When an interviewee asks about expectations outside of work, they want to know if there are extra expectations. They are trying to get a feel for the company’s policy on overtime, working weekends, taking work home with you, mandatory volunteering or work trips. This question also helps them understand what is important to the company. They can start to see if their views line up with the company’s. You can also start to get a feel if they would be a good fit for the company. Giving them a detailed answer will help you narrow down the list of candidates.
Points to Emphasize
Answer this question in a way that highlights the values of the company.
- Talk about what the company expects in a regular work week. Is it common to come in early, stay late or work weekends
- Discuss the company’s expectations when it comes to free time. Some companies strongly suggest volunteering.
- Let the interviewee know if it is a common necessity to take work home with you.
- Also, talk about the likelihood of traveling for work or company retreats.
Letting the candidates know about commitments they’re expected to have outside of work eliminates any surprises that may come later.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
Giving this answer in the right way is important, so make sure to avoid these mistakes.
- Do not talk poorly about the company or any members of management.
- Beware of giving an answer that seems evasive.
- Try not to make any commitments sound tedious or negative.
- Be careful not to answer in a thoughtless way that may alienate a candidate.
You want to find the perfect person for this position. Giving an answer that is detailed enough without sounding negative will help you do just that.
Here is an example of what a great answer might look like:
There are a few events you are expected to attend outside of work. There is an annual company picnic, and since the company is small, everyone is expected to attend. This is a fun event for the whole family though, and there is free food. You would also be expected to take work home as needed, but if you are able to get everything done during the work day it is not expected. We really value family, so there is no mandatory overtime or weekend work. The company also values giving back, so it is strongly suggested that you do some volunteering, but this can be anything that fits in to your lifestyle.
Answer the question with ample details to give the candidate a complete picture.