How to Answer Job Interview Questions

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What would be your best answer for the following interview questions?: Do you take work home with you?, How many hours do you normally work?, Describe a typical work week.

How to Answer How many hours do you normally work? interview question

Be careful before you answer questions about how many hours a week you work. You don’t want to be construed as a slacker or as someone who works too many hours. At some companies, the norm is a 40 hour week and everyone goes home on time. At others, everyone might work 50 or 60 hours a week.

However, working a lot of hours isn’t necessarily a good thing – it could mean you’re not productive enough to get the job done in a reasonable amount of time.

So, unless you’re sure about the company culture and expectations, the safest answer is not to mention a certain number of hours. Rather, mention that you work as much as necessary to get the job done.

Example Answer

In my last job I worked 12 hour shifts daily and these were mostly overnight, this is the reason that I now want something more steady with a fewer hours. It was becoming quite hard to keep a social life working all night, and sleeping all day. So I am really looking forward to having a little more tie for myself, my friends and my family.

How to Answer Do you take work home with you? interview question

This is a question that will require some cunning on your behalf in order to answer it effectively. You should do some research on the company to assess what kind of employee they are looking for. On one hand, they could be looking for an employee who will show above and beyond levels of dedication. It may be a positive trait for them to see an employee using his/her own time to ensure the timely completion of a job. On the other hand, taking your work home with you could be a sign that you often cut close to, or even miss, deadlines. It could be seen as a sign that you don’t have the organisational skills required.

If you can accurately predict what kind of employee this company is looking for, it would then be possible to tailor your answer to suit. however, be careful of being untruthful. For example, if you tell the interviewer that you live and breathe your work, and enjoy taking extra work home. You could risk some serious consequences if it turns out that you had lied. It could also force you to endure a never ceasing conveyor belt of tasks, with your new boss believing he is doing it to make you happy.

For situations where you can’t be sure which way to go, there is only one answer. Tell the truth. If you don’t you risk being found out, or worse still, you could end up in a job that wasn’t suitable for you.

Here is an example answer when sitting on the fence:

Generally speaking I have never had the need to catch up with work at home. I consider myself to be a well organised employee and I will always strive to complete tasks efficiently and to the best of my ability. However, I do find myself mulling over problems at home, and have on occasion woken up with a the required solution sitting in my head. Although it is not something I would envisage doing on a regular basis, I am a committed person and would certainly take work home if I felt it would greatly benefit the team effort.

This answer shows you are willing, but not overly keen on taking work home. It also gives the impression that you do have an active interest in your work as you will often think on work related problems at home. This could be considered a useful compromise answer to the question.

Best Answer

When I need to, no problem. I realize the importance of meeting deadlines and getting work done on time.

How to Answer Describe a typical work week interview question

To answer this question effectively, it is important that you have done your homework on the job that you have applied for. You should have a good idea of what will be expected of you and you can use the information you have gathered in order to tailor your answer. Obviously if you have applied for a 60 hour a week job, it is not going to be considered a strong answer if you give describe a 15 hour a week schedule.

The job you are going for will have its own requirements and you should make sure your answer clearly shows that you understand, and more importantly believe you can achieve, the responsibilities and amount of work which will be expected of you. For example, your week may start with checking your e-mails on the Monday morning train as you make your way through rush hour to the office. Alternatively, it could involve checking safety equipment and packing a parachute before you begin instructing a new class of wannabe sky divers. However, the key element to answering this question is to make sure you give an example that will match, or preferably, exceed the typical work week you will be expected to deal with.

Example Answers

Unless there is any burning issues or a requirement to action something immediately, I prefer to spend the first hour on a Monday morning preparing for the week ahead. Were possible I would use this time to ensure all preparations are correct for the week ahead as well as answering outstanding e-mails and mail. I would then expect to carry out my filing and general secretary duties……Add in some highlights without going into too much detail…….. I would expect to work from Monday to Friday between the hours of 9am and 5pm. However, I am always understanding when extra work needs to be done and always endeavour to remain flexible when required.

For this answer you are not expected to give an hour by hour account of your entire working week. Simply give a few examples of the main tasks you would expect to carry out and timescales. If you would be happy to do overtime then say so. If not, then don’t mention it in order to ensure it does not stand against you.

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