How to answer “How many hours a week do you normally work?” in a job interview. Similar interview questions are: “How much you work?“, “What does your typical work week looks like?” or “Describe your typical work week…” On this page, you can find the perfect example answer and useful interview tips.
There are a variety of reasons why interviewers might ask this question. Some employers are curious about your willingness to work long hours, whereas others want to know more about your time management. Understand the reasoning behind this question because every employer is different.
#1 Example Answer
“In my previous employment, I worked both 40- and 50-hour work weeks. The exact number was dependent on the workload. On occasion, I’ve spent long hours completing my duties so I didn’t have to bring work home to do over the weekend.
Work-life balance is important to me, so I try to manage my time effectively and complete my tasks efficiently to successfully complete my projects on time. Once a month, I reflect on my performance so I can adapt my work style if necessary.”
#2 Example Answer
“When I was a [Job title] at [Company XYZ], I consistently worked both 50- and 60 hour work weeks. I had an amazingly effective five years, but I noticed that productivity output significantly decreased after 8 hours of work per day. Over the years, I’ve learned to be more time efficient.
Nowadays, I usually work 8-hour-days or the typical 40-hour work week, but sometimes I work overtime to complete urgent tasks. My work is project-based so I’ll stay or come in early or both as needed to keep the client satisfied.”
Interview Question Tips
- Don’t limit your answer to a fixed number. Instead, focus on your flexibility to work a typical work week as well as working long hours to meet deadlines. The process of organizing and planning tasks to make the most out of the day is more important than exact numbers.
- Don’t mislead the potential employer about your schedule. For example, let the interviewer know if you need some extra time to pick up your children from school during the week. That way, you can avoid friction or problems in the future.
- Do understand the reason why the interviewer asks this interview question. Some hiring managers want to know if you manage your time effectively and complete your tasks efficiently. Others are (also) curious if you are willing to work extra hours as needed.
- Do research the industry and company. Some employers stick to a 40-hour week where everyone goes home on time. On the other hand, in some industries (e.g. finance, tech) it’s not uncommon to work 50 or 60 hours per week. If you are applying for a role in the healthcare industry, you should come across as a flexible candidate that is willing to work night shifts.