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When you are looking for a job, of course you want to land a position with a fair salary and benefits. You also want to make sure that the type of work you are doing will be fulfilling and rewarding, allowing you to put your own skills and interests to use.

At the same time, you will not want to ignore the importance of company culture when seeking out new employment. In fact, company culture is now considered more important than ever before among job seekers. According to a Glassdoor study of more than 5,000 adults, 77% reported that they would seriously consider a company’s culture before applying for a job. Meanwhile, 56% reported that company culture is more important than salary in terms of job satisfaction.

Whether you are a graduating college student preparing to hit the job market or are gearing up for a new job search, having a solid understanding of what company culture is and how to evaluate it may be crucial to your long-term career satisfaction. Likewise, more employers are now asking interview questions to determine the cultural fit of a job candidate before extending an offer, so knowing what kinds of questions to expect can help you prepare.

What is Company Culture?

So, what exactly is company culture and what does it entail? Let’s break this concept down into some key components.

Values and Mission

One of the most important aspects of a company’s culture is its overall values and mission. You can generally learn more about this by looking for a “mission statement” or “values statement” on the company’s website. If this is lacking altogether, this might be a sign that the company does not prioritize culture.

Ideally, though, a company’s values and mission will go beyond a simple statement on a website. These values will be carried out through the actions of the company and its leaders.

Community and Public Relations

Another critical part of company culture is how the business and its brand connects with the community and the general public. Ideally, this will include initiatives to give back to the community whenever possible, whether it be through charitable donations or volunteer work.

Employee Relationships

Relationships between employees (including supervisors, managers, and other leaders) are another important part of a company’s overall culture. In a healthy company culture, strong working relationships will exist not just among employees of the same department, but across departments and across levels of supervision/management. There should be a mutual respect and understanding between all employees regardless of their ranking, level of seniority, or pay grade.

Celebrations and Recognition

A company that genuinely cares about building a strong company culture will also take the initiative to recognize and celebrate its employees whenever possible. This should include recognition not just for the large accomplishments (such as the successful launch of a new product), but the smaller, everyday victories as well.

A work culture that is centered around recognition and appreciation helps employees feel that their efforts are seen and valued. Recognition can come in the form of hand-written notes from supervisors/managers, financial incentives, group outings, and other celebrations.

Work Environment

There are many components that go into a healthy work environment. The first (and perhaps most obvious) is the physical work environment. In a positive company culture, all employees are entitled to a safe and healthy work environment. However, there are also social and mental aspects of a work environment that go into company culture. If other employees are hostile or workers are left feeling oppressed or undervalued, this can contribute to a negative work environment that ultimately destroys the company culture.

Learning and Professional Development

In a healthy company culture, all employees should have access to learning, training, and professional development opportunities that will help them grow and succeed. These kinds of opportunities give workers a chance to thrive and acquire new skills, which can in-turn help the company and boost an employee’s confidence and sense of job satisfaction. From in-house training to paid attendance at industry workshops or trade shows, a little effort put towards professional development for employees goes a long way.


Finally, there is one aspect of company culture that can only be built over time—and that is its history. This refers specifically to the roots of the company, its founders, and the ways in which the brand has developed over the years.

Why Prepare for Cultural Interview Questions?

Just as much as you should be carefully considering a potential employer’s company culture before you accept a job, there’s also a good chance that interviewers will be asking you some specific questions to assess whether you would be the right fit for them. By taking the time to prepare for some common cultural fit job interview questions, you can avoid being blindsided or having to come up with a response on your feet. Instead, you will already have an idea of how you will respond and will be able to answer more confidently.

Common Company Culture Interview Questions

Here are some common company culture questions that you may be asked during the interview process.

“What Are You Passionate About?”

An employer may ask you about your own passions, interests, and hobbies to gauge how well you might work with other members of the team and how well you might fit in.

“What is Your Ideal Work Schedule?”

This type of question is designed to get a better feel for what kind of work/life balance you may be expecting from a new job. This is a good time to talk about the kinds of hours you prefer to work, as well as any expectations for remote/hybrid work.

“What is Your Favorite Book or Podcast?”

This is another question that is meant to get to know you better as a person, which may help an interviewer gauge your own fit within the company culture.

“Are You Involved in Any Charity Work?

When community and giving back are a big part of a company’s culture and values, you can expect this type of question. Be open and honest here. If you are too busy to volunteer your time or do other charity work, it is okay to say so. However, if you are open to this type of work, be sure to make it known.

How to Evaluate a Company’s Culture

Preparing for common interview questions about cultural fit is important as you begin applying for jobs, but it is just as important to do your own research on a company before you spend your time and resources filling out an application. After all, you do not want to end up working for a company that does not share your same values or beliefs.

So, how can you go about evaluating and assessing a company’s culture before you apply? Here are some tips to keep in mind.

Decide What is Important to You

Start by considering what is most important to you when it comes to working for a company. Think about any good company culture examples you have experienced with employers of your past (and what made them good). Do you want to work for a company that gives back to the community? Are you more concerned about work/life balance and being able to maintain a flexible work schedule? Make a list of the aspects of company culture that are most important to you, so you know exactly where you stand.

Do Your Research

Next, it is time to dive into a little research on the company (or companies) you are considering in your job search.

Look at the Company’s Online Presence

A brand’s online presence can tell you a lot about their culture. Take time to view not just their website mission statement and company values statement, but the kinds of content they post on their blog, LinkedIn, and social media feeds as well.

Research News and Press Releases

Looking for news articles and press releases related to the company can also help you assess company fit. A lot of negative press around a company may be a red flag, although press releases about charitable contributions or other efforts may be a good sign.

Consider the Work Environment

If possible, speak to current or past employees to find out more about the work environment. This should include details about not just the physical work environment, but the social environment as well.

Ask Company Culture Questions to the Interviewer

  • For Human Resources: “What were your reasons for joining this company?”
  • For Hiring Managers: “How do you define success in this position?”
  • For Other Employees: “Do you tend to work alone or in a group setting?” “Do you feel supported and respected by your supervisors and managers?”

Evaluate the Hiring Process

Do not hesitate to ask human resources team members about the hiring process itself. How many rounds of interviews can you expect to go through before receiving an offer? How flexible is the scheduling for interviews? You can tell a lot about a company’s culture by how they treat their candidates throughout the hiring process.

Trust Your Gut

At the end of the day, if you have a bad gut feeling about a potential employer, it is probably there for a good reason. If you complete an interview and something about the experience just does not sit right with you, it may be time to move on and cut your losses.

The Bottom Line on Company Culture

More than ever, employers and job seekers alike are focused on company culture and cultural fit. Ultimately, working at a company whose cultural values are in-line with your own can improve your job satisfaction, work/life balance, and overall happiness—so this is something to take seriously as you embark on your next job search.

Post University has a wide range of degree and certificate programs as well as many student support services to help you as you seek new skills through education. Our very own Center for Career & Professional Development (CCPD) is also here to help students make informed career decisions, improve interview skills, and prepare for a job search after graduation. Explore our program offeringsrequest more information, or apply now to get started!

Thank you for reading! The views and information provided in this post do not reflect Post University programs and/or outcomes directly. If you are interested in learning more about our programs, you can find a complete list of our programs on our website or reach out directly!

Please note jobs and/or career outcomes highlighted in this blog do not reflect jobs or career outcomes expected from any Post program. To learn more about Post’s programs and their outcomes, please fill out a form to speak with an admissions advisor.