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How should you actually answer interview questions that inquire as to what type of work environment you prefer? Employers who ask this question are typically trying to gage how well you will fit into the work environment. They are also likely interested in what sorts of environments will generate the most productivity from you. Of course, it is very important to answer this question directly, but also tailor your answer according to the work environment of the company. Overall, it is best to remain vague in answering this question. Work environments are always changing; thus, you certainly want to communicate you are open to working in many different types, and are adaptable.
An inappropriate response to this particular type of question has the potential to invalidate your entire application. If you somehow communicate that you will not work well in the company’s environment, you have the power to immediately make yourself an unattractive option. Because of this, it is very important to approach this question with great care. Fortunately, we are providing you with a very simple, yet very effective, framework you can follow in order to handle this question proficiently.
Where Should You Begin?
That’s a very good question. The very first step to mastering this type of interview questions takes place outside of the interview. In order to best prepare for your answer, it is imperative you research the company extensively before arriving. You should have a deep understanding of the types of work environment that exist within the company. Next, when planning exactly what to say, you should consider three key things: your research, your previous experience, and what is desired in general. This is where your imagination ill also come in handy because you need to answer the question as though you already understand the prevalent working environment in this company.
This is perhaps the most important component of your answer. You want to ensure that the environment you describe is comparable to the work environment of the company. It is very wise to perform extensive research before crafting your answer. For instance, you may perform online research, or even reach out directly and speak with an employee of the company. You should then incorporate whatever you learn into your answer. For instance, if the environment of this company is energetic, you may say something such as, “I work very well in energetic environments, although I consider myself adaptable, and can be productive in many types.” This statement not only caters to the specific environment of that company, but also explains you will still work well if the environment happens to change.
It is very important to include some sort of statement implying you are adaptable, and that you are willing to work in many different environments. Employers are often reluctant to hire those who can only work in one specific kind of environment, as environments are very subject to alter. For instance, you might be required to switch departments after a few months of working. On the other hand, you might be promoted, and then be relocated. Either way, you should indicate you will handle an environment shift well.
Your Previous Experience
It is also wise to support your reply with examples of your previous work experience. For example, you may explain that you have worked in many energetic environments before, and you thrived in these. You may also explain you have worked in a multitude of different types of environments, and you have great experience with adjusting when necessary. Furthermore, while explaining that you have researched the company’s work environment is very impressive, including information about your previous employment experiences can help validate your answer. Employers enjoy knowing you have taken time to research and information yourself about the company, but they also want to know you can live up to your word. It would be incredibly detrimental to your position if you argued you work well in an energetic environment, but then fail to produce work once hired. Employers know this is a possibility. Given this, describing your past successes in these sorts of environments can help them trust you better.
In addition, describing situations where you were able to adapt can also aid you in earning trust, and give you more leverage in relation to your circumstances once hired. These things said, you should still be honest. Perhaps if you perform research and discover that the environment you will be working in is very isolated and quiet, and you really dislike working in that sort of environment, you should reconsider applying for that position. It will be detrimental to all parties involved if you are hired for a job you will not enjoy.
What Is Generally Desired
Finally, it is wise to include very generic, vague descriptions of environments in which you work well. Ultimately, candidates who explain they work well in environments that are fast-paced, adaptable, and that encourage productivity are generally more desirable. In the case you learn that the work environments at this company are highly diverse, or you do not have any previous work experience, your best bet it to play it safe and assert that you enjoy one of these types of environments. Nonetheless, it is still important to explain you are very adaptable, and can work in virtually any environment. Giving your environment preference can aid you in communicating that you are very suitable for the job, as well as inform the employer whether or not you will fit in, but your levels of productivity are ultimately most important. It is crucial that you emphasize your levels of productivity will never be negatively impacted by your work environment.
As seen, there are a few different approaches you can take to answering an interview question that asks about your ideal work environment. First and foremost, it is most important that you research the company before arriving for your interview. Learn about the types of environments that exist within the company, and then incorporate this knowledge into your answer. Furthermore, support your preference with examples of your previous work experience, or describe an environment that is generally favored. Follow this framework to conquer your next job interview, and regardless of your approach, remember to remain professional.