Is “describe your work style” one of the job interview questions you dread most? It can be a challenging question if you’ve never really thought about the setting that makes you most comfortable as an employee. But the real secret to this question is helping hiring managers know what motivates you — and what keeps you from working at your best.
What Do Employers Want When They Ask About My Work Style?
The reason this particular interview question is so puzzling is that it can seem like a trick question, where anything you say can be either the perfect answer or the wrong one. The trick for you, the candidate, is to understand that when employers ask this question, they’re actually testing you to see if what you describe matches the workplace and style they advertised in the job description.
Your Best Workplace Ever Defined
Long before you’re called to an interview — or better still, before you’ve applied to a job — it’s wise to consider the work environment that best suits you. If you’ve worked jobs before, think back on these previous jobs and pinpoint the place where you felt most comfortable and productive. Quick, before you overthink it, write down the first five or six words that come to mind when you think of this workplace. These are the jumping-off point for your description of your ideal work environment, and the style in which you do your best work. Look for these words in job descriptions, and you’ll increase your chances of finding the right employer.
Your Best Workplace Ever, Explained
It’s one thing to have an idea of where you do your best work, and another altogether to explain it to employers in such a way that it seems like an asset to their team. So when the inevitable “describe your work style” question comes up, be prepared. Before any interview, study the job description for words that mesh with your work style. Zero in on words that describe the candidate the employer is looking for, such as “team player,” “self-starter,” “goal-oriented,” and the words that describe the workplace, like “fast-paced,” “no two days are the same,” “busy office” or “outdoor work.” When you’re asked to describe your work style and ideal work environment, repeating the words the employer used to describe the job and the workplace — or the ones that mesh with your work style — is a great way to show you’ve read the job description and you are the best fit for the job.
Having a hard time finding jobs that are suited to your work style? Give Staffing Partners a call already! Our recruiting experts are waiting to match you with the temporary or temp-to-hire job that’s perfect for your work style.