There are some job interviews that go beyond the usual bank of questions about skillsets, where you see yourself in five years and describe yourself in three words and your salary expectation.
If you are going to join a company it is relevant that they find out if you fit into the company culture or not and a corollary to that is—What is your style of working?
It is an open-ended question and one needs to think about it before rushing to give a cliched answer of I am hardworking and a good team player.
What is Your Style of Work
Keep the job you are applying for in mind before answering. Does your work style fit in with the job description? If you like to work alone and it is a collaborative dynamic work atmosphere where decisions are taken after massive brain-picking sessions, then you might need to take a step back.
Are you ready to enter a new world, will you fit in or even want to try to fit in?
A good way to find out would be to follow the company on social media sites. Look at their posts and see what their ethos is. What do they post, celebrate and care about?
Most companies already have an idea of what kind of person will fit their job requirements. If it is a sales job, then a retiring introvert person is hardly the right fit.
An advertising public relations, event management, communication specialist needs to be the go-getting kind and creative and have the spirit of “let us get it done.”
A person who likes to cross his t’s and dot his i’s will definitely feel frustrated.
Some things to consider for framing your answer:
Be clear about your work style. Are you a slow and thorough worker? Or you work fast and think on your feet.
Work well with a team, are open to suggestions and respond to authority? All these are important factors.
When answering be precise and give examples of good team work or fast thinking, sting your work style.
Do not present a false picture, If you cannot work in an open relaxed atmosphere, say that you do your best work when left alone and in a quite secluded atmosphere.
An example of a good answer to the style of work question is:
In my previous jobs I was handling multiple projects, hence, my approach is flexible and adaptive. I know how to prioritize and like to handle tasks efficiently and quickly. My turnaround time is good. I am professional and particular about the quality of work I turn in. I double-check with my team before turning in work. I like to collaborate and believe in team work and carrying my team with me.
The answer brings out a candidate’s strong points, viz: flexibility, collaborativeness, team player, accuracy, and no compromising on quality.
I take my pride in my work, am thorough and never miss a deadline. I am known for being regular and dependent. I am a team player too and always ready to chip in whenever and wherever required.
I keep abreast of all that is happening in my field and am the go-to person in a tight situation in the office.
Any hiring manager would be happy to take such a person on board. Regular, dependable, knowledgeable and a team player is a difficult bundle to get in one package.
Points to keep in mind
While formulating your answer. Keep in mind whether you are a team player or a lone ranger.
How do you organize your day? Take it as it comes or follow a timetable
And importantly: Are you happy to take directions, learn new skills and grow and evolve or are you set in your ways?
Team player, open to collaboration, dependable, etc should not be just words thrown around, back up with examples. Do not be dishonest and say that you are happy to be a part of an organization that values flexibility, team players and an open atmosphere if you thrive on structure, rigid time-tables and a strict hierarchy.