38 best culture fit interview questions to build your team

Your culture fit interview questions are potentially the most important part of the entire hiring process. You can learn a lot about a person’s experience from their resume and LinkedIn profile, but it takes the right set of questions to learn their qualities, characteristics, values, and potential cultural fit.

Quality questions are better than quantity, but we wanted to give you plenty of options to choose from when interviewing your candidates—and that’s why we’ve compiled 38 of the best culture fit interview questions. Pick and choose your favorites (or maybe the ones that are most relevant or natural).

Before we get into the questions, let’s discuss what a culture interview is and why it matters.

What is a culture interview?

A resume and referrals tell you if an applicant has the right experience and skills for an open role. A culture interview is an opportunity to determine whether a candidate’s values and workflows align with your company.

The truth is that not every candidate will be the right cultural fit. It doesn’t mean they’re not a good person or talented—it just means they would be suited for another company.

Use a culture interview to learn who your applicant is and what they care about. Do they thrive in remote environments, or would they do better with an in-office team? Do they have a hustle mindset or a work-life balance philosophy?

Culture fit vs. culture add: What’s the difference?

There’s been a recent movement to move away from hiring for culture fit and instead hiring for culture adds. We agree with this approach, though we often use the terms interchangeably. Here’s the difference between the two:

  • Culture fit: Hiring for culture fit means looking for candidates who match your company’s current employee base and culture. They’re the type of people that your team will get along with and likely will have little confrontation or differences.
  • Culture add: Culture adds won’t necessarily fit a mold for your current culture—instead, they bring diverse opinions, experiences, and perspectives to your workplace. Their values and behaviors align with your culture, but the way they approach it may be divergent or revolutionary.

Why should you hire for culture?

Culture impacts every aspect of your business. It is responsible for attracting and retaining talent, as well as influencing your bottom line. Here are a few compelling statistics that illustrate just how important it is to hire for culture:

38 best culture fit interview questions

Your culture encompasses many aspects. It defines how you work, think, act, and believe. It explains how your business operates and the collective philosophies of your employees. To capture different elements of your culture, we’ve organized our culture fit interview questions into a few different categories.

Work environment questions

  1. Do you work better remotely or in person? Why?

  2. What work environment makes you feel the most alive and productive?

  3. If your team mostly worked together in the office, what would you do to make remote members feel included?

  4. Do you prefer working in an open-concept area or a closed-off cubicle?

  5. Would you prefer a co-worker to Slack you with a question or stop by your desk?

Collaboration questions

  1. Do you prefer working alone or as a team? Explain why.

  2. What are your favorite methods of communication?

  3. Do you prefer feedback along a project or at the very end?

  4. What level of autonomy do you prefer with your work?

  5. How often would you like to meet with your manager? If you were a manager, how often would you want to meet with your direct reports?

  6. Why would colleagues benefit from working with you rather than someone else?

  7. What does a well-structured team look like to you?

  8. How would you respond if a team member in a meeting proposes a strategy that you disagree with?

  9. What would you do if you detected a colleague was struggling with a task or assignment (even though management hadn’t noticed)?

Setbacks and obstacles questions

  1. Tell us about a time when a project of yours didn’t go according to plan. How did you respond, and would you do things differently in the future?

  2. Have you ever received difficult feedback from a manager or colleague? Did you agree with the feedback? How did you react?

  3. When was the last time you made a major mistake at work? What happened?

  4. How do you approach tight deadlines or overwhelming periods of work?

  5. Do you prefer to take risks and overcome challenges or play it safe and sail smoothly?

Value system questions

  1. What do you hope to get out of working with us?

  2. What does a successful business look like to you?

  3. How does integrity play a role in the position you’re applying for?

  4. Who do you look up to? Why?

  5. How do you think your previous colleagues would describe you? How would you like them to?

  6. Tell us about your dream job.

  7. What motivates you to go above and beyond at work?

Work-life balance questions

  1. What are some of your passions and pursuits outside of work?

  2. Tell us what you think about scheduling flexibility.

  3. How do you maintain and improve your mental health during stressful times at work?

  4. How do you balance work and your other obligations?

  5. What comes first: people or projects?

  6. How would you handle a work deadline that conflicted with a major life event?

  7. Do you prefer to take time off in bigger or smaller chunks? Why?

Aspiration questions

  1. What are your impressions of our company’s values, mission, and culture?

  2. Why do you want to work with us?

  3. Where would you like to be in your career in a year? What about five? How about 10?

  4. What do you hope to learn in this new position at our company?

  5. How do you measure success at work? Do you think this is a productive measurement?

Cloud Infrastructure Is ≥ Culture Fit

Maybe that’s hyperbole (or perhaps we’re just biased), but we believe the cloud infrastructure you adopt is just as important (if not more) as hiring for culture fit. Without the proper foundation, you’ll struggle to grow and scale efficiently.

Choose DigitalOcean for a simple cloud solution that drives business growth. You’ll get cloud computing services, robust documentation, scalability, and predictable pricing. Try it for yourself today.


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