How to Answer Interview Question: How Would You Describe Your Work Style?
Your work style is simply your preferred method of carrying out your job. There are many work styles and people stick to those they feel more efficient and productive using or they let their career decide for them. How do you determine your work style? How would you describe it in an interview?
Why ask about your work style?
Most recruiters ask applicants to give a description of their work style. They want to make sure that you are a great fit for their company. If your work style matches their requirements, then they are assured that you can carry out tasks with ease and walk in step with the already existing procedure and staff.
What should you consider as work style?
To find out your work style, put into consideration your turnover speed and accuracy, your problem-solving ideas, your preferred method of communication, your level of cooperation on team tasks, and the way you structure your day and organize tasks.
Figure out how and when you work better. Is it when you work with a team or when you work alone? What time of the day are you most productive? What form of communication do you prefer – online meetings, email, phone calls?
Answering the Question – Things to Include and things to Avoid
Before your interview, make research about the company and their preferred work style. Go through the requirements and role for the position you are applying for to get an idea of what they want from an employee. Preparation is always key to scaling through an interview and getting hired consequently. After you have carried out your research, it is time to pen down your answer. But there is something else to do before getting your answer ready. What are the things to include and things to avoid when answering the question?
Things to Include
- When describing your work style, use words that work simultaneously with the job requirements. If the job listing mentions a need for an individual able to take on multiple projects, it would be wise to talk about your multi-tasking skills. If it demands quick turnover, mention your speed and efficiency.
- Convince your interviewer that you can adapt to any work method. Talk about your flexibility and ability to blend into any work environment.
- Organizations and companies have different work strategies that apply to the nature of their business. Some focus on speed and efficiency, others on how well you can work on a team while some others would prefer an employee that can work independently. When you have done your research well and learned what is needed, structure your answer around it.
- Make your answer believable by telling how you have achieved a lot in your career or last job by using your work style. Back your work style with examples and proof that whatever style you use, your output is excellent.
- Be brief. Go straight to your answer, another reason why preparation is key.
- Be honest. This is as important as preparation for an interview. Do not project yourself as perfect and able to do everything.
Things to Avoid
- Avoid using flat, boring words like ‘good worker’. It gives no specificity to your skills, sounds unserious, and is a cliché. Platitudes are uninteresting and would not appeal to the recruiter because a lot of applicants have used them over and over again. Make your answer unique.
- If you want to get a job, avoid projecting yourself as uncompromising. If your preferred work style is different from what the job requires, present yourself as adaptive, flexible, and ready to learn. If you insist on sticking to your own work style, then you might not be hired because your skills are not needed. For a job that thrives on teamwork, saying you prefer to work alone will not get you the job.
- Avoid unnecessary details and lengthy answers. Prepare beforehand so you are fluent and not rambling.
Getting Your Answer Ready
Now you have carried out your research and know the dos and don’ts of describing your work style, it is time to get your answer ready. There are a lot of samples on the internet but remember that they are there to guide you. Do not copy them word for word. It is unprofessional. Tailor your answer in the best applicable way to your career. We have prepared some samples to help you.
- ‘I am a fast and efficient worker. I am always up to speed but I make sure that my work is mistake-free by proofreading and editing numerous times before I turn it over. I find that working quickly leaves me enough time to do that and also to achieve more in record time.
- ‘I do not really need much supervision while working. I am independent and can work perfectly on my own when I am given instructions on what to do and I prefer giving regular feedback via email to update my supervisor on my progress. However, I am an excellent team player too, and bring my best onboard any team assignment. My ability to handle the two work styles makes it easy for me to blend in with any work strategy and produce needed results’
- ‘My work style is multi-tasking. I am able to undertake multiple projects at a time by organizing my day well and resuming work as early as possible. My work style made it possible for me to complete a so-and-so project and another project at the same time.
- ‘I prefer to work on a team because the collaboration and support of teammates help to bring out the best in me. I am a creative thinker and I flourish in an environment where I can share my ideas. That enables me to bring my A-game on group projects. However, when a task needs to be solved independently, I endeavor to communicate and give feedback to my supervisor or boss to make sure I am on the right track.
- ‘I am very organized and like to keep track of tasks by performing them one at a time but working fast and thoroughly to complete them. If there is a deadline to meet, I do not mind putting in extra hours to finish up work’.
The key to describing your work style efficiently is thorough preparation and honesty, of course. Once you have done your research and are aware of what is expected, answering the question does not have to be distressing.