Describe Your Work Ethic – Interview Answers

One of the numerous questions you should expect from a hiring manager is to describe your work ethic.

If you are wondering why such questions should be thrown at you , then you need to keep in mind that interviewers seek to get a sense of your capabilities, and what working with you as an employee will look like – whether you are an average staff or if you will be willing to go the extra mile, and always stay until important tasks are complete?

Do you work well with others, or focus mainly on completing your own tasks?

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Tips for Answering The Question – Describe Your Work Ethic

Below are some useful tips you should adopt when answering this question:

1. Be Specific

Provide examples that show how you have demonstrated your work ethic. 

2. Be Concise

Share your example succinctly, without rambling on too long. 

3. State Qualities Appreciated By The Job

Think back to the job description and any research you did about the company. If this company will appreciate collaboration, self-motivation, willingness to work late hours, or any other quality, try to highlight it in your response.

How To Answer The Question – Describe Your Work Ethic 

The best way to answer this interview question is to sound like you’re consistent, reliable, and hard-working. You never want to sound like you lack motivation. And you don’t want to sound like you’re unpredictable, either.

Employers prefer someone who is predictable and steady over someone who does amazing work one day but then struggles the next day.

A hiring  manager prefers that first type of person because it’s easier to predict the results of their work and easier to rely on them to get important tasks done. That’s what every hiring manager wants.

The trick to answering this question is to avoid simply reciting a string of adjectives. Being specific helps employers really get a sense of what kind of worker you are.

Start by sharing a few key characteristics, (listed later in this article) and think about what traits sum you up.

Then, think through your entire career. What are some examples of times when you’ve demonstrated those traits? These are the stories that you’ll want to share in your response.

Words/Adjectives That Describe Work Ethic

Use the following adjectives when answering, “What is your work ethic?” 

Make sure to select options that are true and really fit your personality when answering, though. That way, you will sound genuine!

These words will help you sound professional and hard-working. 

1. Dependable 

2. Respectful

3. Enthusiastic 

4. Dedicated

5. Committed

6. Positive

7.  Persistent

8. Reliable

9.  Level-headed

10. Determined

11. Fastidious

12. Accountable

13.  Responsible

14. Resourceful

15. Energetic

16. Honest

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Examples Of The Best Answers For The Interview Question – Describe Your Work Ethic

The answers below can serve as a guide to how to answer this question when asked during an interview;

 #1 Sample Answer

I’m a motivated, upbeat worker that is committed to finishing the duties at hand while being happy about the process. 

Here’s a nice illustration: When I was employed by ABC Company, we were forced to thoroughly retake our inventory. It may seem foolish, but I took a large bag of candies and made a scavenger hunt to go along with the assignment. By the time it was through, everyone was happy.

#2 Sample Answer

I work very hard. I believe I inherited the behavior from my father, who always emphasized the value of persistent effort and the necessity of following proper procedures rather than cutting corners. 

Therefore, having a strong work ethic is something I value and am proud of. 

I make an attempt to arrive every day with the same attitude and level of work so that I can provide my team with reliable results.

 #3 Sample Answer

Even if it seems cliche, I’m committed to seeing projects through to the end. This was something that my manager noticed and complimented me on during my most recent assessment.

 #4 Sample Answer

My work ethic can be characterized as dependable and constant. I find it simple to maintain motivation and productivity since I appreciate what I do. 

I’ve also discovered that when I have a fantastic, productive day, I feel better at the end of the day. So it’s rewarding to me as well. 

I suppose I’m fortunate in that I’ve never had a problem keeping myself motivated or having a strong work ethic, and I view it as one of my strengths.

 #5 Sample Answer

I’m committed to finding and putting into practice the most successful strategy along with my team. We had to cut costs in one cost center at my previous job. 

I discussed the problem with my team and asked them to come up with solutions in advance of a follow-up meeting one week later. 

In the end, one of my team members came up with a brilliant solution that allowed us to cut costs by 10%. I put her in the running for an award for the entire company when we put the plan into action.

Answers To Avoid When Answering The Question – Describe Your Work Ethic 

1. Adjectives should be supported when used: Lists of traits that don’t specifically pertain to you are not helpful. 

2. First of all, resist the urge to ignore or downplay this query. 

It may be just as significant to an employer even when it has nothing to do with your job-specific talents (such as marketing, customer service, graphic design, data analysis, etc.). 

So, consider this question carefully.

3. Avoid clichés: Are you a diligent worker? Self-motivated? a team player? 

It is better to steer clear of these words as hiring supervisors hear them frequently (or only use them if you can back them up with a great story as evidence).

4. Don’t act surprised or unsure of what to reply; instead, react succinctly to demonstrate that you’ve thought about this subject beforehand. 

Prepare a solid, succinct response that you may use by following the previous stages and examples. This will demonstrate to the company that you’ve given the issue some thought and are proud of your work ethic.

5. Don’t be dishonest: It’s never a good idea to do that during interviews. Additionally, it’s possible that the hiring manager will see your work ethic in how you respond to additional queries and when they call your references..

6. Be careful not to come out as someone who solely works for money or hates their job. 

It is much preferable to demonstrate to them your satisfaction in doing quality work or your enjoyment of supporting the team’s efforts. 

Maybe at the absolute least, demonstrate that you are motivated and consistent in your work ethic because you understand that showing up to work each day with great energy and effort can help you advance in your profession.


When next you are asked to describe your work ethic in a job interview, I bet you know the ideal adjectives to use, how to answer the questions, and what you must not say.

Having said that, do you have any questions? Feel free to ask in the comment section as we are always available to answer you.

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