18 Cultural Fit Job Interview Questions

You Can Determine If an Individual Will Work Well in Your Environment

employees take coffee break together in a culturally diverse workplace

Ezra Bailey / Getty Images

Do you hire employees based on your assessment of their cultural fit? If not, you should be, based on their responses to interview questions like these. Cultural fit is a significant factor in the success and contribution of the employees you bring on board. You want to ensure their success within your organization.

You want to hire the job applicant who, in addition to the required job skills and qualifications, exhibits the best fit within your organization's culture. This prospective employee is most likely to be a good match for both your position and your organization. The most successful employees know how to accomplish work within the context of the organizations that employ them.

At the same time, you want to avoid the trap of hiring people who are just like you, clones so to say. A new employee is your opportunity to bring new ideas and direction to your organization. Don't eliminate the opportunity by picking only employees who could become your new best friend.

Seek out people who share your cultural values but who may have a very different approach to accomplishing work. You are not seeking clones but rather, people who bring differences to your organization.

Pick New Employees Who Will Challenge Your Thinking

Pick new employees who will challenge your thinking with new ideas and new ways of looking at familiar situations. Create an environment in which different approaches are welcomed and considered on their merit.

Avoid thoughts like, "but we've always done it this way" and "we tried that, and it didn't work."

It is impossible to duplicate the circumstances in which a particular solution didn't work. Try it again. See what happens after the former situation helped you to learn.

All of the best cultural fit interview questions that you ask potential employees won't separate out your positive contributors unless you also welcome them to a work environment that encourages differences of opinion.

18 Interview Questions to Assess Cultural Fit

These are sample interview questions that will help you assess whether your prospective employee is a good match with your workplace culture and environment for employees. These questions are not listed in any priority sequence. You will need to pick the questions that best fit the characteristics that you seek to find in a new employee based on your workplace environment.

Cultural Fit Questions
 The Balance

As you ask cultural fit interview questions and review your candidate's responses to your interview questions, keep these guidelines for assessing their interview question responses in mind. You'll hire better employees who will best succeed in working in your culture if you do:

  • Describe the work environment or culture in which you are most productive and happy.
  • What are the characteristics exhibited by the best boss you have ever had—or wish that you have had?
  • In your experience, how does an organization encourage your use of your discretionary energy and effort, that willingness each employee has, to go the extra mile, push harder, spend more time, and do whatever is necessary to get the job done?
  • Describe the management style that will bring forth your best work and efforts.
  • Describe what you believe are the most effective roles that a good manager plays in his or her relationship with reporting staff members.
  • Do you have a best friend at work? How do you feel about becoming friends with your coworkers? Is this a wise practice?
  • What are the positive aspects of your current job and work environment, or the last position you held before coming to this interview?
  • What is the single most important factor that must be present in your work environment for you to be successfully and happily employed? Now that you have answered that question, what were two others that you debated about responding to before you gave the response that you chose?
  • What is your preferred work style? Do you prefer working alone or as part of a team? What percentage of your time would you allocate to each, given a choice?
  • How would your co-workers describe your work style and contributions in your former job?
  • What are the three to five expectations that you have of senior leaders in an organization where you will work successfully?
  • Tell us about an occasion when you believe that you delighted a customer, either an internal or an external customer.
  • When you work with a team, describe the role that you are most likely to play on the team.
  • How would co-workers describe the role that you play on a team?
  • When working with people, in general, describe your preferred relationship with them.
  • How would reporting staff members describe their relationship with you? What would they like to see you do more of, less of, start, and stop?
  • Provide an example of a time when you went out of your way and jumped through hoops to delight a customer.
  • Tell us about a decision that you made that was made based primarily on customer needs and input.

Sample Job Interview Questions

Use these sample job interview questions when you interview potential employees.

Sample Job Interview Answers

Use these interview question suggested answers to assess your candidate's answers to your interview questions:

Watch Now: 6 Ways to Hire the Right People