13 Interview Questions to Ensure a Cultural Fit

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Your staff can help shape your culture in a huge way. So, when you’re hiring someone new, it’s critical that they fit your culture. If they don’t, there’s a good chance that neither of you will be happy in the long run. During the interview process, ask the right questions to determine if someone aligns with your values. Their answers will help you gauge whether they’d fit into your culture and generally like working for your company. Keep reading to learn 13 questions to consider asking.

1. What was your first job? What did you learn from it?

It doesn’t really matter what your candidate’s first job was. What matters, however, is what they learned from that job. Find out if they learned anything that still applies, like reliability, a strong work ethic, or creativity.

2. Why do you want to work for this company?

Look for answers that tell you whether the applicant is just looking for a paycheck or if they’re actually interested in becoming part of the team.

Read also: Why Hiring the Right People Matters

3. Were you ever asked to do something that you didn’t know how to do? How did you handle it?

In a small business, every staff member will inevitably take on multiple roles, and they might not always know exactly what to do. Make sure you hire people who are flexible and able to learn on the job. They should also be able to think on their feet, have strong problem-solving skills, and be willing to ask for help when needed.

4. What environment do you thrive in the most?

Based on the candidate’s answer, you’ll be able to determine whether they prefer to work alone or as part of a team. You’ll also be able to figure out if they prefer a flexible schedule or a traditional 9-5 schedule.

5. What does your ideal workday look like?

Like figuring out your candidate’s ideal work environment, this question will help you figure out how they prefer to work.

  • Does the candidate like to listen to music during the day?
  • Do they like to take breaks to chat with their coworkers?
  • Do they prefer to come in and get their work done with few interruptions?

6. What are your personal values? How do they align with the company’s values?

These questions give you more insight into your candidate. They’ll also encourage the applicant to think about your company’s values.

7. What characteristics were exhibited by the best boss you ever had?

The candidate’s answer will help you learn what motivates them, and if you and your leadership team exhibit the same characteristics as the applicant’s favorite boss.

8. How do you feel about being friends with your coworkers?

Look for an answer that matches your company’s culture. If the candidate doesn’t want to be friends with their coworkers, but your current team goes out for drinks after work, then they probably won’t fit in.

Read also: 6 Ways to Encourage Friendships at Work

9. How well do you adapt to change?

As your small business grows, things can and will change quickly. Every team member should be open to growing with your business. Look for any answers that might suggest that the candidate doesn’t handle change well.

10. What personality traits do you butt heads with?

You’ve probably figured out your staff’s individual personalities, so you’ll be able to determine whether the applicant would butt heads with someone else on the team.

11. Who inspires you? Why?

The candidate’s answer tells you even more about what they care about. You’ll also learn what qualities they value in a person.

12. Why do you come to work every morning?

This answer will again tell you if someone is just looking for a paycheck or if they’re excited about working for your company and helping it grow.

Read also: 5 Reasons People Want to Work for Your Small Business

13. When working with a team, what role would you most likely play?

You already know how each of your existing workers fits into the team, so you want to make sure a new hire would be filling a missing role.

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