Interviews can be daunting experiences. No matter if you are seasoned or fresh on the job market, the idea of an interview can be very anxiety-inducing. People lose sleep over wondering what questions might be posed and how they ought to answer.
Open-ended questions are one of the most feared categories. The dreaded “Tell me a little about yourself” or “Where do you see yourself in five years?” serve as good examples of this. A more complicated and often overlooked question is, “What is your work style?”
It made you stop and think, right? That’s why it is such a good question. It is pertinent to the task of hiring you while also making you question yourself and your methods. It is a potent question, and in this article, we shall be looking at how you can prepare for it and how you can conquer it.
Employers want to know about you. More specifically, they want to see if you will be a good fit for their company and corporate culture. For example, if you are applying to a newspaper and can only work in total silence, you might not be the best fit because the newsroom is a very bustling, high-energy place.
However, the question runs more in-depth than what the interviewer wants to know. The interviewer wants you to think about your strengths, weaknesses, methods, why the company could use someone like you, and how your talents service the position you have applied for.
On top of all this, they want to see how you, if your methods and approaches do not gel with the company culture, are willing to take steps to adapt to your surroundings and circumstances. Adaptability is a highly valued trait among all potential hires.
Okay, now the fun part. You have been hit with, “How would you describe your work style?” How do you go about answering it? First of all, don’t panic. It’s just a question. You can get through it if you have a clear head and some strategy. That first part is on you. As for the second, well, let us take a more in-depth look at it, shall we?
The very first and most important thing you want to do is research. Always research the company’s webpage and the market at large. Learn what kinds of things are mentioned concerning the post, what values are essential to the company specifically, what buzzwords or keywords appear repeatedly, and work them into your answers.
While you are at it, open up LinkedIn or Glassdoor or Indeed and go through the company’s previous recruitment material, if any. The more you study, the more you can bring to the table at the actual interview. This demonstrates your industry knowledge and tells the interviewer that you have done your due diligence and are ready for this opportunity.
Another thing you can do to prepare yourself is to follow the social media handles of the company you are applying to. Due to companies’ heavy importance placed on maintaining a social media presence, you will likely come across recruitment posts or related content on social platforms. Pay attention to these posts - do they give you information on the type of candidate the company is looking for?
Now, at heart, the interviewer wants to know your strengths and weaknesses and see if you are aware of them. Don’t be afraid to take a moment to think about this, but keep your answer relevant. If you exhibit strengths that do not fall under what the company is looking for, explain why it would be an asset. If you have weaknesses that make you clash against the company culture, tell them what you are doing to get over it. Remember to always sell your adaptability.
When thinking about your work style answer, you should strongly consider the following points:
This is probably one of the most important details you can provide about yourself. Are you a team player? Do you do your best work when on your own? Does noise prove to be a huge distraction?
Whatever you end up telling them, always mention the value of the other end of the spectrum. For example, if you say that you prefer working alone - nothing wrong with that - you should tell the interviewer that you do see value in teamwork and appreciate feedback from peers and coworkers.
This is also extremely important. Managers want to know how to work with you, so you need to tell them very clearly if you wish to take direction from them in every aspect of the job or if you are more of a self-starter.
Your answer informs management’s stance towards you, and they will mesh with your work style. It is your job to know which approach works for you in the role you applied for.
There is always a need for speed in work environments. Deadlines are a real thing, and at the end of the day, all that matters is whether you can deliver your report on time. This is of utmost importance, as you can see, and informs the interviewer whether the pace you keep is in line with the speed of the corporate environment of the company. At the same time, let them know that pace in no way negatively impacts your work’s accuracy and precision. Let them know how you deal with your day-to-day strategy and how you plan to achieve such a high level of productivity.
Passion counts. Do you love the work you are doing? Do you love it enough to stay back and take overtime to finish what you were working on day in and day out? Employers are looking for a commitment on your end. Most new hires leave a company within the first few days of employment, so this is an understandable concern.
Tell them very clearly how many hours of work you can handle and whether you are open to the possibility of overtime. Do not try to oversell your capabilities by saying yes to everything just for the sake of landing the job. Fakeness shines through, so it is always best to be genuine about the workload you are comfortable with taking.
Keeping all that in mind, showcase your excitement and passion for the position you are applying to. Tell them the things you plan on doing and why you look forward to this job so much. However, try not to come on too strong. They can smell a brown noser a mile away, and you do not want to be on that radar. Instead, be honest and sincere about everything you say, and try to be concise. You are not at a counseling session.
Enough theory. Let us now take a closer look at a real-life example you can take inspiration from.
I always stay on top of every project I’m given. Thanks to my organizational skills and effective time management, I multitask with the best of them without losing track of each deadline. Feedback is my lifeblood, and I actively consult my teammates while also staying in touch with my managers and bosses.
Keeping an open line of communication helps me know what to do and perform better. However, I am not a stranger to working alone. In the last firm I worked at, we took a lot of orders and were on a strict deadline. Due to inclement weather, none of my other teammates was able to make it on the final day. Because we always talked, I knew what they were doing and was able to apply the finishing touches on all the projects we were doing. I finished in time, and everyone was pleased. Win-win.
Up until now, you have only seen the things you should do. Now, let’s discuss some of the things you should avoid doing while answering the question about your work style:
Do not be dishonest. Under no circumstance should you lie about yourself or your capabilities. It might seem like a good idea to lie and say you like something you don’t, but this will only get you in trouble afterward. Remember, one lie spawns a thousand, and you will be drowning in them all soon enough. It’s best to be up-front about things.
Do not be a cliche. The interviewer has heard almost everything under the sun, and there is very little you can tell them about yourself that is brand new. But instead of relying on lies or simply rattling off terms like “hard-working, a team player, and detail-oriented,” give them some examples of how these traits apply to you. Though they may have heard of these qualities a thousand times before, your experiences will be fresh and unique to them.
Avoid giving a definite response. Yes, you should specify your quirks, but don’t be absolute. You, as an employee and a human being, will change. You have to show the interviewer that you are capable of it and not just stick to your guns.
If you’ve done all that, then congratulations! Chances are good that you’ll nail any questions related to your work style. However, the interview does not end there. Feeding off of what you said, the interview can, and will, ask you some follow-up questions, and it is best to be prepared. Some of the most commonly asked follow-up questions are:
In what way would you handle a hostile work environment?
What is your preferred method of communication?
Suppose you have to partake in an activity with someone with a very different work style than your own. How would you approach this situation?
In conclusion, if you do everything to the best of your ability, there is no reason to be afraid of a work style question - or any other interview question. Lanteria is the favored destination for all your HR needs and solutions, so In case you need help with anything else, reach out today for a free demo.
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