When applying for a job, the fit has to match both ways. The interviewer knows this and wants to ensure that the work environment they offer is suitable for you.
There are a few factors to take into consideration when looking at the work environment:
- Are questions encouraged without judgment?
- Is continuing education encouraged?
- Does the company promote an entrepreneurial mindset?
- Does the office allow for flexibility such as working from home or flex in hours?
- Are there regular team huddles?
- Is it an open-air environment without cubicles or walled offices?
- Is feedback, from both sides, encouraged and acceptable?
- Are goals set as a team, or only individually?
- Are there strict dress codes, after-hours expectations, and other restrictions?
- Is the initial training through or is there a sink-or-swim mentality?
- Is there recognition for a job well done, or incentives on a regular basis?
- Is nepotism a factor, if the business is family-run?
- Are employees promoted based on performance, or tenure only?
Choose two to three of these factors that are important to you, and before accepting a job offer, ensure that the company hits these 'must-haves' for you and your ideal work environment.
Accounts Payable Clerk answer example
"Before you answer this question, it is important to be aware of what your ideal work setting really is. The answer to this question is almost limitless - you can discuss your preferred company size, the type of company culture you are looking for, and you can add aspects of what you want personally like a work-life balance - you might not want to take your work home with you.
Some examples of appropriate responses include: "I want to work in a setting that allows you to learn and grow"
"My ideal work setting is to be part of a team and collaborating with others"
"It is important for me to work in an environment that is positive and supportive. For me, positivity is key to a healthy workplace"
Admin answer example
"My ideal work environment is one where mistakes are an opportunity for learning, where full training is available, and there are opportunities for continued education. Would you say that Company ABC meets these factors?"
Bacteriologist answer example
"An ideal working environment for me is one in which everyone is focused and working towards the same goal. I enjoy working with lots of people, I like the buzz and excitement of deadlines, and ideally would like to be working with a friendly, confident team. "
Health Information Technician answer example
"My ideal work environment is one that fosters positive, professional working relationships. Mutual respect and an encouraging working and learning environment is my ideal work environment."
Loan Officer answer example
"Where is the perfect place for you to go to work each day? You do not need to name a specific company. Focus on qualities of an ideal company instead! What type of environment do you hope to walk into each day? What kind of schedule does this company have you work? What is the senior leadership team like? What is their culture? Is it a large company or a small company? What kinds of benefits does this company have? Simply share your vision for the perfect company to work for!"
Manager answer example
"I am seeking a work environment where promotions happen on results and performance, and not tenure. I may easily outperform a manager who has been with the company for ten years and would like to know that my achievements will be recognized and rewarded, despite my being newer to the company. Can you share with me the factors that Company ABC takes into account when considering title promotions?"
Marketing answer example
"I seek a creative environment where office doors remain open, or better yet; there is a collaborative collective office environment. I love working in open-air environments with regular team huddles. Does this match the environment offered here?"
Nursing answer example
"My ideal work environment is one that inspires and motivates their employees."
Psychiatric Technicians answer example
"Draw from your past experience, whether in the same field or working somewhere completely different. As a Psychiatric Technician, you play a key role in influencing the work environment, but there are many other factors. Describe some of the best aspects of your favorite places to work in the past. What do you like most about your current place of work? Qualities like open communication, positive environment, and working with motivated professionals reveal your values. If you haven't worked in the dental field before, think about some of the things you observed or learned in school that appealed to you. "
Radiology answer example
"To me, an ideal work environment is a place where everyone feels important and a place where everyone can learn openly. I work best in an environment where employees are nurtured and encouraged to grow."
Retail answer example
"I seek a work environment where questions are encouraged, and there is an opportunity to give and receive feedback. I am not interested in joining a class-based work environment where those at the top simply give direction with no room for exploring alternate methods. Do you feel that Company ABC fits this description?"
Sales answer example
"My ideal work environment is one that offers flexibility and a high level of trust. In my current role, I can take a Friday afternoon off, because my boss knows that I will be in my email over the weekend and would never leave a client hanging. I can choose to work from home time-to-time, and there is no strictly enforced dress code because the managers know that I understand how to dress without being told. How would you say Company ABC fairs in this department?"
Treasurer answer example
"Describe the aspects on an office environment that you enjoy most and why. Are you motivated by the positive attitudes of others? Do you thrive when your boss empowers you by giving you autonomy over decisions? It's important to know what you need and what you want out of a work situation. Share some qualities and attributes of the people and environment that you thrive in. Sometimes it's hard to know if the past places you've been employed were not the best for you. Think about an environment where you feel you will learn and grow best and describe that to the interviewer."