If the interviewee asks you about socializing with coworkers, they want to gauge the friendliness level of the work environment.
The interviewee really wants to discover whether their potential new workplace is the kind of environment where close friendships can be formed. Because some businesses may have policies to actively encourage or discourage relationships and fraternization between coworkers, this is a good opportunity to share such policies.
Points to Emphasize
When you answer this question, you want to make sure to share general information about the interactions between yourself and your coworkers. If there are company-sponsored activities, you could mention these. Or, if the company has a policy that prohibits dating among coworkers or between employers and employee, you can explain these policies. You want to portray the company as having a desirable environment, but be truthful and straightforward, as well.
- Talk about the opportunities (or lack thereof) for workers to interact outside of work.
- Emphasize how you have built good friendships with colleagues.
- Mention company-sponsored picnics, retreats, and parties.
- Explain how company policies may affect social activities among coworkers.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
In answering this question, it may be tempting to describe negative experiences you may have had with your coworkers, but avoid those stories and focus on the positive aspects of the workplace. Here are some tips about what to avoid:
- Do not describe your personal differences with other coworkers.
- Be careful not to focus on difficult personalities in the workplace.
- Avoid exaggerating to make the work environment sound more friendly than it really is.
- Do not mention specific company policies that may inhibit social activities between workers.
It is important to be honest about the culture of the corporation, but consider using your best experiences as the guide to answering this question. Always bring the question back to the general corporate culture to avoid becoming overly personal.
An example of good answer to this question could go something like this:
At ABC Corporation we strive to make the workplace a friendly and positive one for everyone. I have worked with a diverse group of people here and several of them have become my personal friends. We encourage our workers to get to know each other in order to support each other in meeting our rigorous goals as an organization. One policy we have prohibits workers from dating superiors.
As you share with the interviewee about the culture of your organization, you can help them get a sense of how they might fit in with that culture. Your candid and thoughtful remarks may help you avoid false impressions and unrealistic expectations about the workplace.