What Is Your Ideal Vision for Company Culture and How Have You Upheld Company Values in Prior Roles?

“Culture” can be like “leadership”—everyone seems to have their own, slightly original definition. I generally refer to culture as an ideal way that a group agrees to act in accordance with shared values. For example, the company Bridgewater Associates is known for its culture of “radical transparency which means that giving feedback to anyone at any time is not only acceptable but expected, regardless of role or seniority.

Companies “want to know your view on organizational culture to ensure you’re a strong match for the direction they’re heading,” Polin says. In other words, a company will compare your personal vision of an ideal culture with the culture they want to uphold or create to assess if you’re a match.

So to answer this question, reflect on the behaviors, environments, and values that you believe help groups work best: Is there scheduled company time for socializing because you believe it helps build teamwork? How should people approach difficult conversations? Does everyone need to be involved in every decision? Have you ever participated in establishing a company-wide values, ethics, or culture statement?

Depending on the exact question you were asked, you might go on to discuss how you’ve upheld company culture and values. How have you ensured that company values are upheld in interactions—for example, have you spoken up when something didn’t seem right? How did you foster company values in your direct reports or your colleagues? The ability to translate values into action requires loyalty, awareness, and commitment—traits that are invaluable to a company.