Common Interview Question – What Type of Work Environment Do You Prefer?

MAY 10, 2011 | BY MICAH
business team working together on project management at a laptop© milanmarkovic78 / Dollar Photo Club

The key to answering questions about your work environment is to simply ensure that what you say is a part of the company. For example, you do not want to say “I like a relaxed work environment” if the company considers itself fast paced; and here’s a tip – all companies consider themselves fast pace. Really, you should simply “prefer” a work environment that you know the interviewer will appreciate. There is no reason to confusion the interviewer with anything too complicated.

Bad Answer

“I prefer a low stress work environment, where managers and staff have a mutual respect for one another. I also like it when managers praise the employees, and no one is blamed for things they didn’t do.”

You do not want any answer that requires the business be perfect either. For example, “I prefer an organized work environment” is a bad answer, because although the company may consider itself organized, they will also wonder if you can handle disorganization.

Good Answer

“My ideal work environment is one that is adaptive. When necessary, it easily handles fast paced work, and is ready for any challenges it undertakes, but also slows down when work is slow, recognizing the natural shifts in business and responding accordingly.”

Good answers include:

  • Fast paced environment.
  • One that encourages commitment and communication.
  • Businesses that react well to change.

All businesses consider themselves hard to work for, even when they are not, and they also believe that their work environment is healthy, even when it is not. As long as you do not make any claims that will cause the interviewer to worry about you, you should be fine.

Take Away Interview Tips

  • Answer with something you know the company believes about itself.
  • Justify your reasoning intelligently.

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