When an interviewer asks, “Would you work 40+ hours a week,” you may feel a little conflicted about how to respond. Do they need you to work more than that consistently Do they just need a few nights of overtime here and there Depending on your industry, the hiring manager may expect you to work more than the average full-time employee. However, this can also be a question of productiveness. Can you get all of you tasks completed in the allotted time frame To figure out the best answer, you will have to consider the type of job and company for which you are applying. Regardless, be honest. You don’t want to get hired and realize that you cannot maintain the expected schedule.
Points to Emphasize
Unless you know exactly what the company expects, you don’t want to be too specific on how much you will work. Feel free to give examples of past experiences where you worked extra hours for the sake of a project.
- Highlight your workplace productivity.
- Showcase your talent for time management.
- Be confident when you state how much you can work.
- Focus on your willingness to do what needs to be done.
Try to be as positive as possible in your answer. Draw attention to your strengths as an employee and refocus the conversation away from a set number of hours.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
Try to stay away from these common mistakes.
- Avoid stating an exact number of weekly hours when possible.
- Do not show distaste for overtime or a longer than average workweek.
- Do not imply that overtime signifies inefficiency.
- Do not forget to factor in the industry you are a part of.
If you don’t know what you’re hiring manager is looking for, be honest and avoid being too specific. However, be cautious if they expect 80 hours a week in an industry where most workers have 40-hour workweeks.
Here are examples of good answers to the workweek question:
I know this job will require extra work hours as projects come in and deadlines approach. I work efficiently, but when my colleagues need me to put in the extra time, I will gladly oblige.
In this field, I’ve always been able to complete my tasks within the typical 40-hour workweek, but I understand that some projects simply require a little more. I am happy to occasionally come in early, stay late or work weekends.
Remember, if you don’t want to work more than 40 hours a week, it is fine to say so, but keep your response positive.