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How to Answer the Interview Question, “Describe Your Work Style”

Open-ended and vague interview questions can be especially challenging. The inquiry, “Describe your work style,” falls into that category. After all, what does work style even mean?

Although this “question” seems frustrating, the employer is trying to determine if you are a good culture fit, if you will mesh well with co-workers and if you can meet the demands of the position.

Use these tips to craft a winning response.

Address Two or Three of the Following Questions

  • Do you prefer to work as an individual or as a team?
    A company may favor one personality type. However, most jobs require a combination of both skills. In either case, emphasize the value you place on feedback from others as this highlights your willingness to learn and improve.

 

  • Do you prefer to work with direct or indirect supervision?
    Addressing this question will provide clues as to how well you will get along with your future boss. Although you may work better in one situation over the other, be sure to focus on your adaptability as well.

 

  • How do you communicate best?
    You may favor email over conversation or regular feedback over less frequent check-ins. Once again, stress your ability to adjust to different settings. Mention any technical communication systems you are familiar with from chat clients to project management software.

 

  • How do you structure your day?
    Perhaps you are a night owl or a morning lark. Perhaps you work best on a regular schedule or you prefer flex time. Let your interviewer know how you take a purposeful approach, based on your personality, to be as productive as possible.

 

Research the Position

Give yourself an edge by learning about an organization before tackling the work-style question. Websites and social media can provide a variety of insights into company cultures. Or better yet, if you have a personal connection, talk to someone who works there.

Be Sincere

During your research, you may be tempted to shape your response to fit exactly what you believe the interviewer wants to hear. However, make sure you are being honest with yourself too. If you have trouble working with teams, don’t pretend to be something you are not. You may land a job in the short term, but in the long term, you are far more likely to be unhappy at work.

Give Specific Examples

Clichés such as “I always work hard” or “I get along well with others” will not be very convincing. Make your response stand out by briefly explaining how you meet a tight deadline or how you pulled together a team. Stories will be more memorable than statements, and they will give you more credibility.

Are you looking for more ideas on preparing for your next interview? Check out our post on how to answer, “Why Shouldn’t We Hire You?” Or, connect with one of the Employment Specialists at Aventure Staffing. We would be happy to offer interview tips and job hunting advice at no charge to you. Contact us today to learn more!

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