At the job interview, there is a group of questions that the HR managers frequently ask. And to this group, the question about the ideal work environment belongs.
What does the perfect work atmosphere signify? For some people, it is doing the job in absolute silence during the working day. For other people, it is noise and constant talking. As they say, so many men, so many tastes.
When seeking employment, it’s essential to have a clear vision of the perfect work atmosphere, since it’s one of the things that define whether you can work in this organization or not. Besides, it also influences the quality of the duties performance, that's why you wish to demonstrate that thanks to the organization’s corporate politics, you will develop as a professional.
In this post, we’ll try to figure out how to successfully respond to the question about the perfect work environment.
First of all, what should we do to be ready to answer this question?
Among other methods, there is one that can really work – it’s researching the organization.
To know the job atmosphere in the organization, you should do the following things:
- Enter the organization’s website (if it has it) and look at the division “about us” or “our aim”. There you can get some information about their work atmosphere. They can say they’re the organization with the fast-changing work atmosphere, or they’re an organization with a communication culture aimed to build strong relations with their workers. In some cases, the companies do not share direct information about their work environment, and here, you have to guess it.
- Question the organization’s spokesperson about the work atmosphere. If you have someone who works in this organization, you can ask him to tell you about the organization’s work atmosphere and corporate culture.
- If you haven’t got to find anything about the organization’s work environment, you can ask the HR manager to tell you about it during the interview. After that, you can make your answer according to this information. Also, you can give the recruiter some illustrations of how your style of working can be connected with their work atmosphere.
The next thing you should do is to look at it from a personal point of view. Imagine the job of your dream and think about the work atmosphere that will be the most suitable. And while thinking about it, you need to consider the following aspects:
- The balance between job and personal life
- Working space (here, we mean the physical workplace – whether you like private cabinets, open space, or you prefer to work from home).
- Style of management (whether you prefer freedom of action or being under complete control; what the recognition of a worker means for you – simply the salaries increasing or something more, etc.)
- Opportunities for personal and professional growth (here, we advise you to think about how the work atmosphere affects you – whether it contributes to your personal and professional growth, or it just makes you feel happy about your job).
While responding to the question about the perfect work atmosphere, there are three key things that you need to follow:
- Always stay fair. When the recruiter asks you about the vision of the perfect work atmosphere, you should give a straight answer. Don’t be afraid to tell the truth even if the organization will not hire you.
- Keep the neutral position. Sometimes it’s hard to speak about the ideal work atmosphere since you cannot know what environment the organization has and if it can be suitable for you. That’s why, while responding to this question, you need to stay adaptive when speaking about your preferences.
- Make your response fit the organization’s corporate culture. Here, your research about the organization will be very helpful. If you cannot find such information, you can always ask the HR manager to tell you something about their corporate culture, and after that, you can make your response based on this information.
What are the kinds of work atmosphere?
Before preparing the response to the question of the perfect work atmosphere, you should think about the language you’ll use while speaking about it. The response to this question can reveal all your strong and weak points. So, here, you can add your response to the information about some achievements you had in the past.
While getting ready for speaking about the ideal work atmosphere, you should pay attention to the following things:
- Slow or fast-changing work environment. A fast-changing work atmosphere signifies many things happening at once and little time from project to project. This type of work atmosphere is suitable for people who like to complete the tasks, and when they do not have something to do, they feel bored. As for the slow-changing work environment, it’s less tense and more suitable for hard workers.
- Structural or collectivist. If you like to offer ideas and your employer accepts them, the collectivist type of work atmosphere will be more suitable for you. The structural type is made for those who prefer working in the organization with a clear structure where the chief gives the tasks. Besides, this kind of work environment will fit those who don’t like working with less-experienced people.
- Work atmosphere with work and social orientation. In case you’re a newcomer and want to establish relations, it’ll be great for you to work in an organization with a social-oriented atmosphere. This kind of work environment will be also suitable for those who don’t like to spend their working day in silence and just want to spend it with their team. Compared to the atmosphere with social orientation, the work-oriented atmosphere fits more to those who are fully concentrated on work and care less about the relationship within the organization.
- Entrenched and quickly developing. Comparing these two kinds of work environments, in the organizations with the second type, you can have more chances of quick promotions. Besides, organizations with such words as a startup, developing, or changes give you great possibilities to work on various positions and challenge yourself in different projects. On the other hand, the companies with an entrenched work environment provide stability, safety, and confidence.
- Adaptive and strict. Nowadays, more and more workers opt for the adaptive (or flexible) timetable, since it contributes to reaching more balance between private life and work, plus it gives more freedom of action. And still, some people prefer a strict working day.
- Cooperating and competitive. In the work sphere, there is a group of posts that provide competition among the employees. For this purpose, the organizations use different ways to motivate their workers for this competition (promotions, rewards, etc). At the same time, some people consider this kind of work atmosphere very toxic. That’s why they prefer to work in the cooperating work atmosphere that comprises teamwork in reaching the aims. If you like to work in this work atmosphere, you need to have well-developed abilities of cooperation and communication.
When speaking about the perfect work atmosphere, the applicants often make some mistakes that can negatively affect the interview result.
Mistakes to avoid in the future:
- Incoherent response. During the interview, you should give concrete and positive answers to almost all questions. And this also refers to the question about the work atmosphere.
- Don’t show a lack of confidence. In case you don’t know what work atmosphere you’ll enter (quickly-developing or competitive), here, you should not let the HR manager see your weak point. What you can do here is to say that working in such an atmosphere is a new and interesting thing for you.
- Never criticize anyone and anything. At the job interview, you should give only positive responses. Even if you do not like something in your previous job, you can speak about it but never criticize the people who are responsible for this.
Now, we’ll give you some examples of how you can respond to the question about the ideal work atmosphere.
- There are two main aspects in my ideal work atmosphere: place and time for doing my job; a cooperative atmosphere with no organization’s politics. For completing the tasks, I want every worker to have their own lines. And I also want all workers to collectively work for results without sabotaging and other stuff.
- I’ve recently realized that I can quickly and easily fit in any kind of work atmosphere. I know that I can work in the quickly developing work atmosphere but I also value the possibility to concentrate on the important project in the slowly developing atmosphere.