10 Questions to Determine Organization Culture

29 August 2018
29 August 2018, Comments: 0

A friend quit her job. She resigned because she didn’t fit the team. Paulette is, of course, concerned about the next position. Will she not fit in again?

She asked me for advice for an upcoming interview. I told her to ask questions about the culture of the organization. The answers will help her determine if she is going to “fit” this time.

Here’s some of the questions that I recommend to determine the organization’s culture:

  1. What words would you use to describe the organization to outsiders?
  2. What are you proud of as an organization?
  3. How does the organization primarily communicate?
  4. What’s the organization’s values and how are they used in hiring, rewards & promotions?
  5. What personality traits do you look for in an ideal candidate?
  6. What was the largest challenge last year and what did the organization learn from it?
  7. How does the organization give back to the community?
  8. What’s the approach to team building and career development?
  9. How was the last big achievement celebrated?
  10. How is cross-department collaboration encouraged?


I wouldn’t ask all ten – that might be a little bit too much during the interview! But I would ask some during the interview, and some of current or former employees. You want to determine what it is like to be in that organization day after day. And if you want to be part of that organization!

Cultural fit is important to the success in any organization. There is nothing wrong with a person if they don’t fit a particular culture. They will be more productive and happy in an organization that suits their values and preferred style.

Do you know the culture of your organization? How would you answer these ten questions?

Remember that even if you don’t define your culture – you still have one. Do you want to be in control of your culture or just let it happen?

Let’s talk about culture! Valerie.MacLeod@HainesCentre.com

Photograph by Valerie MacLeod

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