Culture Fit Vs. Culture Add – Choosing the Right Approach

Ditch affinity bias when hiring with these must-ask interview questions to assess for more than just a culture-fit

Ahsan Raza
Reviewed by:
Sabika Abbas
July 24, 2024
0 min read time
Ahsan Raza
Content Strategy Specialist

There’s been so much talk over the last few years about hiring for “culture fit.” Hiring people who will automatically fit into your company's culture and creating a cohesive team sounds good in theory. But the problem with hiring for culture fit is that you end up hiring the same “type” of person repeatedly. They overlook key factors and fall prey to groupthink. Ultimately, their projects can suffer from a lack of innovation.

Worse still, hiring for fit tends to amplify biases and prejudices. People who are "different" might be rejected or excluded, deliberately or unthinkingly, because managers assume they will be difficult to work with and won't stay around. But, even if someone doesn’t typically fit into your company culture, they might still be able to improve it. 

What is Culture Fit?

Culture Fit refers to hiring individuals who easily align with and adapt to the existing values, behaviors, and environment of a company. 

This approach aims to create a cohesive team by selecting people who are similar to the current team members. However, it can lead to a lack of diversity, innovation, and potential biases.

What is Culture Add?

Culture Add involves hiring individuals who not only fit into the existing company culture but also bring unique perspectives, experiences, and ideas that enhance and improve the workplace. This approach values diversity and the contributions new team members can make to drive innovation and growth.

What's the Difference between Culture Fit and Culture Add?

Aspect Culture Fit Culture Add
Definition Hiring individuals who align with the existing company culture. Hiring individuals who bring unique contributions and enhance the company culture.
Goal Create a cohesive team by maintaining current values and behaviors. Foster innovation and growth through diverse perspectives and ideas.
Impact on Diversity Can limit diversity and lead to groupthink. Encourages diversity and prevents groupthink.
Bias and Prejudices May amplify biases and exclude those who are different. Reduces biases by valuing different backgrounds and perspectives.
Innovation Potentially stifles innovation due to homogeneity. Promotes innovation through diverse contributions.

Also read: How To Interview A Graphic Designer: A Complete Guide

Take inspiration from these questions to assess the best culture addition for your company. 

5 Questions to Assess Culture Add

Question 1: What is your impression of our company’s culture, values, and mission? How do you think we could improve?

Consider this question as the North Star of culture assessment. It lets you get the candidate’s insights about the company culture and even dig deep into any fresh ideas they have on how to identify opportunities for growth to make things even better. 

[fs-toc-omit]🎯 What skills does the question assess? 

  • Cultural awareness 
  • Candor about making positive change 
  • Analytical thinking and preparedness 

[fs-toc-omit]🌟 A Suitable Answer Would Be:

"I've researched your company thoroughly and really appreciate how people-focused the culture is. I also noticed a commitment to innovation, collaboration, and diversity, which aligns with my values. To enhance the culture, I'd suggest encouraging cross-departmental interactions through regular events, ensuring everyone feels connected to the broader mission”.

Also read: How to interview a brand manager

Question 2: What do you enjoy about working as a team, and which values help you achieve this?

This question inspects the candidate's perspective on teamwork and allows them to showcase the unique values that facilitate their collaborative efforts. It lets recruiters know how well they recognize their skills and how they use them in a way that fosters a collaborative environment. 

[fs-toc-omit]🎯 What skills does the question assess? 

  • Willingness to share their strengths to uplift others 
  • Ability to recognize their own strengths 
  • Alignment with company values

[fs-toc-omit]🌟 A Suitable Answer Would Be:

"I love working in teams because it brings diverse ideas together. Teamwork, for me, is about open communication, respecting everyone's input, and committing to success together. These values make the work environment positive and help us achieve our goals as a team.”

Also read: How To Interview An SQL Developer: A Complete Guide

Question 3: How do you give negative feedback to team members as a leader, and which values help you with this?

Culture add questions are just as important for leadership candidates, particularly one about delivering negative feedback. You learn more about their communication and leadership skills and how well their values align with creating a positive and constructive team culture.

[fs-toc-omit]🎯 What skills does the question assess? 

  • Diversity of thought 
  • Ability to connect with people from different backgrounds
  • Emotional Intelligence

[fs-toc-omit]🌟 A Suitable Answer Would Be:

"As a leader, I approach negative feedback with empathy and constructive solutions.  I value honesty and accountability during my conversations. I aim to create a space where feedback is seen as a tool for growth rather than criticism to encourage continuous improvement within the team."

Also read: How To Interview A Social Media Marketing Manager: A Complete Guide

Question 4: Describe a time when you helped a coworker or direct report with a work problem.

This question assesses how a candidate uses their core values to approach problem-solving. Do they suggest collaborative and supportive actions within the team? How is their style and strategy unique, and what value does it add?

[fs-toc-omit]🎯 What skills does the question assess? 

  • Collaboration 
  • Problem-Solving and management 
  • Empathy

[fs-toc-omit]🌟 A Suitable Answer Would Be:

"A colleague was struggling to meet a deadline due to unforeseen challenges. I stepped in and offered them help since I had experience with the project. We worked together, and I provided guidance while considering their perspective.”

Also read: How To Interview A Product Manager: A Complete Guide

Question 5: Describe an occasion at work when you had to do something you disagreed with. How did you handle it?

This question aims to understand how individuals navigate situations at work where they have to carry out a task or follow through on something they don't agree with. It explores their ability to handle disagreement or conflicting views within the workplace and how they approach and manage such a situation.

[fs-toc-omit]🎯 What skills does the question assess? 

  • Conflict Resolution 
  • Adaptability and flexibility
  • Open-mindedness and conscientiousness 

[fs-toc-omit]🌟 A Suitable Answer Would Be:

"I worked on a project where I had reservations about the chosen approach. Instead of opposing it outright, I laid out my concerns constructively during team discussions. Eventually, we found a middle ground that addressed my inhibitions and met the project's goals."

Also read: How To Interview A Media Buyer - A Complete Guide

[fs-toc-omit]🤖 Create Relevant Questions with our AI Interview Question Generator 

Our cutting-edge AI Interview Question Generator helps you craft targeted and engaging interview questions that perfectly align with your hiring needs. With our AI-powered solution, you can tailor questions to delve into a candidate's true potential and reveal insights beyond the surface. 

Download Latest Report
Hire Top Talent with AI
From a pool of 10M+ top candidate