“What Type Of Work Environment Do You Prefer?” Interview Answers

Work environment differs from one company to another, and so one of the questions hiring managers throw at interviewees is “What type of environment do you prefer?”

In such a scenario, you may be unsure of the best answer to give them, and you don’t want to express your displeasure about a particular work environment only to discover in the long run that you just described an environment similar to theirs.

Well, if that’s the case, you will not be hired!

Having said that, in this article, I will be walking you through the best answer to the question –  going to walk you through the best interview answers for this question right now “What type of work environment do you prefer.”

Article Road Map

Tips On How To Answer The Question – “What Type Of Work Environment Do You Prefer?”

The tips below will guide you on how to answer this question when asked:

1. Lay Emphasis On Flexibility

It’s important that you concentrate on your ability to adapt to different work environments, especially if you know nothing about their work environment.

While at it, focus on the positive aspect of the various environments you have worked in the past instead of bad-mouthing or talking about why you dislike other types of work environments.

2. Carry Out Your Research 

Another tip that will guide you on how to answer this question is to carry out researches about the company by reading the company’s reviews, checking out the company’s website to read their about page, culture blogs, and so on, and by also finding employees on LinkedIn to see what they have to say about the company. 

While at it, focus on tangible qualities like a great leadership team, team play/collaborative environment, and not flimsy qualities like offering a free gym membership.

Having gathered information about the company, write them down, and don’t forget to mention those points during the interview as well as where you noticed these things about the culture.

This way, you will be creating an impression to your employers that you are very much interested in the job having done your research.

3. Don’t Talk Too Much

Please, don’t talk too much. Just say what exactly the employer is looking for from you, so that you don’t begin to give out unnecessary information. 

Read More: Answers to “Who Inspires You?” 

Examples Of Answers To The Question “What Type Of Work Environment Do You Prefer”

In this section, we will be looking at some of the ideal answers to give when asked this question in a given scenario.

Sample 1: 

In a scenario where you know little or nothing about the company (or if it is a small company), answer this way;

“I have experience working in a variety of settings, including high pressure, informal, very collaborative, and having to fend for myself; I adapt well to most of them. I’m curious to learn more about this place’s surroundings. Could you please elaborate? ”

Notice that with this answer, you’ve communicated your ability to be flexible, and continued the discussion by asking a question to help you learn more about the nature of the company at the end. 

This question not only directs the conversation during the interview but also provides you with valuable insights about the corporate culture that you can apply to future interviews..

Sample 2

I don’t have a specific dream workplace. In previous professions, I’ve managed to prosper while working in a variety of settings.

In my most previous work, for instance, I thrived in a corporate setting with a lot of structure. 

Prior to that, I worked for a smaller start-up and appreciated the fast-paced atmosphere, the opportunity to wear several hats, and the opportunity to be active in various parts of the company as it grew.

But to directly answer your question, I enjoy working in collaborative settings. 

I value a work atmosphere that promotes teamwork and communication because I enjoy exchanging ideas and collaborating with others.

I am able to excel and perform at a high level in this kind of work environment.

Sample 3

In a scenario where you have done your research about the company:

“Speaking with your staff and reading up on the business led me to the conclusion that your organization takes pride in having a quick-paced, high-achieving, inventive culture. 

In certain circumstances, I do well. 

Does that fit with how you would describe the surroundings?

The fact that they asked this question at the end of the interview sparked a discussion that revealed their true motivation—they wanted to know if you were comfortable working long hours. 

What To Avoid When Answering The Question – What Type Of Work Environment Do You Prefer?

There are certain mistakes you must avoid when answering this question, and we are going to be highlighting them in this section:

1. Focus On What You Like

Instead of saying things like, “I can only work in a highly-collaborative environment and I really dislike any kind of work that requires me to be by myself,” say  “I enjoy a collaborative environment”. “I really like an environment that values problem solving, creativity, and effort because I feel I bring those three things to my job each day.”

This way, even if the job environment is nothing like theirs, the interview can still take it but saying you can’t work in such an environment means that if the job is even a little bit like that, you won’t be hired.

Having said that, make sure you focus on the positive.

2. Don’t Exhibit Timidity

Remember that during the interview, the hiring manager is concerned about not just the things you say but also your general body language.

Any trace of timidity might make the interviewer feel that you are unsuitable for that environment. 

Read Also: How To Answer A Job Interview Question “What are You Passionate About”

Various Types Of Work Environment

Listed below are the most common types of work environments that you will most likely :

1. Start-up Environment

From the name, you can deduce that this is a small, fast-growing company where employees are required to be disposed of, and ready to assist in different areas. 

In this type of work environment, new ideas and flexibility are of great value and the work setting tends to be more laid back compared to others.

2. Corporate/conventional Work Environment

It’s safe that this work environment is more well-defined compared to a start-up environment.

Each employee has his or her area of specialization which means that each team has a specific function they perform for the company.

3. Hierarchical Environment

This work environment is controlled by the leader of each team while all teammates look to depend on that leader for instructions.

4. Flat/collaborative Environment 

This work environment is also known as a matrix environment where employees are expected to report to different members of the organization depending on the project/task. 

Aside from the fact that workers can take instructions from more than one person, a team manager is still responsible for their team members’ performance reviews, promotions, and so on. 

5. Remote vs. in-person work Environment

You have to find out if the job position requires your physical presence or it is a remote position.


I hope we’ve been able to disclose how to answer this question whenever it is thrown at you in an interview.

Don’t forget to avoid common mistakes a lot of people make when answering this question as well as the tips you should employ to give an appropriate answer to this question.

All the best!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.