Any organization you work for, any position you have, you will always share the workplace with other people. In some cases you may have a close interaction with your colleagues, and in other cases you will barely meet them, except of regular team meetings, or while enjoying your lunch in a canteen. One way or another, you won’t be an isolated unit in the company, and in order to thrive at work, you should at least somehow enjoy the cooperation with your colleagues. Hence you may get this question (or a similar one, such as “What kind of people do you like to be with?”) in virtually any job interview.
Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers to the question. You will find on my list both typical and unconventional answers, presenting a variety of attitudes and approaches to teamwork. Pick one that resonates with the message you try to demonstrate in your interviews. Once done with the answers, read also my notes below. I explain there some important details you should keep on your mind while talking about your future colleagues in the interviews.
7 sample answers to “What kind of people do you enjoy working with?” interview question
- I enjoy working with colleagues who drive me forward. When I see that other people try their best in work, it motivates me to also push hard. It also helps a great deal when your colleagues encourage you, for example when you experience a low day at work, and I definitely try to pay back the favor, praising my colleagues and recognizing them for their good work. I also embrace diversity in the workplace. It is an enriching experience to work with people from various cultural and professional backgrounds, so we can all learn from one another.
- To be honest, I do not have a specific preference. As long as they do not hang around the office, playing with their smartphones half a day doing nothing–which was the case with most of my colleagues in my last job–and I had to do most of the work for them, I do not have a problem working with anyone. I’ve learned by experience that you cannot expect a perfect collective in any workplace. For sure I will click better with some colleagues and worse with others, but I am ready to respect everyone as they are, and try my best in work regardless of how well we get along. At the end of the day, I also have my mistakes others will have to bear with.
- Before anything else, I try to be the colleague others enjoy working with. Let me explain. I try to be attentive to the needs and feelings of my colleagues, offer a helping hand when someone needs it, or a word of encouragement. At the end of the day, I cannot control the behavior of my colleagues. The only think I have under control is my own behavior, but at the same time law of action and reaction cannot be broken. When I manage to be a great colleague, other people will typically follow suit, and we’ll have an excellent time in the workplace. I look forward to contribute to it with my behavior, and my attitude to other people. That’s the most I can do from my position.
- This is my first job application, and I do not really have much experience working with other people. But I want to ensure you that I do not have any special expectations on my new colleagues. I am sure everyone here knows what they are supposed to do. What’s more, you promote certain values and work ethic across the organization. As long as people stick to it, I see no reason why I would not enjoy working with them, being with them. Because these values resonate with me strongly.
- I prefer to work on my own. That’s the reason why I applied for a job of a truck driver with you. Sure enough, I will have some contact with dispatchers, clients, warehouse workers. But most of the time it will be just me and the road, and the truck. That’s an ideal combination really. Having said that, I do not have a problem talking to anyone, and no doubt I will get along with my colleagues, or with other drivers I will meet on the road.
- I enjoy working with people who share the same passion for social work. People who see the meaningful purpose of this work, and encourage each other to try hard with every case, to not give up, and to get over the setbacks that necessarily belong to this job. Judging by what I’ve seen so far in your organization, and from the talks I’ve had with your workers, I have a feeling that you have such a team in place. It is one of the main reasons why I decided to apply for a job with you.
- I enjoy working with people who love to have fun, people who did not get old in their souls yet, regardless of their year of birth. That’s the reason no. 1 why I seek a job in a nightclub. I still have a child in me in a way, living for the present day, not thinking much about what the tomorrow will bring. Some people may call me immature, and I am okay with that. What matters to me is to be happy in my everyday life, and to spend time with people who have similar philosophy of life. I am convinced that I can find such people in your club.
Best candidates want to be the best colleagues
It is important to have at least some expectations, because you won’t enjoy your time at work, if you have to work with people you find boring or outright loathe. It is just not worth it having such a job, and if it is your case today, you should quit your job immediately, and look for a new one.
Having said that, the best job candidates expect the most from themselves. Tell the hiring managers that first and foremost, you want to be a a great colleague. You want to build great relationship with other people in the workplace, and take honest interest in their life and problems. That’s the attitude hiring managers seek in the very best job applicants.
* Special Tip: This isn’t the only difficult question you will face while interviewing for any decent job. You will face questions about prioritization, dealing with pressure, dealing with ambiguity, and other tricky scenarios that happen in the workplace. If you want to make sure that you stand out with your answers and outclass your competitors, have a look at our Interview Success Package. Up to 10 premium answers to 31 tricky scenario based questions (+ more) will make your life much easier in the interviews. Thank you for checking it out!
Diversity in the workplace is the new buzzword
Mentioning diversity will always help you, especially if you apply for a job in a big corporation. Such corporations place a lot of value on diversity, and you will find people of different colors, religions, and genders in each and every team.
Tell them that you embrace diversity, that you find it an enriching experience to work in such a collective. What is more, you should check the so called “corporate values” on the website of your future employer. Check what values they try to promote in the workplace. Then you can say that you enjoy working with colleagues who share these values. Such an answer will make it easier for the hiring managers to consider you a good fit for their working culture, or at least a culture they try to build in the workplace.
Applying for a job for a lonely wolf, you should not expect much from your colleagues
Truck driver, geologist, or lighthouse keeper, are just couple of examples of jobs for lonely wolfs. If you apply for a job in which you’ll spend the majority of time working solo, you should not expect much from your colleagues, or many interactions in general.
In such a case you should say that you actually enjoy being on your own, and do not need a company to be happy in work. Sure enough, when it is necessary to have an interaction with someone–be it a colleague, a customer, or anyone else, you can handle it…
Ready to answer this one? I hope so! Do not forget to check also 7 sample answers to other tricky interview questions:
- How would you describe your work ethic?
- Tell me about a time you had to deal with a difficult customer.
- How would your colleagues describe your personality?