“Would You Rather Have Structure or Flexibility in a Job?” Interview Question
Interviewers typically ask candidates whether they prefer a structured or flexible working environment to see whether they are a good fit for the corporate culture. Although the question may sound simple, applicants’ responses may be more thorough and showcase their talents. Understanding the expectations of the inquiry might help you plan a successful response. In this piece, we will discuss why employers ask candidates if they prefer structure or flexibility, how to respond to the question, and provide sample responses for your reference.
Why do businesses ask whether you prefer structure or flexibility?
Companies frequently inquire about a candidate’s preference for structure or flexibility to see whether their ideal work culture fits the organization’s atmosphere. This question is used by employers to determine whether an applicant would be successful in the role. Companies usually seek out versatile employees. A person who thinks they can only succeed in circumstances that are completely unstructured or strictly regimented is unlikely to be a suitable fit. Companies require adaptable employees that can tolerate some supervision while also taking some initiative in getting their task done.
What to say when asked whether you prefer structure or independence in your job.
You can answer this question using the instructions below:
1. Inform them that both are necessary.
Try to convey what you like about both when answering this question. You can talk about how you can use your strengths in each circumstance. Include what you like about each and how your skills fit into this type of response.
Example: “I perform well in both circumstances. Structure is advantageous because it clarifies goals and expectations. You are clear about what you want from your performance. Having some freedom and flexibility allows me to develop a process that suits me. The combination of the two is fantastic. I just completed a project with very clear results and solid directions, but I was allowed to create my own method of completing the assignment within the project’s constraints.”
2. Emphasize adaptability
The majority of organizations have a culture that ranges from strictly restricted to exceedingly flexible. A hiring manager may be interested in knowing if you fit into one of two categories. You can emphasize your adaptability as an important aspect of your professional approach in your response.
Example: “In my previous positions, I have worked in a range of settings and cultures. Structure is useful because it helps with task focus and provides a strong sense of mission. Being adaptive and self-sufficient can also help to foster initiative. I’m a very adaptable person that can fit into any culture or scenario. I’ve had a lot of success and positive experiences in a variety of settings, so I see the value in both directions and would fit in well in either.”
3. Shift your emphasis to collaboration.
Many businesses want accountability and oversight of your work. They are also looking for someone who can work alone, take initiative, and collaborate with others. You might pivot in your response to highlight how much you value teamwork and collaboration, thus positively answering a question about culture.
Example: “I like how having some structure can encourage team members to collaborate. I feel that it is vital for employees to operate as a team, and that a controlled environment may help make that happen. A flexible structure encourages creativity and independence, both of which I value. In the workplace, I believe it is possible to be flexible while still retaining some structure to promote good teamwork and communication. Building positive relationships with my peers and collaborating with them to achieve common goals is critical to me.”
4. Emphasize your versatility.
In this answer style, you can frame flexibility positively. To begin, being flexible and working in a structured environment are not mutually exclusive concepts. Your response may show the firm that you are capable of completing the assignment, are adaptive, and are willing to accept some structure.
Example: “Having both is a fantastic idea. Structure can serve to clarify mission, yet flexibility can be quite beneficial. In my experience, when things don’t go exactly as planned, flexibility becomes critical. There are times when you must be adaptable in order to fulfill the needs of a client or make a change because something went wrong and you are addressing the issue. Being adaptable aids structure in certain ways since adaptability is sometimes required to complete a task. In my opinion, a flexible environment does not contradict a structured environment. I feel the two will get along nicely.”
5. Research the company’s culture.
Do some study before the interview to learn more about the company’s culture, mission, and goals. Due to the limitations of internet research, you can use the interview to ask specific questions yourself. Asking some cultural questions will help with these and other issues that will arise later in the discussion.
Example: “I’ve worked in a wide range of cultural contexts. I’ve enjoyed having some autonomy, but structure is also advantageous because it clarifies the company’s goal and your role. I’m pretty adaptable, and working as part of a team is really important to me. I’d like to understand more about your approach to professional development and what you value in the culture of your firm. What information can you provide?”
Leave a Reply