Smart work may involve solidifying a strategic approach to the work and identifying things that you need to do, while hard work might include just pressing through with a task without really determining in advance how you are going to complete it and do a good job.
By asking this question, your interviewer wants to know that you will make the most efficient use of your time. Hard work is more involved with putting in the hours and working throughout the day, while smart work implies being more efficient in your work.
Points to Emphasize
You want to paint yourself as an employee who can work smart and hard. Here are ways that you can showcase both.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
Exude confidence while showing the interviewer that you can work hard and smart. Here are some things to avoid to help with that.
The key to answering this question positively involves knowing the difference and giving examples where you have discerned the difference, as in the following example.
To me, the difference between smart work and hard work is that hard work involves just putting in the hours and plowing through the hours. I’m not a work horse and I suspect that working here is more than just putting in the time without anything to show for it. I am a smart worker, which means I always approach every project with a plan and organize them by priority. This ensures the work is done when it needs to be and that my execution of the plan was well thought out.