Have you ever sat in silence in an interview, trying to come up with a good answer to “what is your work style?”
If so, it’s okay because this question stumps a lot of people.
Luckily, you can take a few steps to prepare for the next time you receive this question. Then, you won’t have to worry about that awkward silence.
Read on to learn how to answer this question and review some examples.
- Why Do Interviewers Ask “What Is Your Work Style?”?
- How To Answer “What Is Your Work Style?”
- Examples: How To Answer “What Is Your Work Style?”
- Additional Tips for Impressing an Interviewer Asking What Is Your Work Style?
- Additional Questions To Be Aware Of
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping Up
Why Do Interviewers Ask “What Is Your Work Style?”?
When an interviewer asks about your work style, they want to know whether you’d be a good fit for the position.
In many jobs, that means they want to know if you can work with others. However, some roles may require a candidate who can work well alone.
Questions like this could help an interviewer narrow the field between two otherwise equal candidates. If one person’s work style matches the team better, that will help the company choose who to hire.
If you have a good answer to this question, you can set yourself apart. The interviewer wants to find the best possible candidate.
Compared to other questions that focus more on your qualities as a person, this one can give the company a better look at how you’d do as their employee.
What Is the Interviewer Looking For?
The interviewer is looking for an answer that makes sense based on how their team already works. For example, if the team has a very collaborative environment, they’ll want to hear that you work well as part of a team.
They might also look for whether you work well under pressure and how well you work with your supervisor. The interviewer may want to know if you can learn and adapt quickly to changes on the team.
Of course, it can be tempting to lie to get the job. However, you shouldn’t do this because it will be hard to keep this lie if the company hires you.
It’s better to be honest, but you can explain that you’re willing to learn to work in the new environment.
How To Answer “What Is Your Work Style?”
When you’re in an interview, you may need to answer a lot of questions, including “what is your work style?”
Knowing proven examples on how to answer this question can help you prepare before the interview so that you have the points you know you need to cover.
Examples: How To Answer “What Is Your Work Style?”
Maybe you’re still unsure what to say to answer “what is your work style?” Consider a few examples for inspiration.
EXAMPLE ANSWER 1
I work well as part of a team as well as on individual projects. When working with a team, I’m great at connecting with the other members.
This makes me an excellent collaborator, and I can help lead the team when necessary while also following another leader.
Why This Answer Works
This answer showcases how you can work in different types of environments.
It focuses more on working in a team, and it includes how you can be a leader. However, it also shows you’re willing to let others take the lead.
The part of the answer that focuses on leadership is also useful for working alone. If you aren’t working on a team, you’re effectively your own leader.
This answer shows that you’re flexible and can do both, which may be necessary depending on the requirements of the job.
EXAMPLE ANSWER 2
I’m very flexible and can adjust my work to meet the needs of my team. While I do my best work alone, I occasionally enjoy being part of a team.
Working with others pushes me out of my comfort zone, and that gives me new ideas to be more productive on my next solo project.
Why This Answer Works
This answer works because it shows you’re willing to work in a way the company needs you to.
The answer is also honest in that it shares the candidate works best individually. Most of us have a preference for solo or teamwork, and it’s okay to share that.
This answer also shares how the applicant can work with others.
Furthermore, the answer focuses on how the occasional group project makes them better when they work alone. All of this can help you and your potential employer.
EXAMPLE ANSWER 3
I work best as part of a team, and I love getting to lead a group on a project.
As a leader, I know how to delegate tasks to people based on their strengths so that we can all be more productive.
With that said, I also know when to take a back seat and let others lead, once again using their strengths.
Why This Answer Works
This answer works because it focuses on one work style. It also shares how the candidate is flexible and can be part of the team and be a leader.
In both cases, they cover how they like to allow people to focus on what they’re good at doing.
That shows willingness, which is vital, especially when working in a team. Plus, the answer focuses on the desire to improve productivity.
Most companies could stand to be more efficient, and this answer gives an example of how the candidate can help.
If you feel comfortable, you can also formulate the specific answer in the moment. Either way, here are some things you need to know to answer this question.
What To Focus on When Answering This Question
One of the first things to cover is your ideal work environment.
Think about whether you do your best in a team or on your own. You can also share how you can work in the other type of environment but that you do better in one of them.
It’s also important to share your top interpersonal skills. Even if the job will involve a lot of individual work time, you need to communicate with your manager. Share whether you like a lot of supervision or not.
What To Avoid When Answering This Question
You should avoid lying, even if it may result in a “better” answer. If you don’t have the right work style for the job, you may hate working there, so getting the job isn’t worth it.
Another thing to avoid is giving a very long, drawn-out answer. You may know all of the details regarding how you work, but the interviewer likely doesn’t care. They want you to focus on the basics.
Finally, avoid complaining about having to adjust your work style to meet the needs of a job. It doesn’t look professional.
Additional Tips for Impressing an Interviewer Asking What Is Your Work Style?
It always helps to have a few tips when answering communication-related interview questions, like “what is your work style?” Consider a few things that can help you with your answer.
1. Tailor Your Answer
Before your interview, spend time learning about the company and the department.
Figure out what work style they use, such as team projects or individual work. Then, you can make sure your answer is unique and specific to the job you’re interviewing for.
While you can plan a few points to cover, you shouldn’t script the answer. Let what you say flow naturally based on the overall interview.
2. Give Examples
Share how you’ve used your work style in previous jobs and how it’s helped you and your team.
If possible, give numbers or other data to show how your work style came in handy.
If you have zero past examples, put yourself in the position of their new employee. Share how you might use your work style to help the team grow and improve.
3. Focus on Flexibility
Assuming you can be flexible and adapt, include that in your answer. Even if the team uses one work style now, that could change in the future.
If you’re not that flexible, share how you’re working on being more flexible.
4. Mention How You’re Changing
Perhaps in your research, you find your current work style isn’t ideal for the job.
Focus your answer on how you’re working on changing your work style to meet company needs. Then, you can show the interviewer how much you care about the company’s success.
Additional Questions To Be Aware Of
If you feel unsure about how to answer what is your work style, you may want to prepare for other similar interview questions, consider these ones and learn how to answer them.
- Tell Me About a Time You Failed: Interviewers want to know how you handle situations that don’t go your way and how you overcome them.
- What Is Your Management Style?: If you’re applying for a management role, the company wants to know how you’d handle the responsibility.
- How Do You Handle Stress?: Every job has stressful days, so the interviewer needs to know if you can deal with a tough workload.
- What Does Integrity Mean to You?: This question is a great way to share that you’re an honest person and that you prioritize integrity.
- Do You Have Any Questions for Me?: An interview is just as much a chance for you to interview the company as it is for them to interview you.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you still aren’t sure how to talk about your work style, here are some questions you may have.
What does work style mean?
Work style refers to how your personality affects how you work.
For example, introverts may work best on their own, while extroverts may prefer to be part of a team.
It could also cover whether you deal well with pressure or stress.
How do you ask your work style?
You may want to ask the interviewer about their work style or that of the team. Ask this question when the interviewer asks if you have any questions for them.
Then, you can learn if your work style matches that of your future coworkers.
“What is your work style?” may not be the most popular job interview question.
However, it can help you give a lot of context to an interviewer, and sometimes it could make or break your chances of landing a job.
Be sure you answer honestly and that you showcase your flexibility. Who knows? Your answer to this question may put you ahead of the other applicants.