The reason why interviewers ask this open-ended question is to find out how a candidate thinks, works, interacts with coworkers and meet deadlines. Based on your answer, the interviewer can evaluate if you are the right fit for the position and their company culture.
Example Answer (With Experience)
“I would describe my work style as logical and detail-oriented. I take the time necessary to do my research. When I do make a decision, I put all my effort into making the right decision. So, I usually don’t have to go and redo work twice. I’m much more efficient that way.
Although I’m the type of person that prefers stability, order and consistency, I’m not afraid to express myself or make snap decisions when the situation demands. I don’t buckle under pressure or succumb to stress because I know it’s part of the job.”
Example Answer (No Experience)
“Based on my experiences at [University XYZ], I’d describe my work style as highly collaborative, communicative and someone who thrives working in a team environment. For example, I loved each and every opportunity to work with peers, brainstorm on course material and communicate a collective vision to others. I was usually the one doing the presentation. So I’m quite confident about my ability to convey information to others effectively and efficiently.”
Interview Question Tips
- Don’t focus on specific traits that are clearly not in line with the personality they seek. For example, if they need someone who follows a set of rules, someone that doesn’t break the consensus, then you’d better not highlight your eagerness to make decisions or come up with all kinds of creative ideas. In some cases, it’s better to say that you employ a blend of work styles.
- Don’t talk at length in a confused or inconsequential way. Do know the definition of work styles and think through some work style related questions before framing your response. For example, Do you set goals and review the results? Do you perform the hardest tasks first? Or do you enjoy group collaboration?
- Do understand that there is no right or wrong work style. Each company or department needs a variety of personality traits. The way you convey and substantiate your answer to the interviewer is what’s most important.