Experience? Check! Technical know-how? Check! Soft skills? Check! All of these things matter when it comes to assessing a candidate’s qualifications. But there’s one slightly more mercurial thing to consider when filling vacancies: is the candidate a cultural fit?


Let’s count down six questions to ask when determining whether a candidate is right for your organization.

1. How would you describe the corporate culture at your current place of employment?

Is the candidate even aware of culture and the role it plays in promoting a positive work environment? The question helps you suss out a candidate’s understanding of corporate culture — both in the general sense and as it applies to his/her own experiences.

2. What is your ideal work environment?

This question offers a natural leaping point from the previous question, not only giving recruiters further insight into what makes a candidate tick, but also delivering the opportunity to determine how an interviewee navigates this tricky territory without bashing a current or previous place of work. Why does it matter? Because an employee who speaks negatively about one company or its workers won’t hesitate to do it again. Taking a problem-solving approach, meanwhile, showcases a candidate’s ability to rise above the petty stuff and take a “big picture” approach.

3. What traits do you value most in others?

The last thing any recruiter wants to do is bring someone on board who doesn’t play well with other members of the team. Before meeting with a candidate, take a minute to inventory the common skills shared by top performers in your organization. Ideal candidates will also value these characteristics and, in valuing them, exemplify them.

4. What “must-have” work environment feature(s) determine your ability to succeed on the job?

Does the candidate prefer independence or supervision? Autonomy or collaboration? Opportunities for growth or flexible hours? If the candidate’s top answers align with your company’s core values, you’re in luck. If not, these differences may be an indication of cultural incompatibility.

5. What attributes do you value in a boss or top management?

In addition to working well with others, ideal candidates should also be suited to company-dictated management styles.

6. Can you describe a time when you went above and beyond to please a customer?

While employees choose the amount of discretionary energy they exert in the workplace, different organizations have different expectations. Does your organization prioritize employees who perform the fundamental tasks listed in their job descriptions without diversion, or is exceeding these tasks the status quo? Hiring employees who share your corporate outlook when it comes to discretionary energy wards of disgruntlement and ensures that everyone is on the same page.

Ultimately, while skill-based questions help you determine a candidate’s capabilities, cultural fit questions help recruiters and hiring managers determine whether an employee will work comfortably in your particular workplace. But the benefits of conducting a cultural fit interview don’t end there. Ask the right questions — and hire the candidates with the best answers — and you are actively shaping the future success of your organization.


To know more about how Witty Parrot can help HR professionals and recruiters stay on message and consistently deliver a vibrant, compelling candidate and employee experience watch the video below.

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