Interview Question: What Is Your Work Style? (With Example Answers)
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.
Interview Question: “What Is Your Work Style?” (With Example Answers)
An open-ended question like “What is your work style?” is a common feature in most types of interviews. Hiring managers use this question to determine whether you would be a good fit for their organization, so a good answer can help you increase your chances of getting the role. While the question is ambiguous, knowing how to respond can position you as the ideal candidate for the job. In this article, we discuss why employers ask about work style and provide tips and examples to help you craft a compelling answer.
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 collaborate 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.
Examples of the Best Answers
Example Answer #1
My work style is extremely flexible—working on so many different projects requires me to be adaptive. In general, I try to work on one project at a time, working as quickly and efficiently as possible to achieve the best results. All of my projects require collaboration, so I use the team environment to check for errors. I am a perfectionist and a driven worker, and I think my clear communication skills allow me to bring out the best in any team, in any project.
Why It Works: This answer establishes the candidate’s preferred work style (one project at a time) while also highlighting other key workplace skills, such as flexibility and collaboration. Unless the job description specifically called for multitasking, this response ticks off a lot of positive in-demand qualities for candidates.
Example Answer #2
I am extremely dependable. I have rarely missed a day’s work, and am known for coming in early and staying late to finish important tasks and achieve results. This dependability extends to my collaborative work as well. I always meet deadlines and help my teammates to meet theirs as well. For example, on my last project, a teammate was struggling to complete his assignment for the team, and I stayed late every day that week to help him not only complete his assignment, but exceed our initial estimated turnaround time for the project.
Example Answer #3
I always keep on top of my projects. Owing to my organizational skills and efficiency, I can successfully juggle multiple projects at once. While I complete most of my work independently, I greatly value input and will consult with team members to ensure we’re all on the same track. I also appreciate checking in regularly with my boss to update her on my progress and ask about any issues that have arisen. This open communication helps me complete tasks efficiently and accurately.
Tips for Giving the Best Answer
Think Through Your Work Style: Do you work fast? Enjoy collaboration? Try to do your hardest project in the early morning? Have a preferred way of engaging with your manager? These are all things you can discuss in your answer.
Give Examples: Consider including a brief example that emphasizes your work style. For example, mention a time when your efficiency and ability to multitask helped you complete an assignment a week before the deadline.
- Speed and accuracy: If you work quickly and efficiently, you might mention this in your answer, especially if the job requires meeting tight deadlines. However, it’s important to impress the interviewer with your competency and accuracy, rather than just your speed. If you say you work at a fast and steady pace, emphasize the strategies you use to avoid making mistakes.
- Structuring your day: You may want to focus on how you organize your day. Do you prefer to do your most difficult tasks in the morning? Do you prefer to focus on one assignment at a time, or multitask? You might also mention how many hours you typically work. If you are someone who always goes above and beyond, and stays late to complete tasks, say so.
- Working alone or in collaboration: The employer might want to know whether you prefer to work solo or collaboratively. Think carefully about the job before answering this question. Most jobs require at least some collaboration, so even if you prefer to work alone, emphasize that you value others’ input.
- Taking direction: Another important element of your work style is how you like to communicate with your boss. Do you prefer to be guided, or do you like to be given a task and left alone to complete it? Thinking about your ideal relationship with your employer will help both you and the interviewer decide whether you are a good fit for the job.
- Your communication style: If this job requires constant communication, you might want to emphasize how you communicate with employers, staff, and clients throughout the workday. Do you prefer to communicate by email, phone conversations, or face-to-face meetings? Again, think about what this job requires before you answer. Most jobs will require a combination of communication tactics.