Questions to ask in a job interview that reveal company culture

You’re in the final 5 minutes of the job interview, and the interviewer asks: What questions do you’ve got?”

Time is restricted, so that you ask the query you assume will likely be most useful: “What’s the culture like right here?”

Don’t do that. There are higher questions to perceive the culture. 


The interviewer will usually reply by describing the values of the company. Their reply can have some variation of belief, collaboration, transparency, integrity that are the identical values that present up in numerous varieties in many firms. These don’t show you how to perceive the day-to-day expertise.

Culture is felt by means of the behaviors that are strengthened or discouraged on a day-to-day foundation on groups. If you would like to get a sense of the story of the chief and crew’s culture, use detailed questions. You’re going to get a significantly better sense based mostly on the responses, particularly if the chief struggles to consider what to say. In case you are a supervisor, put together to reply detailed questions that illustrate your crew’s culture. 

Higher questions to ask a hiring supervisor:

Inform me about a time a crew member modified your thoughts?  This allows you to know if the chief feels they’re the one one who has the solutions or if they’re open to completely different opinions. You’re going to learn the way they like to obtain data and what they worth. 

Inform me about somebody you’re happy with. That is going to let you realize which behaviors and abilities they worth. You can even study their perspective in the direction of creating individuals and celebrating success alongside the best way. 

Do you totally disconnect throughout holidays and holidays? Does this chief believes in boundaries and having time without work and area that is protected? Or is that this somebody that will likely be calling you in your vacation—and can that give you the results you want?

Describe a current success or win. They need to give you the chance to provide you with one thing fairly shortly. If they will’t, that may point out that they aren’t nice about celebrating progress or recognizing individuals alongside the best way to milestones. They don’t have to describe a enormous win. Nonetheless, they need to give you the chance to consider a current occasion that demonstrates progress. 


Inform me about a disagreement or battle on the crew.  Each crew goes to have battle. It’s a wonderful means to generate concepts and completely different considering when the crew has the correct instruments to navigate constructive battle. You need to see is that if the chief says: We don’t have battle.” This might imply that completely different opinions aren’t welcome, and the crew sits in silence. Or the chief is attempting to keep away from the arduous conversations that yield higher outcomes. The chief ought to give you the chance to speak about individuals having completely different opinions that they had to work by means of. 

How did you begin your final crew assembly? Did they bounce proper into the agenda?  Did they’ve an exercise or dialog to study extra about one another? You possibly can study a lot about interactions by how they start conferences and conversations.

What’s your supreme particular person for this function?  That is a wonderful means to perceive what the chief values and the data, abilities, and behaviors they view as making their work simpler. They are going to in all probability describe the particular person’s group, communications, talent set, or sure outcomes achieved. This response helps you get an concept should you match with the chief’s supreme candidate.

Who have you ever promoted and why? If the chief has by no means promoted anybody, probe additional to perceive what is finished to develop individuals. If they’re a newer supervisor and haven’t had the chance, ask what they’re doing to assist develop and develop their crew. It’s okay if the chief hasn’t promoted anybody. What you need to hear is the thought round it and the way they view their function in creating individuals on the crew.

Inform me concerning the final particular person you acknowledged. Recognition could be a considerate dialog, an e-mail, an award, and even a point out in an all-hands assembly. You need to see if the chief struggles to provide you with an instance or simply mentions particular person and crew recognition. Does the chief have the mindset that growth consists of serving to individuals see the contributions they’re making?

How do you focus by yourself development and growth? Does the chief point out studying articles, listening to podcasts, studying books, having a mentor, taking programs, or having a coach? Are they actively attempting to develop themselves? If they’re creating themselves, they’re extra probably to develop their crew. In the event that they aren’t, you need to perceive why. In the event that they blame their schedule or battle to discover a solution, then odds are good your alternative for growth will likely be pushed apart. 

Don’t waste your alternative to study extra about your potential employer in an interview. Ask these questions that show you how to get to the expertise of that chief and that crew. Culture is skilled on the crew degree, and each culture tells a story. Ask them about these particular moments to higher perceive the expertise of the chief and the crew. 

Karen Eber is the CEO and chief storyteller of Eber Leadership Group, a expertise growth boutique. She can be a world marketing consultant, keynote, and TED speaker