When hiring, you first and foremost make sure candidates have the required skills, experience and education for the role. But after you find a few people who fit the bill, you should then consider if they’ll gel with their team members and the company as a whole. Every interviewer needs to answer the question, “Is the candidate a good culture fit?”
A lot of times that can be a difficult question to answer. Some companies ask hiring team members to consider if they would want to hang out with the candidate outside of work but those responses can have more to do with personal preference than company culture.
Most companies have an established culture that is defined by a series of values. Interviewers should keep those values in mind when speaking with candidates and ask specific questions related to each one.
In this blog post, we’ve listed common company values and a series of questions interviewers can ask for each one.
Most companies know success depends on everyone coming together and supporting each other. These questions can help you determine if the candidate is a good team player:
- Do you prefer to work by yourself or with a team?
- How do you think your previous managers and coworkers would describe working with you?
- You’re busy with your own responsibilities but a team member asks for your help. What do you do?
- How do you deal with different personalities in the workplace?
- Tell me about a time you were the hero in your workplace.
Hard Work & Motivation
You should always strive to hire people who will give their all day in and day out. Asking the questions below can help you learn how motivated the candidate is to do great work for your company:
- What excites you about this opportunity?
- If you get the job, what do you hope to accomplish in your first week, month and year?
- Do you believe it’s more important to work fast or get the job done right?
- If you had multiple projects and limited time, how would you go about managing your priorities?
Empathy & Caring
A positive work environment is made up of people who are kind and considerate of other’s thoughts and feelings. This is especially important for customer-facing roles. Here are a few questions that can help you gauge the candidate’s empathy:
- Do you believe in the saying “the customer is always right?”
- How would you handle an upset customer?
- How do you deal with job-related stress?
- Your friend’s birthday is coming up. Tell me how you go about picking out a gift for them.
- Beyond taking care of individual job responsibilities, what do you believe will make you successful in this role?
Integrity, Honesty & Accountability
Taking ownership and admitting to mistakes is a trait of great employees. Below are some questions that can help you get a sense of the candidate’s honesty and integrity:
- Describe a time when you weren’t pleased with your work and why?
- Tell me about something you struggled with early in your career and how you overcame it.
- How do you feel when someone criticizes your work?
- What personal or professional mistakes have you’ve learned the most from?
Ambition & Passion
An outstanding company culture is made up of people who truly love what they do. Bringing these questions into the interview room will let you know how passionate the candidate is about the role:
- What professional accomplishments are you most proud of?
- Do you want to become a manager, leader or executive in our company?
- What are your long-term career goals?
- What kind of work would make you excited to get out of bed on Monday morning?
- What’s your dream job?
- What are your favorite industry websites, books or other resources?
Focus on what’s important when interviewing for culture
If your company lives by these values or similar variations, ask smart interview questions related to each one. You’ll learn more about the candidate and get a solid idea if they really are “a good culture fit.”
Source: Erin Engstrom
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