When you have an interviewee ask you if you are expected to work overtime or weekends, they're really asking you about what will be expected of them if they were to get the job. They are trying to get a sense of the company, and of the workload associated with their possible position. Part of the interview process is the candidate figuring out if the company is a good fit for them. How much they're expected to work is a big part of that. Just because they ask this question does not mean they are for or against the overtime.
Points to Emphasize
When you answer this question, you want to be sure to emphasize where to company stands on overtime and what their options are.
- Talk about the company's policies. If there are any limits on overtime, or any obligatory overtime.
- Discuss with them if there will be any options for overtime if they so choose to take it.
- Make sure to keep the conversation positive.
- Talk briefly about what you do, but then focus on what would be expected of them.
It is important to answer their question as completely as you can to give them a better picture of what would be expected of them.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
When you answer this question, you also want to be sure to avoid certain pitfalls.
- Do not lie about the overtime expectations.
- Try not to talk poorly about the people who make the overtime rules.
- Be careful not to answer the question how you think they want you to answer it. Just tell the truth.
- Do not talk too negatively one way or the other.
Giving the candidate an honest, straightforward answer will give them a good idea about the company, but it will also help you get a feel for them as a potential employee.
Here is an example of what a great answer to this question might look like:
In my position, I do work some overtime. I get to choose when I work it, whether I come in early, stay late or come in on weekends. It will be a similar situation in this position. There will be certain busy times when overtime will be mandatory, but it pretty much just goes on a project to project basis. In an average month, I normally only put in ten hours of overtime. There is some opportunity for more overtime if so desired.
Giving the candidate a good view of their options will help them make an informed decision, so you can get a committed employee.