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10 Cultural Fit Interview Questions

When you’re shopping for new team members, finding the right people can be challenging. There are so many unknowns. Sure, their resumes look great, or maybe they’ve got outstanding recommendations from former employers. But, how do you know they’ll actually fit into your company’s culture and perform? That’s the million dollar question friends.

When you hire a new team member you’re making a huge financial, time and personal commitment. Try using these questions in your next round of interviews to find people that will fit in with your company culture and hit the ground running.

1. What was the first job you ever had? Did you learn anything from that experience?

Lot’s of candidates will talk about babysitting and paper routes, and the work ethic that it instilled in them. Those are great first experiences and you can’t knock hard work, but you should probably be looking for people that took that babysitting gig and found a great way to market it, booking every weekend until they went off to college (continue reading...) Or someone that found a way to outsource their paper route and increase their profits. Those are the people that should stand out for you because they are creative, innovative thinkers.

2. What was the worst job you ever had? Why? How does it inform your work today?

Your best candidates will have learned something from a terrible boss or unhealthy organization. If a person learns nothing from a challenging situation, you probably don’t want that person on your team. Often, a bad situation can breed great problem-solving skills and that’s what you want from a new employee.

3. What was the best job you ever had? Why?

Hopefully, your candidates have had positive experiences at some point in their careers; even if it was a fun job as a birthday clown to get them through college. You’re looking for people that can find something positive about their past jobs. If they’ve only got negative things to say about past positions that should be a warning sign of a negative attitude or someone with an ego so big they can’t see past their own awesomeness.

4. Do you tend to be a leader or a team player when you’re part of a team? Why?

It doesn’t really matter if the candidate is a team player or a leader, the key here is that they see themselves somewhere on the team, and not as an outsider.

5. Why did you apply for this job? Do you think it’s a perfect fit?

You’ve all probably been on LinkedIn perusing job openings and seen that “perfect job” that must have been created just for you. And you’ve also probably seen a job that was an ok fit, but not ideal. If you can find people who feel like they were made for the job you’re offering, they’ll feel much more confident in their role from the beginning.

6. When you are unsure of how to do something, how do you figure it out?

Do they figure it out? That’s the big question, because so many people simply don’t. Figuring out how to do things is as important as already knowing how to perform job skills. People that possess the perseverance and ingenuity to figure stuff out are resourceful, and resourceful people tend to be the best team members.

7. What made you choose this profession?

“I just fell into it.” “My parents were in X line of work.” Look for people with interesting stories about how they got into your industry. Chances are they are much more invested in what they’re doing.

8. Do you have any hobbies?

Loving your job is great for the company. Being only about the job is not a good thing for anyone in the long run. People that have something else going for them outside of work tend to be more confident and emotionally stable.

9. What do you do to manage stress?

If a candidate says they don’t get stressed, they’re lying to you or themselves. Everybody has some level of stress. It’s how you acknowledge and handle it that’s important.

10. Do you have any questions?

Hopefully the answer to this question is yes. The types of questions that candidates ask can tell you a lot about who they are as a person and as a possible employee.


Nation's Executive Search Group is sought out by leaders in Enterprise Risk Management, Marketing Services and Decision Analytics for mission critical sales and marketing leadership talent.

For more information, email or call Rob at (410) 827-0180,

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