The question about your ideal work environment is completely geared towards finding what you need around you to be successful. Be honest and tell them all the vacation days you deserve and all your pet peeves so they can make sure you’re comfortable. The last thing you would want is to end up at a company you are going to be miserable at.
Unfortunately, it’s not always that easy. The hiring manager is not asking you this question so that he can accommodate all of your requests. They are asking the question to see if you fit inside their already determined work environment. If you have a ton of interviews lined up and have no shortage of options, then go ahead and be very straightforward with what you are looking for, eventually, you will probably find something.
For most people, this is not the case. If this is a company that you are extremely passionate about working at, you are going to want to mold your answer in such a way that it fits with their work environment. You should tailor your ideal work environment to match their already determined work environment. That way, the hiring manager can feel confident that you are going to be happy. Here are a couple things to focus on when determining your ideal work environment.
Are you interviewing with Google or a local small business? If it is Google, nice work! Regardless of the size of the company, state why that company fits what you are looking for. If you are applying to a larger company, you may emphasize that job security is important to you.
With a smaller company, state that knowing everyone’s name allows you to feel connected and provides a family type bond. Your answer must involve what you already know about the company or you'll most likely not receive a callback.
Check out the 50 Top Job Interview Questions And Answers.
Day to day
Nobody wants to work 60 hours a week. That is a fact! Unfortunately, if that is what your career entails, you had better sell it! Whether you're a young adult or a seasoned executive with 10 kids at home, your focus is landing this job. You need to portray that you are willing to work as long as needed to get the job done.
Not too many people enjoy dressing up for work every day. However, if the dress attire at a given company is formal, explain how that promotes professionalism.
If the company promotes casual attire, you should have no problem expressing your love for T-shirts and jeans!
Focus on landing the job
As long as you do your research on the company you are applying for (Most Don’t!), you should be able to crush this question. Many people focus too much on giving an honest answer, and not enough on giving the best answer. Now, we are not saying to go to an interview and lie through your teeth, but put yourself in the employer’s shoes for a second.
Are you going to hire someone who says that they prefer working in a small office when this job is in a huge 500-person office? You would actually be doing this person a disservice by offering them a job they probably would not be happy at. To sum it up, if you really want the job you will suck it up and make what they offer you your new ideal work environment.