How Many Hours A Week Do You Normally Work

When you go into a room for an interview, the hiring manager may ask, “how many house a week do you normally work” Depending on the position you are applying for, your potential employer might want to know if you are effective in time management or that you are willing to work extra hours as needed. A typical workweek may be 40 hours a week in some industries, while others expect 50 or 60 hours. Keep this in mind as you answer this question, but be honest. Remember, you are also interviewing the company to figure out if the work environment is a good fit for you.

Points to Emphasize

Think carefully before you construct your answer. You want to convey a willingness to work without appearing overzealous.

  • Highlight your time management skills and overall effectiveness in a typical workweek.
  • Showcase how you complete your work.
  • Draw attention to the high quality of your past work and your desire to continue being efficient.
  • Incorporate any special qualities such as persistence, tenacity or focus.

You want to convince your potential employer that you have an excellent work ethic and you will do what needs to be done to make the company successful.

Mistakes You Should Avoid

Some hiring managers will be more direct than others. If you can avoid them, do not give short and specific answers. Instead, draw attention to what you can bring the company.

    • Be careful to give a confident answer as opposed to, “I can work whenever, wherever.”
    • Do not imply an aversion to working an extra shift occasionally.
    • Do not appear too rigid in your timetable.
    • If you can, do not state a specific number of hours a week for past or future positions.

Do not mislead the hiring manager about your schedule. If you need to be able to pick your kids up from school during the week, let the interviewer know.

Sample Answer

A good example of an appropriate response to, “how many hours a week do you normally work” is:

I try to have a good balance between my work and my family, so I work especially hard from Monday to Friday. This way I can effectively complete all my work tasks during the week. However, for more important or difficult projects, I can work occasionally on the weekends, though I believe my time management skills will make that an infrequent occurrence.

Remember, your interviewer wants to know as much about you as an employee as possible. Answer his or her questions with honesty and enthusiasm so you can make a good impression.

About the Author

LiveCareer Staff Writer

At LiveCareer, we live and breathe the belief that we can help people transform their work lives, and so do our contributors. Our experts come from a variety of backgrounds but have one thing in common: they are authorities on the job market. From journalists with years of experience covering workforce topics, to academics who study the theory behind employment and staffing, to certified resume writers whose expertise in the creation of application documents offers our readers insights into how to best wow recruiters and hiring managers, LiveCareer’s stable of expert writers are among the best in the business. Whether you are new to the workforce, are a seasoned professional, or somewhere in between, LiveCareer’s contributors will help you move the needle on your career and get the job you want faster than you think.


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