Answering “What is Your Work Style?” | Examples & Mistakes

what is your work style

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Sometimes, the common interview questions that we all expect can be the most challenging (i.e.“Tell me about yourself”). Though we know these questions are coming, navigating the open-ended answers can be entirely too nerve-wracking. Luckily, there are plenty of resources available that intend to guide us through these questions, such as this guide on how to answer “What is your work style?”

Let’s dive into why employers ask this question, how to describe your work style, and some “What is your work style?” sample answers.

Why Employers Ask “What Is Your Work Style?”

It’s not uncommon to hear this question brought up in your job interview, and there’s a reason for that. Employers often ask “What is your work style?” as a way to learn how you’ll fit into their company culture. Based on your answer, the employer will gain a better understanding of how you’ll handle the responsibilities of the role and what your preferred leadership style is.

Your answer to this question will further inform an employer of your general strengths in the workplace and how those align with the current team. You may offer strengths based on your work style that the current team lacks, making you a valuable asset to the company.

Ready to learn how to answer this interview question? Keep reading to learn more about your preferred work style and how to describe your work style when asked.

Determining Your Work Style

According to a study in the Harvard Business Review, there are four major work styles. As you prepare to answer the question, “What is your work style?”, consider where you may fall in these categories. The styles are:

  1. Pioneers. These individuals are the risk-takers of a team. They value imagination, creativity, and new ideas, and tend to focus on the big picture.
  2. Guardians. As detail-oriented individuals, Guardians often work best on their own. They prefer a more practical and structured approach to the workday.
  3. Drivers. Drivers are the logical minds on the team. These data-driven individuals tend to be more focused and have a competitive edge.
  4. Integrators. Collaboration is a strong suit of Integrators. As an Integrator, you may find yourself focused deeply on your workplace relationships. A diplomatic personality is a key feature of this work style.

When it comes to determining your personal work style, there are a few questions you can ask yourself to get a better sense of which work style category you fall into.

  • Are you a team player or do you prefer to work alone? There’s no right or wrong way to work. Some employees do their best when in a collaborative environment while others need to work alone for full focus.
  • How do you communicate? Some employees prefer in-person conversations while others tend to stick with standard emails.
  • Do you plan out your day? And if so, how? For some, time blocking their day is the only way they’re able to get tasks done. Other employees are able to go with the flow, completing tasks as they come in.
  • How do you handle deadlines? Tight deadlines can sometimes be inevitable, but how you handle these deadlines can say a lot about your preferred work style. Do you actually work best with tight deadlines or do you prefer more time to complete tasks?
  • What are your key personality traits? Your personality plays a major role in how you interact in the workplace. If you’re unsure how to describe your personality, consider taking a test such as the Myer Briggs assessment.

Now that you have a better understanding of what your work style may be, we’ll discuss how to best answer “What is your work style?”

Answering “What Is Your Work Style?”

Open-ended questions like “What is your work style?” are often challenging to answer. With common interview questions like these, there are technically no right answers. However, an employer may be looking for specific skills or strengths that will add value to their team and the open position. With this in mind, it’s important to know how to answer “What is your work style?” to the best of your ability.

Before heading into your next interview, make sure you carefully review the job description. The information on this resource can help you gain a better sense of the work styles the company may be looking for. Often, the job description will include key characteristics the company looks for in a candidate. If any of these match your work style, be sure to bring them up when asked this question.

In addition, it can be beneficial to search through the company’s website. You’ll likely see featured information or posts about the company that can give you insight into the culture. This insight will let you know how your personality and work style fit with the current company.

Though tailoring your answer to meet the needs of the company may help you land the job, you’ll also want to ensure you’re being honest. If they’re looking for a team player but you work best alone, let them know that you can contribute best to the team’s success by being a Guardian or Driver. Your work style will make itself apparent quickly, so make sure your answers are relevant but truthful.

Since employers are able to receive such a high level of information about you as an employee from this question, you’ll want to prepare in advance. We’ve included a couple of sample answers below to help you get started with answering “What is your work style?”

“What Is Your Work Style?” Sample Answers

Example 1 – Pioneer

I’m an incredibly adaptable individual. I pride myself on being able to take on new challenges and discover new and exciting ways to complete tasks. These methods may come from my own personal creativity or from team collaboration. Sharing ideas with colleagues offers unique perspectives that allow me to innovate in a way I may not be familiar with. In my last position, I was able to establish a new standard operating procedure for sharing information with clients, creating a pathway for clearer communication both internally and externally.

Example 2 – Guardian

I typically time block my day in order to focus the necessary attention on each task. To ensure no detail is missed, I’ll often utilize a second set of eyes from a team member for review.  I take pride in my strong organizational skills that allow me to take a more in-depth look at each project, making sure that every requirement is met. By planning out my days, I can better prioritize tasks and allot the accurate amount of time for task completion.

Find Your Work Style Match With BestCompaniesAZ

As you begin to search for a new position, take some time to evaluate a company’s culture and how you may fit with the current team. Unsure where to start on your search?

BestCompaniesAZ has all the resources you’ll need to find the right company for your work style and ace your interview. Be sure to check out the Best Employers in Arizona for a list of companies that may have just the position you’re looking for.

Contact us today to learn more about work styles and how we can help you find the perfect company culture!

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