What Do You Look For In Terms Of Culture — Structured Or Entrepreneurial?

When you’re applying for a job, the hiring manager may ask you something along the lines of, “What do you look for in terms of culture — structured or entrepreneurial”

The hiring manager is making sure you will be a good fit for his or her particular workplace environment. What the manager is most concerned with is whether or not you are extreme in your desire for structure or flexibility. If you present yourself as passionately wanting one or the other, it may signal to the interviewer that you lack the ability to find balance.

Points to Emphasize

When answering this question, you’ll want to make sure that you come across as ready and willing to fit into the company’s existing work environment.

  • Keep a middle ground by expressing interest in a structured environment and having the qualifications to be a self-starter.

  • Highlight skills related to following directions and streamlining necessary processes as they arise.

  • Show that you can follow an existing format and make changes when it best suits the company.

  • Emphasize that you are a well-rounded individual who can amend yourself to a situation.

    The most important rule to follow when answering this question is to not limit your answer to an either/or scenario.

    Mistakes You Should Avoid

    Even though the hiring manager is asking your preference between two options, you should try to avoid these common traps:

  • Resist limiting your answer to strongly preferring one work culture over the other.

  • If you answer “structured,” it may send a message that you aren’t able to think through situations on your own.

  • If you answer “entrepreneurial,” it may indicate to the interviewer that you’re unwilling to follow directions.

  • Likewise, you shouldn’t answer that you don’t have a preference, but rather show your appreciation for both.

    The hiring manager wants to make sure that you aren’t extreme in your preference of work environments. Avoid being too set on one type of culture.

    Sample Answer

    You can answer this question about work culture by discussing it in the following manner:

    I prefer a work culture that blends the best of both worlds. I enjoy working with a company’s established structure, as well as having an entrepreneurial spirit when I come across an outdated procedure or see an area that can be improved. I like to take all important proposals to a supervisor before implementing large changes.

    Showcase both your ingenuity and your ability to follow directives by showing appreciation for both types of work cultures.

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