6 must-ask interview questions to assess cultural fit

6 must-ask interview questions to assess cultural fit

It doesn’t take a genius to know that each one of us is different from one another in terms of our personalities, attitudes and work values. At times, these differences are the reasons behind the many workplace conflicts we face every now and then. In worst-case scenarios, employees end up leaving the company as a consequence of unresolved conflicts.

Organisations seeking to achieve high performance and reduce employee turnover are increasingly addressing the need for a cultural fit to minimise these workplace conflicts. Therefore, hiring based on shared or similar values and cultural beliefs has become one of the most important aspects of retaining good talent above anything else.

Similar to any form of assessment, a cultural fit assessment begins with a job interview. Check out below for a list of interview questions that can help you assess whether your candidate is a good match with your workplace culture:


  1. How do you feel about our company values?

This is a very important question as it not only tests your candidate’s cultural fit but also reveal how much pre-interview research the candidate did. A candidate who did his or her homework generally shows true interest and a strong work ethic. Encourage the candidate to be honest and be open to their opinions so that they can be as authentic as possible.

  1. What personality traits do you always find hard to work with?

Instead of asking candidates if they can fit into the team, get them to describe to you what sort of personality traits that can irk them the most. Often, this type of question can bring out true pent-up feelings of a person and based on the answer, you can then see if they might struggle to connect with the people in your company.

  1. Who inspires you and why?

This question will give you some useful insights as to who the candidate respects and looks up to. In many ways, people would generally model themselves after the ones they inspire. Ideally, you would want a candidate who aspires to be someone who possesses the desired skills and traits that are perfect for the job.

  1. What motivates you to get up for work every day?

This may sound like a standard interview question, however it helps to make you understand your candidate better as a person, giving insights on his or her values and what he or she cares about. What you’re looking for is passion. There’s a big difference between a candidate who is only at work because of a regular salary and a candidate who is motivated by building teams and establishing strong relationships with co-workers.

  1. Describe a time when you encounter a conflict with your colleague. How did you overcome it?

A good cultural fit employee is also a team player. Disagreement between colleagues and co-workers will occasionally happen but what really matters is how they handle the situations and move on from there. Look for one who can provide past examples that reflect professionalism and is capable of resolving minor issues, or better still, overcome major conflicts without interrupting the flow of the workplace.

  1. How would you rely on others to improve yourself?

This tricky question tests whether your candidate realises the importance of collaboration and teamwork. The best hires would know that they don’t always know everything. This reflects on their self-awareness and the willingness to seek help whenever they are stuck. Hire the ones who realised their own strengths, weaknesses and have the open mind to constantly improve, grow and learn.


A strong culture is what brings an organisation together. Remember that successful hires are the ones who don’t just look good on paper but possess the best cultural fit and share the same values as your workplace culture.


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