5 Top Questions To Ask In Interviews To Determine Cultural Fit
Recent research shows that cultural fit has become a crucial assessment criteria for Australian employers. It is not surprising really that organisations consider cultural fit to be so important in the hiring process as research has shown that poor cultural fit can lead to lower job satisfaction and commitment levels and increased employee turnover. What is surprising however, is that even though employers think cultural fit is an important recruitment assessment factor, many organisations do not know how to effectively assess for cultural fit at interview.
Below, we have therefore set out 5 top questions that you can ask at interviews to help you effectively assess cultural fit and have also provided guidance on how to evaluate the answers. We hope you find this useful. Before you ask the questions, you should ensure you sit down and work out what your current and desired work culture is as this will provide you with a cultural blueprint to assess candidates against.
1. Describe the office environment or culture in which you work best and are most contented and happy?
Clearly, you are looking for the candidate to show the ability to work well within an environment which is very similar to yours. Encourage them to talk in detail and to provide examples of their ideal work culture and successes that occurred in their ideal environment.
2. Describe which management style will bring out the best in you.
Good responses will be where candidates can provide examples of real situations of how they have performed well under a management style that is similar to yours, be that ‘hands off’, more ‘command and control’ or somewhere in the middle.
3. Do you like working in teams? What role do you usually play when in a team?
Assuming your business wants good team workers, you will be looking for a very enthusiastic response from candidates on this question – and ideally they should state a preference for working in teams. Look out for use of the term ‘we’ rather than ‘I’ when describing accomplishments, (this is because team players prefer the term ‘we’, typically). Interviewees should be able to clearly explain their strengths in a team environment. They should also be easily able to describe their typical team role, and should be able to give multiple examples of when they have worked well in a team.
4. Give us an example of a time when you have gone the extra mile for a client?
Does the candidate’s level of passion for satisfying customers match that of your business? Candidates should be able to give one or more concrete examples of where they have pulled out all the stops to please a client. They should be able to describe the situation, the client and explain why they believed their behaviour was above and beyond the call of duty. They should speak of clients as if they are valued, and have a general philosophy or approach to treating clients well.
5. Describe how you work with other people? What is your preferred relationship with them?
Will the candidate be able to interact effectively with a range of colleagues and stakeholders in your business? Candidates should be able to talk in detail and provide examples of situations where their interactions with others enabled them to complete a job faster or more effectively. Or alternately, they should be able to provide examples of how they manage conflict, or influence and negotiate with others. They should talk about coworkers as if they are valued and respected.
Of course you will never find the perfect employee, but you should be able to find an employee who will, on balance, fit in with your environment, as opposed to being a disruptive element. And, by doing a cultural fit assessment during interviews, you will maximise your chances of finding an employee who fits in with your workplace culture.