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Do you take your work home with you?


Disciplines > Job-finding > Interview questions > Do you take your work home with you?

The question | What they are looking for | How to answer | See also


The question

Do you take your work home with you?

How many hours do you normally work?

What do you do if you have work to do and have not completed it by the end of the day?

How often do you work in the evenings?

At what time do you usually go home?

What they are looking for

This is a tricky question as they may be looking for one of two diametrically opposite characteristics.

If they are looking for someone who is organized, then they will consider taking work home as an inability to manage to do one's work in the allotted time. If they like people to sustain a work-life balance, then they will not like someone who takes work home.

On the other hand, if they are looking for a workaholic who will live the job, then they will see taking work home as a sign of dedication and passion.

How to answer

If you are not sure which way to answer this, the best bet with this question is to hedge your bets. Show that you are keen to get the job done and seek to work efficiently and effectively.

When I take on a new project, I spend time up-front planning to ensure I can deliver on time.

Show that you are willing to work extra when things are really important.

 Although I normally try to leave by about 6pm, sometimes when schedules are urgent I will work additional time as needed to get the proofs to the printer on target.

If appropriate, you can show your understanding of the work-life thing, though be careful to only use it where the company values seem to be aligned.

I believe that it is important to have time to relax -- too much time in work decreases productivity and increases errors.

It is important for any family person to spend time with their family and, whilst I always seek to get the job done on time, I also need to give my family the time they deserve.

You can also slip in a note here about how you use the unusual circumstances that lead you to work extra hours as an opportunity.

When I do need to work at home, I do an incident analysis to identify any opportunity to prevent the underlying issue from recurring. This has enabled me to reduce the print process by over 40% during the past year.

See also

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