Do You Ask These Questions in Candidate Interviews?

While making the right hire can seem like a coin toss at times, it comes down to two basic things. Can they do the job I need them to do? And will I enjoy working with them 40 hours/week? The answers to these questions during candidate interviews will help determine if someone is both a technical fit and a cultural fit. Both are important.

People are your most important asset

Even with machines and technology, the company can’t run without people to do the work. More than likely, your product or service wouldn’t exist without people to make it, create it, sell it, service it, or provide it. For that reason, it’s important that we all hire those who can perform the work you expect of them. Usually, one can determine this during the interview by asking about education, past experiences, and work they have performed previously.

What about culture?

This is important, too. Your culture is created by your people. As leaders, we sometimes feel that we create the culture. Admittedly, we can lead and direct culture, but the people who follow are the ones who have a lot of control over the day-to-day feel of the culture of the organization.

For that reason, it is important for the team to enjoy working with their teammates. This doesn’t mean you need to be best friends and want to have a beer together. But it does mean you need to be able to get along with and respect each other for the 40 hours/week you will be spending together.

Can skills trump cultural fit?

Sometimes, cultural fit is overlooked for people who have amazing technical skills. Often, this ends up not working. Maybe the new employee feels like they don’t fit in. With other scenarios, maybe the rest of the team doesn’t like the new employee and they start leaving. Either way, your culture changes and sometimes not in a positive way.


So after candidate interviews, these are the two key questions that are important to answer. Can they do the job I need them to do? And will I enjoy working with them 40 hours/week? If you can truthfully answer yes to both of these, you are probably on track for making a long and successful hire.