Wayne Brophy

Jul 24, 2019

5 Revealing Cultural Fit Questions Used By Those in the Know


Not all cultural fit questions are created equal. Some will allow the candidates to tell you what they think you want to hear, whereas some reveal the hidden values and motivations underneath the interview best-impressions exterior.  I’ve interviewed over 2,000 candidates for cultural exchange programmes in previous roles and have helped Cast UK identify and improve their culture. Here are a few of my go-to questions when determining if someone will add to a company’s culture.  

1. When you work with a team, describe the role that you are most likely to play on the team.

If you ask a candidate if they are good team members, you won’t get an honest answer. Instead, ask a candidate what role they play within a team.  The Belbin Team Roles test is a very popular personality test that helps companies identify how their employees work within a team. There are nine personality types and you need different team members within your team - from Specialists, Shapers and Implementers to Motivators and Completer Finishers. (You can read more about Nine Team Roles here.) Each team role has its strengths and weaknesses. What gaps do you have in your team and would your interviewee be able to fill this?  Join me on our webinar TOMORROW: Expert advice on interviewing candidates for cultural fit (that will add diverse ideas and perspectives to improve your bottom line).

2. What’s one thing you like about your current (or prior) job that you’d want here as well?

Ask a candidate why they are leaving their current position and they will probably mention that they are seeking career progression or a new challenge. However, ask a candidate what they like about their current (or prior) job and their answer will reveal a lot more about what they look for in an employer. No matter how much they disliked their previous job there will be elements they enjoyed. 

3. What attributes do you look for in a company when applying for a position?

It’s really important to find out what candidates expect from you. What is it that’s important to them when choosing a company? Flexible working and a work/life balance are becoming increasingly desired by candidates, as are training and development opportunities. If you don’t provide these options typically, is it something you can offer?  As well as providing an insight into what candidates look for in a company, it provides you with the opportunity to sell how you can make that work in the interview. 

4. What are your personal values?

There is no such thing as a division between work and home life. We have a working life. Put the emphasis on what they value personally and it can reveal a lot about a candidate. Probe deeper and ask for examples of where they have demonstrated these values in their home and work  life.

5. What are the characteristics exhibited by the best manager/boss you have ever had?

This is a very revealing question. If you ask candidates what they look for in a manager, you could be met with a safe, stock answer. By making it personal, a candidate will reveal much more about how they really like to be managed and what their values are. For example, they may mention that their manager provided free reign or they may mention that they had regular check-ins with their manager. They may praise their manager’s work commitment and dedication - or they may say that they admired how their boss remained a family-person first, despite delivering results. To watch the webinar replay in full and access the accompanying slides, head here: Expert advice on interviewing candidates for cultural fit (that will add diverse ideas and perspectives to improve your bottom line)      

title of article

We’re here to help

Whether you are a client or a candidate, getting to know you helps us to understand and anticipate your needs. Why not get in touch and see just what we can do for you today?

Contact Us