How to Let Your Interviewer Know "What is Your Ideal Work Environment?"

A very commonly asked question in almost every interview is for the candidate to describe in his/her own words on what will constitute an ideal work environment in their eyes. There are two reasons to ask this question in an interview:

You also need to remember that this question and the answer that you give for the same will be used to assess your personality. It is to see if you would fit into a team and whether you can work in coordination with others. You need to ensure that your answer matches with the expectation of your employer while still retaining your individuality. Here are some pointers that will help you to make the best impression, the first time.

Know Your Choice

Before you think about answering this question, it is important that you know what your requirements are. Whether you are looking to work in a large company or you want to work in a smaller organization, whether you want to work individually or you would love to work in a team.  It is not looked upon happily by any employer if you state that you are not interested in working in a company such as theirs or in a team. The ideal answer should be positive, confident and should reflect your personality clearly.

Answer Example: “My ideal work environment would be one where people work together and there is no shortage for team spirit. While work ethic is quite important, the human touch is equally important in my opinion.”

Know the Company

While you might have your preferences on the kind of ideal work environment for you, there is a reason for you to be applying to this company. Emphasize on the positives of the company in generic in your response stating that is exactly your requirement of a working condition. It will also help to know about the format or the kind of environment the company offers so that you can formulate your response around that. It is not ideal to state that you are only joining there to pay bills or show that you are not very keen in joining the company.

Answer Example: "I like working in a team which is highly professional and committed to the work. My ideal environment is where people are honest, down to earth and have a sense of humor while being committed to their work."

Cite Your Compatibility

It is not enough that you respond with what is the ideal work place. You need to make sure that you also cite the reason why you consider that to be an ideal place and how you will fit in there easily. For instance, stating that a work place is ideal when there is easy adaptability across the team is good. But also adding, that you are easy to adapt to changes and the workarounds, will ensure that you are a potential candidate for the job in hand. While citing your idea of a perfect workplace, also make sure to include the reasons of your compatibility in such a workplace.

Answer Example: "I look forward to a job where there is stability and a positive work culture and I get the opportunity to use my skills and contribute to the company.  My ideal work place would provide me opportunities to learn."

Common Mistakes You Need to Note

There are certain common mistakes or sentences one states in the time of interview which can actually cause the result to sway against them. Some of them would be, [6 Things You Dare Not Say to Recruiters in an Interview]

  1. Stating that you like a work place with lot of holidays.
  2. Stating that you would love to work late. You can instead state that you are flexible.
  3. Try not to focus too much only on the current work environment in the company. Also try to add in your inputs without contradicting too much.
  4. And definitely do not read from the company’s mission/vision statements or from the job profile given to you. This will show you as a person who cannot think.
  5. And definitely don’t make the answer too much about yourself.

What Should You Do?

Read through the company’s objectives and do a complete research on the kind of environment they offer. Then you should be able to understand whether the job is really an apt one for you. Once that is affirmative, you need to word your answer such that it shows that your values are in same line as that of the organization.

Answer Example: "My ideal work environment is a company which cares for the environment and invests in the society, which is the reason for my interest in this job."

Most of our daytime is spent behind the doors of our work place. It is therefore important to ensure that we share the same value as that of the company we want to work for. And hence it is critical to have an environment that best matches with our personality.