When interviewers ask the question, “What obligations does your employer place on you outside of the ordinary work week” they are trying to get a feel for how committed and career focused you are. Those willing to complete work outside of the regular work week show dedication to the position and the company, which is a desirable trait that employers look for in potential employees.
Points to Emphasize
In properly answering this question, there is no one answer that works for every interviewee. However, there are a few points that you should emphasize.
- Describe any obligations that are expected of you outside of your work week.
- If you do not have any obligations, talk about any activities that you willingly do to help advance you in your career.
- Highlight any acknowledgements or advancement that you are received through your efforts.
- Establish a correlation between your obligations or activities and the job that you are applying for.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
There are also a few mistakes and pitfalls that you should avoid when answering this question.
- Do not simply provide a laundry list of obligations or duties that you are expected to complete outside of the work week.
- Even if you are not fond of certain tasks, do not express your dislike for completing them.
- Stay away from complaining about being expected to do extra work.
- Do not breeze over the question by stating that you are not expected to do additional tasks outside of your ordinary work; this could cause the interviewer to question why.
A great answer to questions about your obligations for work outside of the work week could be similar to this:
At my current job we are constantly encouraged to expand our knowledge within the industry, which I truly appreciate. So, outside of my regular work week I am expected to research and study the industry, which I do through subscribing to This Business Magazine, a few economic blogs and attending seminars when possible. I feel that my extensive knowledge of the industry and applicable practices has prepared me for a position such as this one.
Make sure that you fully answer the question by providing examples to support your initial answer and tying it into the position you are applying for.