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Best Interview Questions to Assess Culture Fit

22 Sep

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The candidate with the best experience and educational background looks like the perfect fit on paper. They may even have the best answers to job-related interview questions. But how can you know if they are the best fit for your company, culturally? Knowing this before hiring someone will decrease the likelihood of the employee not working out and leaving. Here we’ll discuss what company culture is and the best questions you can ask during an interview to assess whether the person is the right fit for your company and not just the role.

Company Culture

There are a lot of different definitions of culture in the workplace. According to Best Place to Work—a brand that assesses employee experience and ranks workplaces—it is the sum of your formal and informal systems, behaviors, and values that create an experience for your employees and customers. Forbes takes this a little deeper and considers the shared norms, values, attitudes, and practices that shape the identity of your culture. They consider it the “invisible glue” that binds your teams and sets the stage for the narratives your company plays out daily—it shapes how you get things done in your organization.

Employees understand and feel their workplace’s culture through the following: mission and values, recognition and celebrations, and the company’s approach to employee performance.  However, this isn’t just about celebrations and values written in your handbook. Your values must be fully embedded into your operations. A company with a good, strong culture values respect and emphasizes ethical behavior and leadership that exhibits these values daily. In these work environments, teams feel safe, heard, and appreciated, making them more engaged and motivated.

Why It’s Important

A good company culture leads to increased employee engagement, 21% higher profitability, increased employee retention, greater innovation, improved customer service, and attracts high-quality talent through a greater brand reputation.

Since culture is so important and can make or break your organization, doesn’t it make sense then, to hire employees that will only add to and strengthen it? Hiring the wrong fit is too great of a risk, so it’s important to vet out the right candidate during the interview process. To do so, there are some questions you can ask.

Interview Questions to Assess Culture Fit

  1. Can you describe your ideal work environment? This will help determine if the employee will fit with your workplace. You’ll want to look out for answers that match closely with your current work environment.
  2. What gets you excited about coming to work? This type of question tells you how passionate the person is about their job and their role. If passion is a core value of yours, you’ll be looking for whether the job itself makes the candidate excited, or something else.
  3. Do you prefer to work alone or on a team? This question is important if your team is heavy on collaboration. You’re looking to see if they are comfortable working with others and collaborating or prefer to work solo.
  4. How do you handle stress or tight deadlines? If you have a fast-paced environment, this question will help you gauge whether the person can prioritize tasks and manage multiple tasks at once.
  5. How important is work-life balance to you? You may think the right answer to this question is something alluding to a strong work ethic or includes working long hours or weekends. However, what you’re looking to assess here is the person’s ability to manage their workload and avoid burnout.
  6. How do you prefer to communicate with coworkers? This helps determine if your work environment is the right fit and the candidate is comfortable with it. If your company mainly uses a messaging platform to communicate throughout the day, you’ll want to make sure this person is comfortable with that and can manage the number of messages each day.
  7. Describe your ideal boss/supervisor. This question is to assess what management style they prefer or work best with. This will also determine how well someone takes direction and feedback, as well as preferred feedback style i.e., formal reviews or more frequent informal meetings.
  8. What motivates you to do your best work? With this question, you’re looking to see what types of things motivate the candidate that can be found within your company. For example, if they value teamwork and collaboration and are motivated by working in groups, and your company values the same, they may be a good fit. If the person is motivated by bonuses but your company doesn’t have a bonus structure, or only conducts annual reviews, they may not be the right fit.
  9. Which of our company’s values resonates most with you? This is a good way to find out if they did their research on your company. It will also allow the interviewee a chance to show their values are in alignment with your company’s.
  10. Why do you want to work for us? This is a question asked in every interview. Not only does this assess culture fit, but it also lets you know how excited the candidate is about the specific role. It’s their chance to really show they believe in the company’s mission and values and will bring value to the role and the organization.

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It’s incredibly important to hire employees that fit with your company and embody the same values. If you’re looking for guidance on how to assess culture fit and improve your company culture, or interview process, VensureHR is here for you. Our team of HR professionals is more than equipped to help you assess your current environment, make improvements, and improve your interview process to ensure only the best fit is hired. Request a call with us today to learn more about our services.

References

Forbes Advisor- What Is Company Culture? Definition & Development Strategies

Great Place to Work- Company Culture – Meaning, Benefits and Strategies

Indeed- 10 Culture Fit Interview Questions to Ask Your Candidates Indeed- How to Prepare for Company Culture-Fit Interview Questions

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