19 Nov

How to Answer Interview Questions About Your Work Style

The fact that you are reading an article like this one is a great step in the right direction. If you are preparing for your interview in a real and meaningful way, then you are already a step ahead of most of your competition. Most people do not prepare for interviews beyond asking themselves a few inane questions and fixing their hair. Questions like “What is your work style?” are difficult to answer, and it is in your interest to think ahead so you are not wrong-footed on the day. Here is some advice from the writers of the popular annual article, “Best resume writing services 2021.”

what is your work style - headline image

Tailoring Your Answer to The Workplace

When they ask, “What is your work style?” The question may be loaded. In other words, they may already have a very obvious answer in mind that you are going to have to address. For example, if you are applying for a job in a windows factory, then one has to assume that things get boring and repetitive. Therefore, you need to address this fact with your answer, such as by saying, “I like to get on with the job, get into a routine, a try to be as efficient as possible without burning out.”

It becomes trickier when the workplace itself is more fluid. For example, if you are applying for a job in a games development studio, you may have no idea how they work or how their studio is structured. In that case, you are going to have to draw from your experience and explain your process. Perhaps you are an independent worker who likes to blow through to a solution and then fix the errors later. Perhaps you are a very diligent and detailed worker who likes to segment your work so you can work a bit at a time.

Meaning of employers demands infographic

What is Your Work Style Answers

Okay, so it is going to be tricky to give an answer for every single job in the world, but you can sort-of cheat a little using common managerial knowledge and the advert that first advertised the job.

What you are looking for are hints as to the priorities of the management. Each HR team and manager have niggling annoyances that you can address. Sometimes the advert itself gives clues as to these annoyances. Here are a few examples:

• We need efficient workers
Translation – They are tired of workers being lazy and doing the bare minimum required.

• Our team needs self-starters
Translation – The management is having to micro-manage employees and it’s frustrating.

• Punctual workers
Translation – The hiring manager is tired of giving lateness warnings.

• We need dedicated workers
Translation – People keep having days off when tight deadlines are nearing.

• Looking for hands-on workers
Translation – Their team is mostly talk and no action.

You can use all of these factors to craft your answers. For example, if you saw the “Dedicated Workers” comment on the job advert, then you could stress how your work style involves getting to work, doing your eight hours efficiently, and closing out the day with a sense of achievement.

What Bothers Managers the Most?

If a company is asking about your work style, they may simply be hunting for reasons why they shouldn’t hire you. They may be looking for you to slip up and say something that eliminates you. As a result, you could try giving vague answers about how you like to adapt to each job because each job is different. However, you can spice it up by thinking about what managers dislike. Here are some of them.

• Lateness
• Laziness
• Sick days
• Back chat
• Theft (don’t mention this)
• Rule breaking
• Slow works
• Needing supervision
• Trouble making
• Staff arguments

If you are giving vague answers about what is your work style, then throw in a few elements from above. For example, saying, “I like to get on with my job without ruffling feathers or stepping on other people’s toes,” then that may address the “Staff Arguments” and “Laziness” problem.

You may say, “I like to break the day down into daily tasks and new tasks and try to get the daily stuff done as soon and as efficiently as possible.” This could indicate that you do not need supervision, and that you are not a slow worker.

Final Thought – Is it All Guesswork?

Sadly, yes, it is all guesswork. Every company you approach may have a different reason for asking you about work styles. You need to gather clues about the subject from the job advert you read, and from the context of the conversations you have during your interview. However, weaving some of the elements mentioned in this article into your narrative will only help you answer the question with more impact.


How am I supposed to know what work style they want?

You can’t and you won’t. However, use what you have learned in this article to answer the question in a satisfactory way.

What is a work style?

In most cases, it is the way you go about business when you work in a job. They are asking how you like to work. It is often a question asked in scenarios where the worker has a fair amount of freedom in how he or she works. It is not the sort of thing a burger bar may ask.

What if I say I don’t have a work style?

You are taking a risk if you do not at least try to answer the question. However, if you wish to say that you would rather adapt to their working style rather than impose your own, then it is a fair comment.