What they want to know
Hiring managers ask questions like “What is your ideal work environment?” to identify three essential things:
- Are you a fit for the company’s culture?
- How long will you stay with the company?
- Receive a glimpse of your personality
According to Jennifer Sukola, a Muse career coach, hiring managers are looking for, “How long are [you are] going to stick around? That’s the question.” “Employees who mesh well with the company’s environment will be happier and, in turn, stay in the job longer and contribute more.” Ideally, your preferred working environment matches the company you are applying to. However, don’t force a fake answer to give the interviewers what they want to hear. You must be honest in your response because if you think you want the job, it isn’t fair to you or the employer by lying just to secure the job. Remember, you are interviewing the company just as much as they are interviewing you.
Nevertheless, that does not mean that you can’t touch on things that match their culture and working environment. Also, most job descriptions do a decent job painting the picture of the working environment you will be in. Make sure you take a quick look at their website and social media channels to gain insight into the company’s working environment. If that environment fits you well, express that in your answer, and explain why it works for you.
Example answering what is your ideal work environment
“My ideal working environment is where I have the opportunity to work collaboratively with a team. I am a people-person and enjoy working with others. I have fun being able to bounce ideas off colleagues and come up with great ideas and new experiments. Additionally, I find it rewarding to come to a solution with my team and create something beneficial for the company. I find that I work best in an environment that is positive, encouraging, and centered around teamwork.”
If you are an extrovert and enjoy working as a team, this is a fantastic answer. It clearly answers the question and offers a brief peek of the interviewee’s personality. Just remember to be truthful and answer honestly. If you are lying, you are doing yourself an injustice as you will likely not be happy in this new role if it doesn’t fit with your ideal working environment.
Need help answering more common interview questions?
Don’t worry; at JSG, we have an arsenal of interview prep advice to help you nail your upcoming job interview. Good luck!