When sitting down with someone for an informational interview, you should be prepared to answer questions regarding the work culture of your line of employment. One of these questions can be, “Is there flexibility in work hours, vacation schedule, place of residence, etc.”
Most companies in your line of work might be typical 9-5 jobs that require you to show up to an office every day. Other companies might be looser in their schedules and where the employees can work. The person interviewing you might have a particular preference regarding how they like to work, and he or she wants to see if getting into this career field would mesh well with those preferences.
Points to Emphasize
You cannot control the way someone enjoys working, so the best thing to do is to just be upfront in terms of your particular company’s culture.
- Talk about what your company offers
- Discuss if what your company does is typical for this line of work
- If there is flexibility, mention the limits
- Ask the interviewer what they prefer
An interviewer may prefer the stability offered by a typical company, but if your organization is a little more flexible, that could be a major benefit as well.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
Although asking about vacation and working time is not recommended for standard job interviews, for an information interview, it is perfectly acceptable.
- Don’t lie about what your company offers
- Avoid saying that your way of operating is best
- Don’t criticize an interviewer for his or her preferences
- Don’t say there is flexibility if there is none
Different businesses have different ways of conducting business. Chances are that if someone is interviewing for this line of work, they already have a good idea of what will be expected of them.
Regardless of what your company actually offers, your response to this question should be formatted like this:
There’s not a whole lot of flexibility around here. Most of our employees work from 9AM to 5PM Monday through Friday. However, if you are feeling sick or are unable to come into the office, there are ways for you to get some work done remotely. In terms of vacation, we offer all our employees two weeks every year that they can use any time they’d like. This is fairly common for most businesses in our line of work.
There is nothing wrong with any specific type of work style, and if your company culture does not fit in line with what the interviewer is looking for, then he or she knows to look elsewhere.