there’s a cultural fit.

Types of organizational cultures

Exploring culture

Companies that have an exploring culture create and innovate. These organizations are nimble, flexible, and creative. These organizations are not about perfection but thrive from learning as they go, taking risks, and opening other people’s eyes to new ways of doing things.

Cultivating culture

True cultivating culture is centered around developing people—not around the perks and benefits of working at the organization. Working in this organization is like being a part of a large family; people are personally invested in each other and go out of their way to develop and support each other.

Stabilizing culture

Stabilizing cultures value reliability, efficiency, and scalability. Days are orderly, consistent, and predictable. These organizations are about doing things right and on-time, following established practices that have proven successful time and time again. Structure and control are seen as welcome necessities to ensure the success of the business.

Producing culture

These companies want to win. Employees who work in a producing culture are driven to be on top and see competition as a way of life. Goals are exceeded and then pushed higher to ensure the organization can claim the best of the best. At the heart of a producing culture is a burning desire to bring 110% of yourself and beat out the competition.

Culture fit interview questions

Pick the most relevant sample questions from below to help you identify the people who will best fit your organization’s culture type.

Questions to ask in exploring cultures

  • How do you balance the need to get things done against finding better ways to do them?
  • How do handle a situation where you need to deliver something with very few guidelines?
  • Tell me about a time you had to change directions quickly. How did you respond? What was the outcome?
  • Tell me about a time your solution to a problem may have been different than what had been done before.

Questions to ask in cultivating cultures

  • How do you like to be recognized?
  • How do you go about recognizing others?
  • How do you like to interact with your co-workers?
  • How do you like to be managed?
  • Tell me about a time you had to go outside of your role to help another team member.

Questions to ask in stabilizing cultures

  • How do you like to get your work done?
  • How do you go about planning your work?
  • How do you prioritize?
  • How do you ensure the quality of your work?
  • Tell me about a time you implemented or updated a process. What was the situation? What was the outcome?

Questions to ask in producing cultures

  • How do you set goals for yourself and ensure that you meet them?
  • What motivates you to do your best?
  • What does high performance look like to you?
  • Tell me about a time you did not meet expectations. What was the situation? How did you navigate it?

Download the PDF version of Interviewing for culture fit to access the culture fit scorecard.

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