Interview Question: What Is Your Ideal Company Culture?
When an interviewer asks you about your ideal company culture, it’s important that you have a strong answer ready. The interviewer is interested to see if your ideal company culture aligns with the workplace of their company. Questions about in which workplace you thrive are commonly asked during job interviews.
You may come across this particular question when appearing in the interview for a job. Company culture is the environment of the company where you are applying for a job. It includes their values, ethics, missions, expectations, and goals. It is an important question in the interview, which can determine both the employee’s and employer’s point of view of the job, so make sure to answer it carefully.
In this blog, we discuss how you can explain your ideal company culture and what kind of interview questions you can expect. We also discuss how you can use these questions to your advantage to impress your interviewer.
Also, read more about frequently asked job interview questions here and check our job interview preparation checklist. Find out everything you need to know to land that job!
What is company culture?
A company culture can be defined as the personality of a company. This company personality, in turn, defines the environment in which the employees work. A company’s culture includes several elements, such as the company mission, values, ethics, expectations, and (future) goals.
For example, some organizations have a more traditional and formal style of management, such as a top-down structure. Other companies have a company culture that is based more on teamwork where participation is required. Tech companies and startups usually have a more casual work environment.
The importance of company culture to employees is that they are more likely to enjoy their time at work when they fit in and when their needs and values align with those of the company. When the employees, in general, share the same values and goals, they tend to build better relationships with their colleagues. Also, they are more productive in the workplace.
Why are interviewers interested in your ideal company culture?
The goal of the interviewer is to assess whether or not there is a match for the job and the company. A match between a candidate and a position or company culture is more than just qualifications. The interviewer wants to see more of your personality, motivation, potential, and cultural fit.
If you have the right qualifications but do not fit into the existing company culture, you are likely to take less pleasure out of your daily work. For instance, if you’re a person that thrives in a teamwork environment, but a position requires you to mostly work independently, there’s a large chance that you are less happy, productive, and efficient in your work.
These are all reasons for interviewers to assess your cultural fit. It’s important for both the candidate and the employer to figure out whether or not there’s a good fit. They know that you’re not going to be happy nor productive in a work environment that doesn’t fit you.
Example questions about cultural fit
During a job interview, your interviewers can explore different kinds of areas to get the information they need to understand whether or not you fit the company culture. Read more about these areas and find more example questions here.
Below we discuss the different areas and other ways the interviewer can ask you about your ideal company culture in those specific areas.
Personality questions about company culture give the interviewer insights into your qualities and company culture preferences. Examples of such questions are:
- What kinds of work environments do you consider stressful? How do you deal with it?
- Do you prefer to delegate tasks, or do you prefer to have them delegated to you? Can you explain why?
- Could you describe your dream job for me?
Work experience questions can help the interviewer uncover in what environments you thrive in. Usually, they are interested in your views on company cultures that you have been part of. Examples of such questions are:
- Tell me about the company culture at your previous/current employer.
- Describe a time when you took on a challenging project. What results did you get?
- Were you comfortable with the company culture at your previous company? Why or why not?
Preferences about Company culture
Interview questions about your company culture preferences are asked to uncover your personal values and work attitude. Examples of such questions are:
- What do you think employers can do to boost employee morale?
- Can you describe your ideal company culture?
- In what type of work environment do you prefer to work in?
- How do you define success?
Teamwork vs. Individual work environments
Teamwork vs. individual work environments interview questions will help the interviewer uncover if you prefer to work alone or with a team. Examples of such questions are:
- Do you prefer to work in a team or independently? Or do you prefer a mix of both?
- Tell me how you deal with different personalities in your work.
- Can you tell me about a team experience that you found rewarding?
- How do you feel about working as part of a team?
Drive, Ambition and Career goals
Driven and ambitious employers are valuable to companies because a productive culture can only exist if people who work in it love what they do. These questions are used to assess your future job performance. Examples of such questions are:
- What accomplishment are you most proud of in your career?
- Where do you see yourself in three to five years?
- What are your career goals?
- How would you describe your dream job?
Tips for answering questions about your ideal company culture
It all starts by giving a sincere response to the question, ‘what is your ideal company culture?‘ Sincere in this case means that you need to be able to explain that you know what you want. Of course, to increase your job chances, you should align your answer with the company culture from the company where you’re applying for a job.
Research the company’s culture
To make sure that you are able to give such an answer, you need to do your homework. Research the company and the job description to ensure you understand what their company culture is about. Furthermore, you need to figure out and think about what an ideal company culture looks like for you.
Does the company culture fit you?
Next, you can start thinking about an answer to impress the interviewer and demonstrate that you are the right fit for the job. Analyze the culture of the company where you’re interviewing for a job and assess whether or not you share the same values. Also, if possible, try to get some inside information from someone in your network, which already works there or has worked there in the past.
Furthermore, figure out if the company offers opportunities that align with your career goals to see if the position that you’re applying for will make you ‘happy’ as an employee.
It’s important to realize that there is no such thing as a ‘right‘ or ‘wrong‘ company culture. Some company cultures will fit you better than others. It’s your task to find out in which type of work environment you thrive. Ideally, the culture of a company should make you an ideal employee.
Focus your answer on what you can offer the company
Once you find out more about the culture of the company where you’re interviewing and in which environment you thrive, you can start preparing your answer. Focus your answer on what you can offer the company.
If you did your research right, you know what the company can offer you. However, your answer should not only regard the benefits of the company, but it should also include what you can contribute.
Your answer should demonstrate that you did your research on the company and the challenges they face. In an ideal situation, you could explain how you are a part of the solution to those challenges. This is also exactly what the interviewer is looking for in your answer.
Sample answers to questions about your ideal company culture
Below we discuss a couple of example answers to discuss your ideal company culture. However, these are general examples. Make sure that you develop your own answers that align with the culture of the company that you’re interviewing with. Demonstrate that you did your research, that you know what they can do for you, but also emphasize what you can do for them.
Sample Answer 1:
‘That would be a company culture which would present the right challenges that allow me to use my skills and experience and also keep continuing to develop myself as a professional.
I believe this company can provide just that, and I see how my work experience and skills can be utilized in this position to help the team and company forward.’
Sample Answer 2:
‘For me, the ideal company culture is one that offers me the opportunity to learn and develop myself as a professional and build upon my current skills.
This would be a work environment where my input and opinions will be valued, ideas acknowledged, and all within a place where I can collaborate effectively with the colleagues around me to accomplish a mutual goal.’
Sample Answer 3:
‘There are several reasons why I applied for this position. The first one being because I feel like I can confidently take on the day to day tasks and responsibilities.
The second and maybe most important reason is because of the similarities in beliefs and values that I share with your organization. The company’s position as the market leader and your focus on improvement and innovation is something that I naturally gravitated towards when I came across the opportunity.’
Job Interview Topics – Common Job Interview Questions & Answers
Below you can find a list of common job interview topics. Each link will direct you to an article regarding the specific topics that discuss commonly asked interview questions. Furthermore, each article discusses why the interviewer asks these questions and how you answer them!
- Career Change
- Career Goals
- Conflict Resolution
- Creative Thinking
- Cultural Fit
- Customer Service
- Growth Potential
- Honesty & Integrity
- Job Satisfaction
- Entry-Level & No experience
- Prioritization & Time Management
- Situational & Scenario-based
- Stress Management
- Telephone Interview
- Work Ethic