Interviewing for Cultural Add: Crafting the Perfect Interview Questions

As we looked at in a previous article, Cultural Add or Cultural Contribution alongside ‘fit’ can be a very important element of assessment for hiring, but how does one go about determining if a candidate meets this criteria?

Firstly, we must understand that in many cases Hiring for culture fit began to be confused with hiring for similar personal backgrounds, interests, or even appearances. That mindset could result in companies full of employees who looked, thought, and acted alike. This often would lead to discrimination and stagnation in company growth and innovation.

Before thinking about questions for the candidate, there are questions you should go over before and after you’ve interviewed a promising candidate. They help determine what exactly you are looking for, why you require that, and how a person can fulfil that need.

  • What gaps in our company’s knowledge or culture can this candidate fill?
  • Does the candidate have skills in new processes or techniques that we would benefit from having?
  • Could this employee challenge our way of thinking and suggest improvements to our processes?
  • Does this candidate represent a voice or viewpoint for our customers that we lack? Would they help us better communicate with potential customers by having this voice or perspective?

Crafting the Perfect Questions

When it comes to crafting the perfect interview questions to assess cultural contribution, the key is knowing what is important to your organization. Is it service-mindedness, team work traditions, or a particular way of working? Once you know what you are looking for, you can craft the perfect questions to assess this.

For example, if you are looking for a service-minded attitude, you might ask questions such as:

  • How do you handle difficult customer requests?
  • What have you done to ensure customer satisfaction?
  • How do you approach problem solving with a customer?

What are some other common culture add interview questions?

Here are some questions hiring managers can ask in a culture add interview.

  • Describe a time when you helped a coworker or direct report with a work problem.
  • Describe a time when you received feedback from a supervisor or someone on another team. How did you react? What was the result? What lessons did you learn? 
  • How do you measure success at work? How does a successful day at work look for you? 
  • A team member calls in sick 2 hours before a team presentation is scheduled. What do you do?
  • What does a healthy work-life balance look like for you?
  • In what ways do your colleagues benefit from working with you as opposed to one of your coworkers? 
  • Tell me about a time when understanding someone else’s perspective helped you accomplish a goal or resolve a conflict. 
  • What is your impression of our company’s culture, values, and mission? 
  • From your perspective, how do you think we can improve our culture or values? What values would you bring to our organization? 
  • Tell us about a time when you came across a situation or decision that you didn’t agree with. How did you handle it?
  • What’s something you’ve learned in the past year that you’re proud of? 
  • Tell us about a time when you changed your perspective about a situation or issue at work. What happened, and what was the end result? 
  • How do you like to be managed? What characteristics do you look for in a leader? 
  • How do you typically approach working through a tough problem? What’s your approach to teamwork and collaboration? 
  • What key values or behaviours are most important to you in a company?
  • How do you see your personal value system aligning with the organization?  
  • Tell us about a time you learned something you’ve never done before. How did you approach it? What was the outcome? 
  • What attracts you to the company values? How do our core values align with your own personal value system? 

The questions you ask will depend on what you are looking for? But being aware of what you want and why will go a long way.

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