How to Answer "When Were You Most Satisfied in Your Job?"

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Job satisfaction is generally defined as the level of contentment that an employee has from working in their daily employment as it pertains to job tasks, work environment and management style. The Conference Board conducted a survey of US households in 2014 that measured the job satisfaction level among employees of all ages. According to the survey results, “only 47% of workers said they were satisfied with their jobs.” During your next interview, you may be asked to describe a time when you were most satisfied with your job. This article will address factors that you should consider when crafting your response to this question.

1. Understand the Purpose for the Question

When an employee is satisfied in the workplace, the productivity level is greatly increased and this adds value to the employer. The hiring manager needs to ask this type of question during the interview in order to ascertain when you are most satisfied at work. When you are satisfied with your job, the hiring manager knows that you will be able to work to your optimal productivity level. Employees, who are satisfied in their jobs, are motivated to come to work each day and be productive individuals.

Specific instances, when you were most satisfied in your job, will give the hiring manager more insight into how well you would be satisfied in the new position. Additionally, the hiring manager can ascertain how well you will mesh with the job you’re applying for.

2. Crafting Your Response to this Question

After you understand the purpose behind the question, you can craft your response that will give the hiring manager more insight into your workplace perspective. Take a look at the following steps discussed below.

  • Research – You should start this process by first understanding the company you have applied for. For example, research the company to ascertain the culture, workplace environment and employee satisfaction level. When you complete this review, you can make a more informed decision with regard to the question of job satisfaction.
  • Evaluate – The second step in this process is to evaluate when you were most satisfied in your current and previous employment positions. In order to give the best answer, you need to know what satisfies you in a working environment.
  • Create – After you know what “makes you tick”, you need to craft the appropriate response that will intrigue the hiring manager to want to know more about your professional career. In creating this response, you must mesh your ideal job satisfaction level with the actual employment position that you’re applying for.

The purpose is to be genuine in your response while giving just enough detail to keep the interview going in the right direction—toward a second interview and a job offer.

3. Examples of Job Satisfaction Level

With regard to crafting your response to this question, you should find a way to incorporate a specific example of when you felt most satisfied in your job. Describe an example that motivated you to continue to succeed and become more productive in the workplace. It is important to always showcase your enthusiasm when it comes to discussing your previous professional experience. Think back to specific job tasks, team projects or individual assignments that you worked on and you felt most satisfied doing. Some types of examples you can share are listed below.

  • Match Up – Make sure that your example meshes with the specific job or workplace environment that you are applying for. Basically, if you enjoy working on solo projects and you are applying to work in a more team-centered environment, you need to tailor your response. You wouldn’t share that you’re most satisfied when working alone. You need to find an example that showcases your satisfaction in another area as it pertains to the team-centered environment.
  • Be Specific – Do not share a vague response like I’m most satisfied when I am productive at work. You need to show and not tell. Provide an example of a time when you were extremely productive, such as completing a team project or increasing your quarterly sales quota.

Whichever example you decide to share, make it work for the specific job you’re applying for. Share your enthusiasm and explain what motivates you in the workplace.

See Also: How to Answer, "What Are You Looking For in Terms of Career Development?"

During the process of crafting your response, remember to research the company to make sure that your answer will mesh with the specific job description and company workplace environment. Evaluate the times in your professional career when you were the most satisfied and be specific in your response to the question.

Have you ever encountered this question in an interview? What happened?