When you step into a professional interview, the hiring manager is prepared to ask you a range of questions about your past work history and how you react to certain situations. The interviewer may ask, "What kind of hours do you normally work" He or she will ask this to see if your schedule will allow you to work effectively for the company. The hiring manger wants to know how much you work in the average week, what shifts your normally cover and if you are willing for work on holidays and weekends. However, you don't want to get too specific unless pressed. After all, you don't want to commit to working on an overly hectic schedule before you see what the work environment is like.
Points to Emphasize
Depending on your industry and the type of job you are applying for, your prospective employer may want you to have either excellent time management skills or be willing to work extra hours.
- Emphasize you're prepared to work whenever necessary.
- Show as much flexibility in your schedule as you are comfortable with.
- Focus on your effectiveness while working in your normal shifts.
- Concentrate on what the company will get from you.
If you aren't sure what is expected of you, let the hiring manager know that you are willing to do what is necessary for the good of the enterprise.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
You want to give the interviewer a good idea how what you expect your workweek to look like without signing yourself up for an impossible schedule.
- Avoid stating a specific number of hours if possible.
- Do not be overly vague in how you answer.
- Avoid committing to a set number of holidays or weekends if possible.
- Do not become timid or evasive with your answer.
If you have outside commitments such as picking your children up from school, be up front. Employers are often willing to work around legitimate time constraints if you are an effective and enthusiastic employee.
Here is a good example to the question regarding your work hours:
Over the years, I've managed to maintain a high level of efficiency at work, which allows me to have a consistent full-time work schedule. However, I am willing to work late nights or weekends for difficult or important projects.
Remember, if you have any responsibilities that require you to have a consistent schedule or not work at certain times, let the hiring manager know. You want to be able to agree to a mutually beneficial timetable.