February 2, 2023
7 min read
When a company or business is hiring, they’re usually looking for someone who goes above and beyond — someone who melds into the workforce seamlessly. In other words, they’re looking for a good culture fit.
If you have a culture fit interview coming up — or if you’re simply unfamiliar with this type of interview — we’ll tell you everything you need to know. We’ll go over what a culture fit is, what a culture fit interview is like, what to expect, how to prepare, and what questions you can expect. Let’s get into it.
A culture fit interview is an interview between a candidate and an employer to see whether or not the candidate would be a good fit for the company — someone who shares the same values as the business.
This goes beyond job qualifications and extends into the candidate’s personal and professional principles and overall mindset.
At its core, a good culture fit is going to be someone who’s not only proficient at their job but also fits right into the company. They’ll forge easy, fruitful relationships with coworkers and clients.
A good culture fit doesn’t mean a homogenous workplace. On the contrary, a diverse workforce molds the culture and is necessary for a successful business.
To give you an example of what a good culture fit looks like in a real-world situation, think about work styles and types of companies.
For example, if you hate working across departments and prefer to work alone on solo projects, working in an environment that prioritizes teamwork and cross-collaboration isn’t a good culture fit.
Another example is your personality: are you a leader or a follower? If you’re more of a leader but you’ll be expected to respond to criticism and follow instructions without much room to question existing practices, you won’t be a good fit for a workplace where you’ll need to be a cog in a machine.
Every culture fit interview is different because every company has different values and beliefs it prioritizes over others. Still, you can have a general idea of what to expect before going into your interview.
The person interviewing you will ask you questions to prompt discussions about your personal values. The goal is to gauge your beliefs against the values and expectations that are at the core of the company.
At the end of the day, the interviewer is trying to see whether you’re just capable of the job or whether you’ll excel at the company.
One of the best ways to prepare for a culture fit interview is to practice speaking confidently. Since this type of interview isn’t necessarily about your professional experience or qualifications, confidence in yourself and compelling communication skills are arguably more important.
Practicing for a culture fit interview — particularly working on your confidence and ease of conversation — is simple. You can have a friend or family member ask you some potential questions (see the example questions in the next section!). You can practice responding to questions by yourself through a speech coach like Yoodli.
If you’re looking for a non-judgmental, safe space to practice, try recording yourself responding to potential questions (or uploading an existing video) to Yoodli. Yoodli uses AI technology to break down your speaking patterns and give you personalized insights in return.
Those free insights include:
You can then use these analytics to get comfortable and prepared for your culture fit interview.
Yoodli’s interview prep function is perfect for preparing for a culture fit interview. With this function, you can explore a plethora of practice questions. These range from general interview prompts to more specific categories, like finance and marketing.
You can even input your own questions to respond to by typing the question into the text box and initiating the practice session.
After you finish the session, you’ll be able to see the individual insights for each question you’ve responded to. This includes AI speech coach comments, individual insights (like pacing and filler word use) along with a full transcript.
That way, you can ensure you’re making eye contact and answering the prompts thoroughly to further prep for your upcoming interview.
Culture fit interview questions can come in a large variety, ranging from your run-of-the-mill standard questions to more unconventional prompts. Either way, you’ll want to practice as many as you can before your interview.
Usually, an interviewer will start with more common questions to get the candidate warmed up and feel comfortable. They’re good conversation starters, and — although they don’t really have to do with anything about the company’s culture fit — can still be useful in getting to know the interviewee.
Standard culture fit interview questions include asking things like:
It’s also a good idea to be prepared to answer the question, “What is your biggest weakness?” It’s become one of the most common interview questions, so it won’t hurt to have a general reply ready. If you’re unsure of how you’d reply, take some pointers from a communication expert:
Culture fit questions, on the other hand, will encourage conversation about the way you interact and work with others, along with your professional priorities.
These types of questions could include:
Consider asking the interviewer a few questions about the company culture if there’s enough time at the end of the interview. Even though it’s important for the employer to make sure you’ll be a good fit, it’s also critical for you to be happy in a new work environment, too. Still, it can be a bit difficult to gauge the company’s culture if you’re not yet a part of the company.
Here are some questions you can ask the interviewer about the company to get a better idea of what the culture is like:
For example, you could ask the interviewer questions like:
You can use Yoodli to practice asking these questions, too. Pay special attention to your body language. Yoodli will show you the amount of eye contact you make and whether or not you’re smiling, for example. You may also want to practice some natural hand gestures as you ask these questions.
Even if you haven’t started working for the company yet, there are also some red flags to be on the lookout for after your culture fit interview or after you’ve asked the interviewer some questions.
One of the most obvious red flags is a lack of transparency. Is the interviewer receptive to your questions? Or do they shut down when you start inquiring about the company and its culture?
You should also pay attention to the interviewer’s body language and attitude. Do they seem enthusiastic or excited during the interview? If they’re not smiling, acting passive-aggressive, or speaking in a dismissive tone, these are signs that there could be a low team or company morale.
You could also ask about the various departments and teams. If there’s not a lot of cross-collaboration and teamwork, it could be that there’s division among departments. While this one isn’t necessarily a red flag, you can consider it a yellow flag.
Culture fit interviews are important because they make sure the candidate’s values align with the employer’s values and the company’s mission.
From the interviewee’s perspective, culture fit interviews also ensure that they’ll fit in with the other team members while excelling at work.
To have the best chance of acing your culture fit interview, practicing some potential questions and building up your confidence are the most important. Although you can’t be a perfect fit with every company, practicing for a culture fit interview will give you the best shot at connecting with the interviewer and employer.
Preparing for the interview with a speech coach like Yoodli while also keeping your own values and beliefs front of mind is a great way to go into the upcoming interview.
Getting better at speaking is getting easier. Record or upload a speech and let our AI Speech Coach analyze your speaking and give you feedback.