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best interview questions that reveal a company’s true culture

It’s one thing securing a job interview, but extracting the right information that’ll help you decide if you’d be happy working at the business is another matter.

Finding a job that suits your skills, ambitions and values isn’t straightforward. By investing time and effort into your interview preparation, you can prevent accepting a job at a company whose environment will make you unhappy.

Discover more about company culture

Interviews are actually two-way exchanges of information. Yes, the employer wants to establish whether you’re right for the role, but remember, you’re also interviewing them. The process can only benefit both parties, as no one wants a dissatisfied workforce.

When you attend your next interview, do your best to extract information that will reveal the company’s culture. The workplace culture and environment can make or break a business, and even impact employee wellbeing.

Plan your questions in advance

Below is a selection of questions that will help you to learn more about the personality of a company. As it’s essential that you make a great first impression, most of the questions are traditional ones that the interviewers are very comfortable responding to.

In addition, there are a few questions that are more quirky. They’re different in that they demonstrate creative thinking on your part, prompt the interviewers to think differently, and may provide a clearer idea of how the company operates.

Mixing the traditional with the more imaginative also serves to lighten the mood in the interview room.

It’s crucial to use your judgement before asking your own questions, however. If, during the interview, you decide the situation isn’t right for more ‘creative’ questioning, that’s fine – stick to the conventional approach. You’ll still source valuable insight.

Otherwise, if you’d like to be remembered for asking out-of-the ordinary interview questions, it’s worth trying them out.

One more piece of advice: whatever questions you pose, be professional at all times.

The traditional

  • Describe your company’s culture in three words.
  • What do you do when a mistake happens during a high-pressured project?
  • How do people in the company resolve conflict?
  • What incentives do you offer staff for their hard work?
  • What do you to encourage gender balance and diversity among employees?
  • Are there any types of clients you would never work with?
  • What happens when an employee fails?
  • If you could change just one thing about the company culture, what would it be?
  • What kind of successes do you celebrate, and how do you do it?
  • What kind of team building activities do you do?

The imaginative

  • If the company was a car, what kind of car would it be and why?
  • What three famous guests would you invite to join the next staff meeting? Why?
  • What would be the name of your company’s debut album?
  • If you could hire a prominent business leader to manage your team, who would it be and why?
  • You’re shipwrecked on a desert island, what five things would you choose to have with you?
  • What is it about life that amazes you?
  • If your company was asked to design a new statement building in London, what kind of design would it be and what function would it serve?
  • Who is your personal hero?

Whichever strategy you adopt, we wish you the best of luck with the interview! Before the event, however, remember to contact your polkadotfrog consultant for more advice on job interview etiquette and skills.