Questions to Ask to Identify The Culture |

Too many people experience report regret after they join a firm because they didn’t understand the culture they will be working in. Here are a few questions you can ask that will help. The original source is

You may also find “Answering Either/Or Questions” helpful

Read Full Transcript released an article some time ago about questions to ask in a job interview that will reveal the company culture, I wouldn't suggest asking these on the very first interview with the screener, or even in the first interview with the employer, or with the hiring manager. I think, to be honest with you, you want to be selling yourself and understanding what the opportunity is there. And then, when you're brought back, and you're meeting with a manager, I think this is an ideal time to ask these questions about culture.

I'm Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. I'm a career coach, a former executive recruiter. And I now work with people ,globally around their job search, hiring more effectively management, leadership, as well as resolving workplace issues. And this article, I thought was really very sweet. And it covers a lot of very good points.

So let me just dive in and start off with the first question. Tell me about a time a team member changed your mind? What this question really does is it gives you an idea if they're the ones who have all the answers or whether they listen to other people. Like. if they're never going to listen to you, you're going to be taking a lot of orders, right? So I think this is a sweet question that's going to help you understand their thought process.

Tell me about someone you're proud of. And this could be around their behavior and what skills they value and what's the attitude toward developing people and celebrating success.

Out of curiosity, do you fully disconnect during the holidays and vacations because this kind of signals to you whether they're going to let you disconnect during your holidays, and vacations. My father who's not alive any longer, when he worked for a small business in New York, he didn't take a lot of time off. But he tried to take a week's vacation during the summer and go to the beach. And he'd come home, because there were no cell phones in those days, and he'd gotten a half a dozen or more calls from the owner of the business, basically begging him to come back into work. Is that really what you want? And this kind of question will kind of signal what this person's attitudes are, and what their boundaries are.

Describe a recent success or win that you've had. If they can't really tell you about that, what's the message they're telling you?

Tell me about a disagreement or conflict on the team because there's always going to be a disagreement or a conflict. What was it about? How did you settle it? And you don't want to listen for someone who says we don't have any conflict, because they crushed the opinions of people. So you want to understand how disagreements surfaced.

How did you start your last team meeting? Did they go right into it? Did they have an activity or a conversation to learn more about each other? Like what happened in the last team meeting?

If you were describing the ideal person for this role, what would they be like? So, again, this gives you a sense of their values, and the knowledge, skills, and behaviors they want to see who will be most effective for them.

Who have you promoted and why? They'll always come up with someone but look for the discomfort, because they really don't promote. People leave instead.

Tell me about the last person you recognized. Because recognition is something that people value. You want to be acknowledged publicly, whether that's a thoughtful conversation, getting an email, an award, a mention in a meeting, something that acknowledges someone and their contribution. Again, look at their discomfort for signals that maybe they don't do that.

How do you focus on your own growth and development? They listen to podcasts or books or have a mentor? What do they do to help them grow? And to me, I'm not I don't believe we're going to ask all these questions because I don't think that makes sense. But you can cherry pick some things that are important to you, that are going to allow you to really see what you're stepping into.

Also, on the interviews, when you're talking to the team members, and you ask a question about what's it like working here and you notice the nervous looks from time to . . . from side to side that basically say, not so good here but we're trying to hire someone and and you just see them looking from side to side. And you know, that's a signal.

Don't ignore the messages here. Again, as I've said in other videos, going into your job search, you have to identify what's important to you in the next job or organization. What you'll need to see and hear to believe it's a good choice. And part of that is culture. And these questions are going to help you identify that.

Hope you found this helpful. I'm Jeff Altman. Visit my website,, where I've got a ton there that you can watch, listen to or read, that'll help you. Plus, you can schedule time for a free discovery call or schedule time for coaching. So I can help you. It's really that simple.

And if this isn't the right time for you to go to my site, what you can do is put the address in your phone. Again, that's And my name, Jeff Altman, so this way you can return to it at a later date. I also have courses available through the site. I just released a new one yesterday about salary negotiation mistakes. I'll have a link to it in the show notes. This is a brand new course. And lastly, connect with me on Linkedin at because my network tends to be a lot bigger than yours will be.

Have a terrific day and, most importantly, be great


JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2200 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Schedule a free Discovery call. offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.  

Connect with me on LinkedIn. Like me on Facebook.

Join and attend my classes on Skillshare. Become a premium member and get 2 months free.

Watch my videos on YouTube at, the Job SearchTV app for FireTV, Roku or a firestick or for AppleTV and 90 smart tv platforms.

You can order a copy of “Diagnosing Your Job Search Problems” for Kindle on Amazon and receive free Kindle versions of “No BS Resume Advice” and “Interview Preparation.” If you are starting your search, order, “Get Ready for the Job Jungle.”

Would you like to talk through a salary negotiation or potential negotiation you’re involved with? Order and schedule time with me.

Do you have questions or would like advice about networking or any aspect of your search. Order and schedule time with me.

Would you like me to critique your resume? Order a critique from me

Jeff’s Kindle book, “You Can Fix Stupid: No BS Hiring Advice,” is available on Amazon. 

We grant permission for this post and others to be used on your website as long as a backlink is included and notice is provided that it is provided by Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter as an author or creator.

About the author

Leave a Comment, Thought, Opinion. Speak like you're speaking with someone you love.

%d bloggers like this: