Hiring managers like to throw this question out to see what kinds of environments different candidates do the best in. It's a good way to ensure that they're hiring the best fit for the position, and it also helps them do an attitude check to see if people are mostly positive or mostly negative when they evaluate situations. To get the most out of your answer, you will want to discuss it in a way that shows them how you were satisfied, so that they can see what appeals to you and how it makes you a better employee.
Points to Emphasize
Here are the things that you can do to really make your answer pop.
- Discuss what other employees contributed that helped you achieve job satisfaction, whether it was support, camaraderie, or just plain old workmanship.
- Show how those elements can be recreated to project the idea that you bring your satisfaction with you by working with your environment.
- Make sure to tie in performance factors that show how your satisfaction led you to aspire to be better at your work.
- Be direct, good experiences don't need extra hype.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
This question is usually fairly friendly, but it can lead you away from the main goal of the interview, which is showing that you are a good fit for the next job.
- Don't oversell your last employer. It can lead to questions about why you're leaving.
- You also want to avoid going negative. This is an opportunity to discuss the high points, so if you compare and contrast too much of the negative aspects of the job, it can distract.
- Winding stories and anecdotes have a way of missing the point while taking up time. Don't let yourself overcomplicate things.
- Never let yourself take credit for too much. Your job satisfaction should be something that can be recreated, but it should come from something outside yourself.
Something like this will stick to the elements and give your interviewer solid information without going too far.
What I really liked about that job was the ability to help everyone else stay organized. When I did well, I could see that it helped other people to do their jobs better, and that made me want to achieve even more. I really enjoy being part of a team where everyone knows they can count on the others.
That answer gives them just enough to see how you fit into a situation and what makes you flourish, without overdoing it.