17 interview questions about company culture (with advice)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 14 June 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Company culture is important for job satisfaction and can affect your suitability for a role. For that reason, it's something you might like to address and learn more about at the interview stage. There are many different types of company culture, so finding the right one for you requires some investigation. In this article, we define what company culture is and share 17 interview questions about company culture that may help reveal more about an organisation's approach towards its employees.
What is company culture?
Company culture encompasses everything from a business's values and vision to its business practices and how it expects employees to behave. More loosely defined as the 'feeling' of an organisation, it can have a significant impact on employees. A good organisational culture encourages employees to remain with a particular business for a longer period and to work hard in their roles to achieve success.
Identifying whether your future employer's culture matches your approach to work helps you determine whether a particular role is a good fit for you in the long term. It helps you work out whether this is an organisation where you might realise your potential. It may even be a deciding factor in your job search.
17 interview questions about company culture
Here are 17 interview questions about company culture to consider asking at your next interview:
1. How long have you been with the company?
High staff turnover is a sign of poor company culture, and employees are more likely to look for new opportunities when they don't feel valued by their employer. This question reveals whether people can progress in the organisation and highlights if there are any ongoing cultural problems causing employees to move on. It also gives you a good opportunity to ask interviewers about their career paths and the potential to move up within the company.
2. What's the dress code here?
Formal dress might suggest a more professional atmosphere at work. A casual dress code tends to accompany a more relaxed company culture. What you're expected to wear to work is unlikely to impact your decision to accept or reject a job offer, but it may give you a feel for the culture of your potential future office.
3. What was the last big achievement celebrated by your team?
Positive work environments make time to celebrate team and individual accomplishments. A culture of praise suggests that managers recognise and value their employees' work. Additionally, regular acknowledgement boosts retention and suggests that the organisation may consider current employees for promotions. Asking this question helps you understand how the company rewards good work.
4. What methods do you use to resolve conflict?
Just as positive environments issue praise, they also tend to have processes in place to deal with conflict. Understanding how a company addresses and resolves disagreements reveals its management style, company values and even how cohesive the team you're joining is. Consider how you might deal with conflict and test if the culture at this organisation aligns with your own approach.
5. Do you embrace flexible working here?
Flexible, hybrid and remote working have become common across many industries, so employers expect questions about how you're going to work. If you have particular requirements around childcare or accessibility, for example, state this upfront. This question is particularly useful for gauging how the company values its people and whether the organisation as a whole accommodates your life outside of work.
6. Does the company give back to the community?
If charity is high on your agenda, this is an important question to ask. Answers to this question help you learn whether the company culture is profit or people-driven. It also reveals whether you're expected to get involved in community work as part of your role.
7. Would you be willing to show me around the office?
An office tour may be part of the interview process, but if you haven't seen the space, this is a great opportunity to ask. Seeing the office space first-hand allows you to experience the atmosphere and watch people at work while learning more about the company from your guide. This also shows that you're enthusiastic about the advertised role and the organisation in general.
8. Do you offer social activities for employees?
Most employers offer some sort of social programme, and one that's mentioned during an interview indicates that the organisation prioritises people spending time together. By highlighting social activities, the employer hints that they're invested in employees enjoying themselves. This also allows you to determine whether or not you're comfortable participating in any named activities.
9. How much time do leaders spend in the office?
Business owners or leaders who engage with their employees on a day-to-day basis are more likely to make decisions that benefit all of their teams. The presence of a leader in the office often leads to a richer, more caring company culture. This may not feel important to your day-to-day role, but it has a large impact on how you respond to work.
10. What are your company values?
Company values are the guiding principles of any organisation. These might include anything from loyalty to respect, trust and honesty. Ideally, your interviewers know these by heart and are able to elaborate on how they function on a day-to-day basis. If they do, it indicates that they take the values seriously and put them into practice regularly. If these align with your own values, you're sure to make a good match for the role.
11. What is your management style?
Everyone works differently, and some management styles may not align with your approach to work. That's why it's a good idea to identify the predominant management styles in your prospective company. Often, the manager of the role you've applied for conducts the interviews, so this is a good opportunity to discover if your future boss is supportive, hands-on or more laid back.
12. What makes you proud to work here?
Finding out what makes your interviewers proud to be part of their organisation showcases the very best of its culture. It also helps you determine why people choose to stay with the company. If your interviewer can quickly and easily list a few reasons why they're proud to be with the organisation, you can be sure that they have a sense of purpose and achieve personal goals in their role. This suggests you might also expect the same opportunities in the role you're applying for.
13. How would you describe the company culture?
The easiest way to learn more about company culture is to simply ask about it. Be aware that you're only hearing one person's understanding of the culture, so the reality may differ depending on the person you ask. If your interviewer struggles to describe the culture succinctly or shows little passion, it's likely that the culture still needs improving.
14. Is risk-taking encouraged?
If you thrive in a fast-paced environment where management encourages risks and rewards individual success, this is a great question to ask. The answer may reveal whether individuals or teams drive the business. A follow-up question like ‘How do you deal with failures?' may also highlight how the organisation supports employees.
15. How might someone in this role work best with the wider team?
If your application is successful, the people you're working with every day are going to make a significant impact on both your well-being and job satisfaction. Office relationships are a cornerstone of company culture. Understanding how members of the team work with one another allows you to determine how well you might fit in with them. This then affects your ability to work collaboratively.
16. What personality types tend to do well here?
Interviewers generally have an idea of the type of person who might be successful at their organisation and likely have a type of person in mind for this particular role. Use their answers here to identify your strengths in relation to the kind of person they're looking for. This also gives you insight into the personalities you might expect to find around you if you're successful.
17. How do you onboard new employees?
If your interview is successful, the onboarding process is effectively your first experience as part of this organisation. It serves to finalise your commitments as an employee and sets you up for success within the company. For that reason, an extensive and well-planned onboarding process is usually an indicator of positive company culture. By onboarding everyone in the right way, all staff feel welcomed and valued. Best of all, this prepares you for what to expect in the first few weeks of your job if you land the role.
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