You can never be sure what an interviewer is really asking you. Interview questions are usually created to get at a specific piece of information. If you understand the hidden meaning, you can build your answer around them.
It is common for interviewers to ask what kind of person you enjoy working for. This question just sounds like a trap, but there are several things it could really mean. They might want to make sure you are compatible with a specific manager, or they may be trying to gauge how easy it is to work with you. They may even be looking for how you treat workplace relationships. In any situation, staying positive and flexible is the best option.
Points to Emphasize
Answering this question walks a fine line between not providing a full answer and giving the wrong impression. Be sure that you choose your words very carefully.
- Be likable. This question is based on relations, so you want to appear as compatible as possible. They should have no doubts about how you will get along with the other employees and managers.
- Be open. Giving a brief answer or hiding some information gives a bad impression. The interviewer should trust you and think you are a social individual.
- Give examples. Adding a personal touch or even a story reinforces that you have gotten along with others in previous jobs. Remember to stay positive.
- Do not rush your answer to get to the next question.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
It is especially important that you do not fall into the following pitfalls. Leaving out a specific point is better than making a mistake and saying something you should not.
- Do not answer in the negative. Saying the type of person you do not enjoy working with is not a good idea.
- Do not say you are fine with everyone. Everyone has their preferences, so answering in this way sounds like dodging the question. It is fine to conclude that workplace relations have never interfered with your work.
- Do not forget to answer the actual question. Do not jump to describing how likable you are.
- Do not come off as inflexible. This is your preference, not a coworker wish list.
Use the following example to help you answer this question for yourself.
I am a social individual, so I enjoy working for social individuals. Doing the work should be emphasized, but being able to communicate and get along with my superiors really helps me feel comfortable. However, as a social individual, there are few people I cannot get along with.