If a heavily foreign team is a deal breaker for me, how can I ask about it before moving on to the interview phase, without coming off as a bigot or racist?

I understand that this is a very touchy question, but I'd appreciate serious responses that address the question being asked, not my reasons for asking it; after many years of experience, I've come to realize that there have always been cultural differences between myself and groups colleagues, and this has greatly impacted my enjoyment of work.

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    So you only want to work with people from your own culture? It sounds like you should just come out and say that. I imagine that in an increasingly globalized world that will close a lot of doors, but it seems that you are ok with that. I'm not sure what the problem you're trying to solve is, exactly? – MrFox Apr 29 '14 at 19:01
  • It's really a certain culture that I don't enjoy working with, not all cultures. I'm trying to solve the problem of asking 'Will I be working with a team that is primarily from this country?' without disqualifying myself. – howitgoes Apr 29 '14 at 19:02
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    @VietnhiPhuvan: Like I said, my problem is conflicting cultures, not race or ethnicity. This is why the question is so tricky; many incorrectly leap from culture to race/ethnicity. – howitgoes Apr 29 '14 at 19:18
  • possible duplicate of How can I gauge a company's culture before I begin working there? Answers in questions listed as duplicates there also provide a lot of insight, especially in What are specific ways to learn meaningful information about company culture in interviews? – gnat Apr 29 '14 at 19:52
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    @howitgoes What are these 2 specific conflicting cultures ? – happybuddha Apr 30 '14 at 0:50

I urge you not to generalize entire cultures based on some past experiences. Within every ethnic group there are different people of all stripes.

So my advice to you is as follows:

1) Figure out specifically what it is that you don't like working with. Is it a culture that over/under communicates? Is too confrontational or too distant, etc? Ask the interviewers about company culture with regards to the real items of concern to you, as in the specific behaviours, rather than gross generalizations about a group of people.

2) If you are unable to do that, and you are convinced that you are biased against this one group, then so be it. You should not work with these people, and I trust that they wouldn't want to work with you either. Try asking the interviewers to meet the team you will be working with before deciding to proceed. Bear in mind that these very people might be hired in the future, and you may end up having to work with them anyway.

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    "Try asking the interviewers to meet the team you will be working with before deciding to proceed." Would be probably the best solution for this problem. – Viezevingertjes May 1 '14 at 9:39

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