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by Rob Porter | April 29, 2024


For job seekers, workplace culture can often be the deciding factor on whether they accept an offer from a company. You could get some information about a company’s workplace culture by checking out its website and social media pages, but it’s important to remember that just because a company is saying something online doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true. If you want to get a read on a company’s values and the kind of environment it encourages, you might consider asking during a job interview. Here are some great sample questions to help get you started.

“What does [Company Name]’s onboarding process look like?”

This question serves multiple purposes. First, asking this question will allow you to gain insight into how a company’s onboarding process works, which will help you to prepare yourself in the event you receive an offer. Additionally, the onboarding process serves as a reflection of the company’s commitment to employee engagement, development, and success. If anything about the onboarding process strikes you as odd or confusing, it could be a sign of a bigger problem.

“How does [Company Name] handle feedback from its employees?”

All good companies should be dedicated to the continuous improvement of their workplace culture. By asking this question, you’ll be able to determine whether a company is open to employee feedback, and how it might apply such feedback to improve its workplace culture, processes, or business practices. A company that values employee feedback fosters a culture of trust, collaboration, and support. If you get the impression that the company doesn’t value employee feedback, it could be an indication of a toxic workplace culture or leadership team.

“Can you provide an example of when [Company Name] supported an employee’s professional growth?”

The best companies are invested in their employees’ professional development. By getting a real-life example from the interviewer, you can gain insight into a company’s leadership style and whether it offers mentorships or other similar programs. The best part about this question is that it forces the interviewer to think on their feet—if they’re unable to provide a solid example or they’re tripping over their words, it could be indicative of an absence of employee development programs or an even larger problem.

“How does [Company Name] encourage open and transparent communication at all levels?”

Open communication is integral to a healthy workplace environment. A company that makes open communication a priority fosters a workplace environment in which employees feel valued and empowered to share their ideas, concerns, and unique perspectives. This question will also help you determine whether a company promotes inclusivity, as truly open and effective communication requires the breakdown of certain barriers. Depending on the interviewer’s response, you may also gain insight into the company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices.

“How has [Company Name]’s core values influenced its business decisions?”

In your research you should have learned a bit about the company’s core values, so asking this question serves a different purpose. Here, you’re giving the interviewer an opportunity to explain how the company puts its core values into practice. Understanding how a company ‘s core values influence its decision-making process will provide insight into its culture, ethics, and overall integrity, and a company that integrates its values into its decision making is more likely to operate in alignment with its mission and purpose. If the interviewer seems to be having trouble answering this question, it could be a bad sign.

“Has [Company Name] changed since you started?”

Asking this question will help you gain information about the interviewer’s personal experience with the company, and the changes they’ve witnessed firsthand. Understanding these changes will provide you with valuable insight into the company’s culture, as well as its potential for growth and its evolution over time. The best companies are dynamic and learn to adapt quickly, which gives them a high probability of future success. Companies that are unwilling to change often become unviable in the face of social or economic changes, which can lead to high employee turnover. The bottom line is, the interviewer’s answer to this question can reveal a whole lot about a company.

Keep in mind that these questions can be asked in a variety of different ways, and that the above examples are meant to serve as a starting point as you begin to prepare for job interviews. Factors such as company culture, or whether you’ve already built a relationship with the hiring manager prior to your interview may influence the way in which you ask such questions. In any case, the best way to get information about a potential employer is to go straight to the source.