Do you have an upcoming job interview? Check out my example answer to the interview question: “Do you ever take your work home with you?“
Questions that require a similar answer are: “How many hours per week do you normally work?” or “Can you describe your work style?“
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There are a variety of reasons why hiring managers might ask this question: They might want to know if you are aware of your time management skills for a healthy work-life balance, if you value being effective, efficient and productive, if you are willing to work overtime and/or check email from home.
For job seekers WITH EXPERIENCE
“I don’t shy away from taking work home with me. For example, at [Company XYZ] I had to collaborate with coworkers working in different time zones. I made sure to stay on top of my own personal workload, but every once a while we had to collaborate outside working hours to finalize the projects.
So there are times when working from home is inevitable. However, I try to not make it a habit. I spend time up-front creating a timeline for myself to ensure on-time delivery. That way, I remain organized which decreases errors, improves my productivity and overall work-life balance.”
For job seekers WITH NO EXPERIENCE
“Bringing work home with me when necessary is not a problem. I know that project deadlines are very tight in this industry and I’m very aware of how speedily communications move on the job. One email can be the difference between closing the sale or having it go elsewhere.
This position seems like a perfect opportunity to challenge myself, advance my organizational skills and build my career. However, maintaining a healthy work-life balance is important to me, so I try to limit this to the early stages and to urgent matters.”
√ Do know the company culture. It’s important to do some research and find out more about the shared values, mission/vision, attitudes and practices that characterize the organization. That way, you can emphasize the working attitude that aligns with the company values.
X Don’t distinguish good from bad. There is something to say for both working overtime and leaving in a timely fashion without taking work home with you. Try not to give a negative response to one way or the other.