Culture Fit Interview Questions and Answers

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Culture Fit Interview Questions and Answers

Over the past 3 generations of workers (GenX, Millenial, GenZ), we've seen a dramatic shift in employees' values. GenX'ers cared more about regular pay raises and title changes that showed they were progressing up the corporate ladder. Millennials focused on creating great places to work and gaining experience, and GenZers are seeking out companies that align with their own values.

It's a pendulum effect as each generation wrestles with the struggles of the previous and tries to find positive, fair, and inclusive solutions. As a result, the concept of cultural fit has become more important in selecting candidates for job roles.

Ideal company culture examples like Patagonia, Cisco, and Salesforce are leading the way in inclusivity, collaboration, and fair compensation. Every year, Fortune releases its list of the 100 best companies to work for and local organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce and business publications also make their own lists available.

Employees want to know they'll be valued, that they'll be managed well and that their needs and perspectives will be taken seriously. Hiring managers need to understand what a good cultural fit looks like for their organization and how they can assess candidates in that context.

So how do you assess whether or not a candidate is a good “cultural fit”?

One way to do this is through the use of culture-fit interview questions and answers. These are questions, either asked directly or indirectly, that help you identify applicants who have the personality, skills, and experiences, as well as the values that match those of your company culture. Some culture-fit interview questions to consider include:

  • What specific traits do you think define a great workplace culture?
  • Tell me about the last time the team disagreed with your approach. How did you handle it?
  • What is one thing you do naturally to create an inclusive workplace for every member of your team?
  • What qualities do you look for when joining a new team or project?
  • Tell me about a previous leader, what do you think their greatest strengths were?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to step outside of your comfort zone in order to accomplish something, and how did you rally your team to help you?

These questions will help you gain an understanding of the candidate’s values and how they might fit into your company culture. The candidate's answers to these questions will give you a better idea of their character traits, interpersonal skills, and problem-solving abilities that fit in with your company. You might also ask them to explain how they see themselves contributing to the team or organization’s mission in order to further understand if they are a good fit.

Remember, candidates, have seen case studies and talks from companies like Apple, Facebook, and Google, and they're looking for a company culture that's:

• A safe and inclusive work environment that celebrates diversity and encourages collaboration.

• Open communication between employees, leaders, and customers to promote transparency about strategies and successes.

• Flexibility on how teams work together (remotely or in-person) to increase productivity and maintain a healthy work/life balance.

• Openness to new ideas and methods to drive innovation and continued company growth.

So creating a culture around these principles will give you an edge in the job market and help you attract and retain top talent. If you'd like to see more culture fit questions, request a demo to chat with someone on our team. Pillar's Ai-powered interview intelligence software has a list of cultural-fit questions that you can pose to candidates during the interviewing process. These questions are specifically crafted for each role, allowing you to gain valuable insights into a candidate’s background and personality prior to making an offer.

Cultural Fit Examples

A few years ago, I was working for a company that exemplified a great culture. Our CEO was an incredible leader, we had weekly team meetings where we openly discussed our successes and failures, and we had a full transparency rule across every aspect of the business. We were encouraged to take time off, take initiative when we saw a challenge, and solve problems independently and we did just that. Our executive team also encouraged us to work together to help each other out whenever possible. We had a great supportive environment that allowed us to grow both professionally and personally. The company's culture enabled everyone to thrive and be successful, which made it a great place to work.

This was my first taste of great company culture, and after that experience, I began to ask interviewers probing questions about their company culture and managerial style to make sure any role I was considering was a good fit for me.

When interviewing employees from some of the top cultural fit examples mentioned above, the employees talk about what it feels like to work there. This is why cultural fit is so important. An employee won't stay in a culture that doesn't make them feel valued, appreciated, and rewarded - or if they do, they won't do their best work, and only stay for the paycheck.

Forming a company culture is one of the most important things you can do to attract top talent. Lessonly (acquired by Seismic) is a perfect example of this. The CEO & co-Founder, Max Yoder, and President & co-Founder, Connor Burt, gave their team the tools to create an incredible company culture. With a mascot (the Golden Llama), conferences, a podcast, books, and a remote-first workplace, the team felt supported and valued. The environment was designed to foster collaboration, innovation, creativity, and transparency - and the culture attracted great employees.

Cultural fit in the workplace is the primary way GenZ is assessing the companies that they interview with. We'd recommend having a document on your company cloud for anyone interviewing candidates that includes cultural fit interview questions and sample answers to ask in interviews.

If you're a Pillar customer, these questions will be listed in your interview intelligence dashboard and can be added to any interview in seconds. It's important to remember that when it comes to cultural fit, there is no right or wrong answer. It's up to you to define what your company culture looks like and how it will be represented in the workplace. But remember, the culture you create will live on in your company like a brand, so make sure it fits what you truly desire to portray to the world.

Company Culture Questions for Employees

One of the best ways to define your company culture is to ask your current employees a series of questions to unpack how they feel about your organization. Company culture questions for employees might include:

1. What do you feel makes up the core of our company's culture?

2. Do you feel supported, appreciated, and rewarded for the work you do here?

3. How do you see collaboration among team members here?

4. What kind of challenges has the company faced that have forced it to adapt its culture?

5. Are there any aspects of the company culture that you feel could use improvement?

6. How is feedback delivered and accepted in this organization?

7. In what ways do you think the company's culture has had a positive effect on your job satisfaction?

8. What would you like to see changed or added to the company culture?

9. What do you think makes your company a great place to work?

10. Would you say the company culture encourages creativity and innovation or stifles it?

Some employees may want this questionnaire to be blind so they don't have any repercussions from managers, and some will want to openly discuss their answers, either way, by getting feedback directly from employees, you can get an even better understanding of how they feel about their workplace. With this data, you can make improvements to your culture and better define your culture to candidates.

The document you create internally with "cultural fit interview questions and sample answers" for interviewers should also be shared with your whole team and potentially even candidates. This will help ensure everyone is on the same page about your company culture and that it is a fit for both parties.

One way that we've assessed potential hires is by using Culture Index and/ or The Predictive Index, but there are many tools out there to assess personality and team fit. MBTI (Myers-Briggs), Enneagram, and CliftonStrengths Finder are also great options.

Investing in the right cultural fit is a sure way to create a successful team and hire top talent. With the right tools and assessment systems, you'll be able to ensure that your current and future employees are the perfect match for your company culture.

If you're currently evaluating your hiring process and have realized that it isn't going to help you create the company culture you desire, schedule a demo to chat with someone on our team. Over the past 12 months, we've helped our customers lower employee turnover by more than 50%. We've achieved this by assisting customers in finding employees who are a great fit for their culture and driving up essential indicators like diversity and inclusion. Chat with someone on our team to see how it works!