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Cultural Fit Interview Questions

Updated: May 13


Being a good cultural fit for a company means that the way you work, and your personal values, match closely with the organization. Where values-based interview questions are focused on your values in decision-making and teamwork, cultural fit questions are focused on your more general physical and emotional comfort in your working environment.

 

Your interviewer is looking for a candidate who will not only help the company to achieve its goals, but will also develop a strong and healthy career in an environment that matches their needs. So, take a look at these examples of cultural fit interview questions, and example answers, to help you prepare for your interview:

 

“What Kind of Environment Are You Most Productive in?”


Your interviewer wants to know if the way you like to work matches their company culture, and how self-aware and open to change you are. Describe where you work best, and connect it to how this supports your job performance. Be honest about your preferred environment, because this job needs to fit you too!

 

Example Answer:


"In the past, I've worked in a variety of workplaces, and I am able to adapt to the different work cultures to get the job done. But, I prefer working independently and having scheduled meetings for collaboration. I find that this helps me focus on my priorities better, and to participate during team collaborations more."

 

“Have You Ever Found a Workplace Policy to be Unfair or Ineffective? Why, and How Did You Handle it?”


This question is to find out how you identify unfair practices, and how you handle disagreements or unfair situations. Share a specific example of a time when you disagreed with a policy, and focus on the constructive actions you took to speak up about it. You want to show your interviewer that you value fairness and have the ability to voice your concerns effectively to work towards a solution. Your interviewer doesn't want to hire someone who keeps these problems inside and doesn't speak until they pop!

 

Example Answer:


"At my previous company, moves between divisions required the approval of your manager. I emailed my manager and requested a meeting with him and Human Resources after he denied my transfer request. I explained that this policy could shut down employee career development, encouraging them to look for opportunities outside of the company."

“What Would Make You Decide to Resign in the First Month?”


Your interviewer wants to know what your "deal-breakers are", and what could make you decide to leave your new job early instead of staying? Hiring managers are looking for staff that will stay within the company, and progress there; they don't want to take the risk of hiring someone who might leave quickly.

 

To answer this question, you want to be honest about your expectations but keep them realistic. Focus on professional reasons that could make you leave, like a large change in the job role that doesn't match what was previously discussed, or an extremely unhealthy work environment. These are perfectly understandable reasons to leave, and most people would think of these as deal-breakers.

 

Example Answer:


"If I left in the first month, it would probably be because of something like a mismatch between the job role discussed during the interview process, and the actual responsibilities I was given once I started. If I was hired for a role that requires taking customer calls for example, but was given only outbound sales tasks, I might think about leaving. But, of course, I would discuss this with my supervisor to see if we could find a solution first. One month is quite quick!"

 

Wrap Up


Being a good cultural fit at a company means that what you like, and how you work best, is similar to the company. Your interviewer will want to be confident that you will be comfortable, and able to perform well, in the working conditions provided by this new job. That's why it's so important to be honest when you answer questions about this. This way, you can see if you and the company are a good match. Nobody wants to agree to a contract and then find themselves starting all over again in a month's time.

 

Practice answering these questions, think about your past experiences, and prepare to share them. Focus on the positives of learning how you work best, and speaking up calmly and responsibly. And don't feel shy about sharing your deal-breakers, everybody has them!

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