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Our tips on answering the interview question, “What is your work style?”

Our tips on answering the interview question, “What is your work style?”

Artwork by: Antonina Kasyanikova

  • How to answer the question, what is your work style?
  • Think about what makes you most productive at work
  • Figure out how much managerial intervention you prefer
  • Don’t hesitate when answering the question
  • Provide some examples
  • Sample answers: What is your work style?
  • Key takeaways

Open-ended interview questions, such as “What is your work style?” are common, but they might be a bit difficult to answer. Read on to learn more about how to answer this type of question to make a positive impression on the interviewer.

Some interview questions are easy to answer, while others can catch you by surprise and make you think long and hard before answering. “What is your work style?” is one of those challenging questions that will likely reveal a lot about your dedication and work ethic. 

In this blog post, we’ll share:

  • Some tips on answering the question, “What is your work style?”

  • A few scripts you can use to answer this interview question

How to answer the question, what is your work style?

Your response to this question will go a long way in helping the interviewer decide whether you’re the right fit for this job. While it’s crucial to learn about a company’s environment and culture, it’s equally important to figure out what type of working conditions allow you to deliver your best. Here are a few things you can do to prepare a good response to this question. 

Think about what makes you most productive at work

When you’re preparing your answer to this question, think about your ideal working environment. Do you work well with teams, or do you prefer working on your own with minimal supervision? While companies typically look for team players, it’s okay to let the interviewer know that you enjoy flying solo.

Regardless of your preferred work style, it’s important to talk about the significance of collaboration and synergies. If you’re served on a team, talk about how it helped you achieve your professional goals. On the other hand, if you prefer working alone, let the employer know that you would be open to collaboration if the situation asks for it.

Figure out how much managerial intervention you prefer

Think about your relationship with your current or most recent supervisor. Do you enjoy receiving comprehensive instructions and directions from your immediate supervisor, or do you like working with minimal supervision?

When preparing your answer, make sure to focus on the importance of receiving feedback from a supervisor. After all, the hiring manager wants to know how comfortable you are with l following instructions from a manager or team lead.  

Don’t hesitate when answering the question

Honesty is the best policy, especially when it comes to answering the question, “What is your work style?” 

Your answer should be straightforward, and it should focus on how your work style actually helps you deliver results. For instance, if you prefer working 10-6 instead of 9-5, you can briefly mention a time when this type of working arrangement came in handy, such as saving a crucial project from cancellation on a Friday evening after 5:30.

Provide some examples

If you’re unable to explain how your work style helps you deliver results, your interviewer may not be too impressed with your response. For instance, discuss how you can effectively perform in a fast-paced environment or achieve a high level of productivity by providing some concrete examples from your previous employment.

Sample answers: What is your work style?

After you’ve figured out your work style, try to summarize it in the form of a script. Let’s take a look at a few scripts you can use to explain your work style to an interviewer.

Example 1

Thank you for that question. I enjoy working alone without too much interference from my supervisors, but I’m open to the idea of teamwork. In fact, at one of my previous employment, I enjoyed participating in brainstorming sessions with our executives when designing pitch decks for clients. If the task is significantly complex, I’m more than comfortable reaching out to other department leaders and subject-matter experts and obtaining their input on how to best manage the task at hand. However, if the work is simple and straightforward, I’d prefer to do it on my own.

Example 2

To be honest, it really depends on the nature of the task. For simple projects that are well within my job role and area of expertise, I don’t like to bug people. However, I do enjoy some collaboration every now and then. I typically plan my day in such a way so that I can spend the first two hours at work focusing on tasks that require minimal collaboration. The next three to four hours are dedicated to tasks that require a lot of discussions and debates with others.

Example 3

Throughout my professional career, I’ve had the chance to work with a team of diverse individuals, and I’ve found those discussions to be extremely engaging and productive. For example, at my previous organization, we were trying to fix a network error, and only one of our team members had the necessary expertise to address the issue. I helped arrange a training session for our department, which allowed us to learn about the problem and protect our company against similar breakdowns. 

Example 4

Since my job involves managing people, I enjoy working with large teams. I like to schedule periodic check-in meetings with my colleagues to help them stay on track and provide feedback on their performance. I also enjoy working with cross-functional teams on complex projects with tight deadlines. I plan my workday in a way so that I have ample time to tend to my daily job-related tasks, as well as attend a couple of collaboration and brainstorming meetings with other team leaders.

During a job interview, the hiring manager is likely to ask you a myriad of questions. You cannot leave anything to chance. Check out our interview preparation services and prepare an amazing script to leave a lasting impression on the interviewer! 

Key takeaways

1. During a job interview, the interviewer may ask you questions about your work style and ideal working environment. It’s  best to provide an honest response.

2. When explaining your work style, provide some examples and results from existing or previous jobs that demonstrate your ability to achieve desired results. 

3. Keep your answers short, but let the interviewer know you’re capable of working well on your own or as part of a team. 

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