Mastering the Interview: How to Uncover Company Culture and Find Your Perfect Fit

By Rob Fortescue on 19 June 2024

Mastering the Interview: How to Uncover Company Culture and Find Your Perfect Fit

When looking for a new role it is important to not only ensure that the job is right for you but the company as well. Determining the culture of a company during the interview is essential to ensure that the job is right for you.

Every company has a unique culture which is made up from their values, practices and behaviours, but more importantly from the people who work there. When interviewing it is your opportunity to ask questions and observe to help you make an informed decision if this is the place for you. This can be challenging as it is the interviewer’s opportunity to sell to you the best bits of the company, job and team. So, let’s look at ways you can uncover the company culture to ascertain if it is where you want to spend 40 hours of your time a week.

Having an idea of what type of culture you’d like to work in is a really important first step in order to prepare. Think about your values and what it is you are looking for from your next role. This could be a combination of the environment, the commute, the people, the structure or the perks! If you are going for a new role then you have already started a change process, so how far are you prepared to change and what are the dealbreakers?


Research the company before the interview is a really good first step to determine the culture and is also highly important in your preparation for the interview. There are many ways to do this from LinkedIn to the company’s website. Check out Instagram or Facebook as some organisations like to share updates on here too. Is there anyone in your network who works there or previously did? If so, they will be a good source of information. Glassdoor is a good tool to use as it independently collects information from past and current employees but take it with a pinch of salt as there are likely to be other determining factors behind some of the feedback. You can use this to form questions to ask during the interview.

Ask the right questions

Ask questions to draw out the culture, so yes you obviously want to find out the details of the job, but you also need to ask questions about the company, team and manager. Asking “What is the company culture” is not going to get you much, but asking more specific questions about behaviours, traditions or decisions will, so maybe try:

  • Can you give me an example of how the company recognises and rewards employee achievements?

  • How does the company support professional development?

  • Why do you work here?

  • What are the company values? Can you give me an example of them in action?

The answers to questions like these should start to paint the picture of the culture of both the company and the interviewer.


Observation is key to figuring out the culture, ideally you will want to meet in person at the site the job is based at. This will give you the chance to evaluate the people interviewing you, how do they behave and communicate with each other? Are they prepared for the interview? Are they interested in you or just rattling through a list?

It also gives you the chance to ask for a tour of the site, by doing this you will get a good feel of the culture, ask to see where the team sit. How do people interact, what is the dress code, are there break out areas or are the doors all closed?

Interviews are a two-way street; they are your opportunity to assess if this is the right fit for you. So, prepare well, have predetermined questions about the culture and be yourself. We are round pegs, and this is your opportunity to work out if the hole is round or square.

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