Why do employers ask about work style?
Interviewers ask this question to find out how well you fit into their company culture. Your response can help the hiring manager determine whether you have the qualities to deliver results in the position for which you are applying. Employers can also use your answer to gauge how you will perform in a team.
This question requires you to know your strengths and weaknesses and how to adapt to changing circumstances. The interviewer will expect your answer to highlight your skills, self-awareness, industry knowledge and the responsibilities of the position.
To answer this question satisfactorily, it is important to read the job description carefully and research the company before the interview. Go to the company’s website and study their previous job ads and recruitment materials. You can often find keywords related to the most valued qualities the organization wants in candidates.
You can also check their social media handles and go through the organization’s recruitment posts. This can help you identify the company’s culture and craft relevant answers that emphasize specific attributes the employer wants to see in employees.
Even if your work style differs from the employer’s, your answer should show your willingness to adapt to new environments to deliver results for the organization. Demonstrate your passion for the position and your commitment to collaborating with other people to help the company achieve its objectives.
How to answer “What is your work style?”
How you respond to this interview question is an important determinant in your ability to get the position. While you can learn about the company’s work style from the job posting and the employer’s website, it is vital to understand the environment in which you perform at your best. Here are some ways to learn more about your work style so you can give a convincing response when an interviewer asks you this question:
1. Consider your best work environment
One of the most important details the interviewer will want to hear when you describe your work style is whether you excel in teams or prefer working on your own. While many interviewers expect candidates who work well in teams, there is nothing wrong with being independent. If you love working as part of a team, discuss your experience collaborating with other people and how that helped you achieve better results. If you prefer working alone, make sure to also emphasize the value of collaboration and getting feedback from colleagues.
2. Consider your relationship with management
Another point to consider is your work relationship with your manager. The interviewer will want to know whether you like to take direction from your manager or team lead in every aspect of your responsibilities. Conversely, you may be more comfortable working with little or no supervision except for regular progress reports. In your answer, emphasize the importance of teamwork and feedback from your manager. This will ensure you deliver results according to the requirements and specifications of the job.
3. Consider your speed and accuracy
A good response will include your speed and accuracy and how it affects the quality of your results. This can show the interviewer you can perform in a fast-paced work environment. Your response should include the strategies you have used to achieve a high level of productivity. You can talk about how you plan your day, the number of hours you work per day and if you can stay late at the office to complete important tasks.
4. Be honest
It is important to be honest about your ideal work style. If you prefer working alone in a quiet environment, let the interviewer know. It’s also beneficial to discuss your flexibility and how you can adapt to different work environments.
5. Be concise
Keep your answer brief and relevant to the job requirements. Instead of talking about every aspect of your work style, talk about the best qualities that make you the perfect candidate for the position. For example, you could focus on the flexibility you’ve shown in previous roles.
What is your work style?
Your working style is the way that you go about your day-to-day tasks on the job. Everyone has their own working style – or strategy – for optimally performing while at work. It’s important to know your work style so that you can maximize your time at work, communicate effectively with others and be as productive as you can be. So how can you determine which working style you use?
First, ask yourself: h ow would you describe your work style ? Are you more efficient when you’re working independently and are responsible for your own schedule and tasks? Or do you like having a team to give feedback on your ideas, provide support and help you stay on track? Do you routinely bring emotion into the workplace or do you focus on the facts? When it comes to problem-solving, do you pay close attention to details or are you more of a big picture type? The answers to these questions will give you hints as to whether you’re more independent or cooperative, strategic or detail-oriented.
To determine your working style , you can also think about how you communicate (written versus verbal, listening versus talking), how you deal with conflict (confrontative versus avoidant) and how you go through your day (very planned out versus “winging it”). You can even take a personality test like the DISC Assessment to help you figure out your working style.
Different work styles
There is no right or wrong working style – every workplace needs a lot of different types of workers in order to function efficiently. Just imagine if everyone was an independent, creative and visionary type: Nothing would ever get done. On the other hand, a workplace filled with detail-oriented planners would quickly get bogged down in minutiae. The key is to know your own style, so you can be more aware of how you’re communicating with others. Then you can hire the right team whose working styles complement each other so that productivity soars.
Some people are not happy unless they’re working solo – we’ll classify this as an independent working style. They have great difficulty working closely with other people and can’t work well under a great deal of supervision. They have to run their own show. They like to follow their instinct and see where it takes them.
Visionary and entrepreneurial types often have an independent working style. This type is also often found in creative or scientific fields. Imagine the writer working late on a novel or the engineer’s intense focus on solving a problem. Independent working styles are efficient, disciplined and productive.
Others function best as part of a group. We call their professional working style cooperative . They want to share responsibility for any task they take on. They enjoy bouncing feedback off others and working together on projects.
Cooperative workers are diplomatic and are typically excellent communicators. They are often found in relationship-oriented roles like human resources and in leadership roles. Account executives, HR directors and project managers are often known to have cooperative working styles . They’re organized, collaborative and usually know the secret to strategic learning .
Still others have a proximity working style , which is somewhere in between. They prefer to work with other people while maintaining sole responsibility for a task. They are in charge but not alone. They get to have a social connection with their coworkers while pursuing their own projects.
Proximity working styles are found in all aspects of business. They are versatile and adaptable and able to take on many different roles. They’ll connect the independent and cooperative types, helping to build a team that works.
Do you have employees who are expressive and emotionally aware? Individuals whose main goal is to form deep connections with their colleagues and your clients have a supportive working style. Team members with this style are adept at facilitating team interactions and will be able to tell you if something is amiss with one of their coworkers. They thrive on collaboration rather than competition and are happiest celebrating successes with other members of the team.
5. Big picture
For every detail-lover on your team, there must be a leader who thrives in their big picture working style. If you’re an entrepreneur, it’s likely you have this type of style. Big picture types see and embrace the company’s vision . They drive change and are able to integrate competing ideas and priorities into one innovative strategy. Having some big picture types on your team will help you anticipate future obstacles and turn them into opportunities.
What Not to Do
Give Overly Specific, Rigid Responses: Unless you can very precisely nail down both the company and the interviewer’s preferred work style, it’s best not to be too definitive. If you say, “I work best alone” and the manager wants a team player, you’ll have automatically disqualified yourself.
Use Clichés: During interviews, everyone is a hard worker, detail-oriented, and a team player. It’s fine to claim these traits for yourself, but since these words and phrases are uttered so frequently, back them up with examples if you use them.
Be Dishonest or Fail to Answer the Questions: While you do not want to be too specific and make yourself seem rigid, it’s also unwise to be so vague in your response that the interviewer doesn’t get a sense of you as an employee. We all have preferences when it comes to our workplace. This is your moment to share yours. If you truly dislike morning meetings, or have some other quirk, it may be worth mentioning it in your response.