If you’re a hiring manager, you are responsible for finding great employees for your organization. As part of this process you not only are looking for candidates with the right blend of hard and soft skills, you are also considering culture fit for the candidate and your organization. Equipping yourself with the right interview questions about culture can be the difference between a great hire and a bad one. 

Before you build your list, know what your organization values and how it operates. If your company values collaboration and a candidate prefers to work alone, they may not be a good fit for your culture. Or if your company is a fast-paced start-up where employees wear multiple hats, a candidate who needs guidance and structure may not thrive. Once you have identified the crucial elements of your company culture, prepare interview questions about culture that will reveal how well a candidate fits your organization.

Rise recommends the following interview questions about culture (list has been edited): 

  1. What gets you excited about coming to work?
  2. What surprises people about you?
  3. What’s the biggest problem in most offices today?
  4. What did you like most/least about your last company?
  5. Where/when/how do you do your best work?
  6. When was the last time you made a big mistake at work?
  7. How could a manager best support you?
  8. Describe the best/worst team-building exercise you have ever participated in.
  9. How do you handle stress or tight deadlines?
  10. What are your plans for the next five years?
  11. What three things do you need to succeed in this position?
  12. What do you read in your free time?
  13. What do you do for fun?
  14. How have you changed over the last five years?
  15. What motivates you to do your best work?
  16. How do you prefer to communicate with coworkers?
  17. What has been the most valuable lesson of your professional career?
  18. Describe your dream job.
  19. What does a successful company culture look like to you?
  20. What most appeals to you about this role?
  21. What scares you about this role?
  22. Who inspires you and why?
  23. How would you describe our company culture?
  24. What superpower will you bring to our company?
  25. How do you give/respond to critique?
  26. What three words would a current manager/colleague/direct report use to describe you?
  27. How do you handle disappointments?
  28. What tools or apps allow you to work more efficiently?
  29. Which of our company’s core values do you most/least identify with?
  30. What does work-life balance mean to you? 
  31. How do you manage conflict with coworkers?
  32. Describe a time when you exceeded people’s expectations.
  33. What does your decision-making process look like? 
  34. If you were to interview for another position at this company, what would it be?
  35. Would you rather work alone or with a team?
  36. How would you describe your leadership style?
  37. What would be your ideal work schedule?
  38. How do you stay organized?
  39. What would you change about our office/website/hiring process/business model?
  40. Why did you choose to apply here?

From this list of 40 interview questions about culture, choose the 5-10 that best fit the role and your organization. Learning how to ask good questions that assess fit will lead to better hires. 

Did we miss any? We’d love to hear your favorite go-to interview questions about culture that help you hire great team members!