How To Answer “Are You Willing To Work Overtime?”

How to answer Are you willing to work overtime? in a job interview. Other similar questions are: “Do you bring work home?“, “Do you sometimes work late nights? OR“When needed, do you work on weekends?

The reason why interviewers ask this question is not only to test your willingness, but also to evaluate your determination and motivation to work overtime and meet deadlines. After all, working long hours is quite common in some industries. Down below you can find a great example answer:

#1 Example Answer

“I am willing to work overtime because I know that project deadlines are very tight in the [Industry]. I do, however, prefer projects that are scoped and scheduled in such a way that long hours are not a consistent practice.”

#2 Example Answer

“I have no problem occasionally working overtime, but a healthy work-life balance is important to me. In my previous employment, for example, I was routinely putting in extra hours at the office until I read “Getting Things Done” by David Allen. Since then, I’ve adopted a personal productivity system that makes me more efficient and effective during working hours to get the job done.”

Interview Question Tips

  • Don’t lie about your willingness to work overtime. Be honest and upfront in your response or else this could cause problems in the future. Reconsider the position if your answer is a clear ‘no’. If you are in doubt, you can focus on your ability to manage large workloads or ambition to constantly improve your work style to avoid working overtime.
  • Do research the company culture and frame your answer accordingly. You need to know the reason why they ask you this question, and how much you have to devote yourself to the job. In some industries it’s a common practice to work overtime, which means they need someone who is willing to put in the extra hours instead of being strongly against it. In other situations, however, the interviewer just wants to know if you are dependable and reliable.
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