When searching for a new hire, many HR representatives put the greatest emphasis on experience. It makes sense: You want to hire someone who is not only capable of performing the job you’re trying to fill but who can feel comfortable performing job duties effectively without assistance as quickly as possible. But in their quest to find the most qualified applicants, HR reps will often overlook cultural fit—that is finding a new hire who will mesh with the company culture.

Finding a candidate who fits with the company culture is important because it can contribute to a more successful workplace. According to the book “Tribal Leadership” by David Logan, John King and Halee Fischer, organizations that stress cultural fit find that, within their workforce:

  • Fear and stress go down as the ‘interpersonal friction’ of working together decreases
  • People seek employment in the company and stay
  • Organizational learning becomes effortless
  • People’s overall health statistics improve
  • Employees report feeling more alive and having more fun

On the flip side of the coin, then, organizations that do not hire for culture fit risk increased turnover and unhappiness. According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 2 million Americans voluntarily leave their jobs every month because they are dissatisfied at work. And according to a study by Harris Interactive, even among the employees who stay, 74 percent of people would consider finding a new job.

What does this mean for HR reps like you? It means you must incorporate culture fit questions into the interviews you’re conducting. By doing so, you can determine if candidates’ attitudes, work ethic and workplace values align with your company.

  • Consider adding the following to your list of interview questions:
  • In what type of work environment are you most comfortable?
  • What are the most positive aspects of your previous work environment?
  • What did you like or dislike about this previous work environment?
  • What is the single most important factor that must be present in your work environment for you to be successful and happy?
  • What do you think are the most effective roles a good manager plays in your relationship?
  • Describe the management style that motivates and inspires you to do your best work.
  • Who do you look up to most and why?
  • What is your personal mission statement?
  • Tell me about the most challenging project/client/assignment you’ve had. How did you overcome that challenge?
  • If you could have any job in any industry, what would it be?
  • Tell me about a leader who has inspired you.

The times when employees would work for one company their entire careers regardless of culture are over. That means hiring for culture is no longer optional. Using these questions, you can feel confident you’re doing more to find qualified employees who will fit in well and feel fulfilled working for your company.

Need additional help asking the right interview questions? Download “Interviewing Job Applicants: 100 Interview Questions You Didn’t Think to Ask” today!