Do you take work home with you? An interesting interview question. What exactly is the interviewer getting at? If you say yes will they expect you to spend your evenings and weekends working? But if you say no will the hiring manager be unimpressed by your lack of commitment?
It’s vital to find the right balance. A response that will answer in a manner of willingness to go the extra mile but also truthfulness. To what extent will you go when taking on the additional workload?
There are two ways to go about this question.
1. You answer truthfully, whether or not you are willing to take work home with you, it’s important to let the interviewer know. Even if this puts your job chances at risk.
2. You say yes no matter what. You desperately want the job and will say anything to please your potential employer. Even if taking work home is definitely not an option for you.
Yes, I am willing to take work home with me.
A simple yes. Working from home is not an issue for you.
No, I am very busy outside of work.
A direct no. No room for negotiation or persuasion – you will not and never take work home with you.
Hopefully, this won’t be the answer for most job seekers. Usually, the job advert will state if additional work outside of hours is required. So being caught off guard in the interview isn’t entirely fair. Be honest and explain your reasoning, working outside of contracted hours is not possible for everyone and that’s ok.
“Working outside of my set work hours is not an option for me. However, with some notice, I can adjust my schedule.”
For some job seekers working overtime is simply not feasible, especially without a pre-given warning. So don’t be afraid to say no. Just remember to justify your answer and explain if this were required you’d need a little heads up to change things around in your diary. Particularly important for working parents, where short notice requests just aren’t possible!
I have never been in this situation, however…
Whilst you may not have been in this situation in the past, it’s still beneficial to say yes. Be honest and explain that whilst it was not a frequent occurrence in your last job, you would always be willing to go the extra mile to meet deadlines and resolve emergency issues outside of the work. Remember the interview could in fact just be sussing out your commitment to the role. They have no plans for you to work overtime, so if you immediately answer NO, it won’t do you any favours.
“I have no problem taking work home with me. Whilst I do aim to manage my time efficiently to ensure my work is completed during the day. I understand that there are times when working from home is inevitable. In my previous experience, this occurs during upcoming project deadlines and my own desire to stay on top of my own personal workload.”
Before your next interview be prepared for all possible questions with these How To Answer blog posts.