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Classic Interview Questions and Answers

Would it be a problem if we asked you to work overtime/evenings/weekends?

Alternative and related questions:

Would it be a problem for you taking work home occasionally at the weekend?
Do you have a preference for working regular days and hours?
How do you feel about the amount of overtime this role demands?

The meaning behind the question:

In some jobs it is going to be essential for you to work unusual hours – and if that’s the case the interviewer probably wouldn’t even be asking you the question. In other lines of work there will be an unspoken expectation that you will be prepared to put in longer hours than the average. Generally, an interviewer is most likely to be asking you this question if working overtime/evenings/weekends isn’t in fact the norm for your job. They want to identify how flexible you are in terms of accommodating their needs even when it might be to your own detriment – in other words how committed you are to your work.

Your answer:

It is of course entirely up to you how you feel about working above and beyond ‘normal’ office hours. There will be numerous factors you have to weigh up and the decision is yours alone.

Once you have established your position on the matter, honesty is very much the best policy. Unfortunately, it may well count against you if you’re unwilling – or quite simply unable – to work long hours. But don’t let yourself be talked into accepting working conditions which you know you won’t be happy with unless you really are prepared to live up to your promises.

Whatever your stance, try to communicate your opinion in as reasonable and positive a manner as possible. Even if you aren’t keen on overtime, you might be prepared to offer a compromise as in the example below.

Example:

I’m reasonably flexible and if business needs are such that it would be advantageous for me to worker longer hours – and even weekends – then, depending on my other commitments, I would certainly be prepared to do so. However, I would hope that this would be the exception rather than the rule. I do believe in a life outside of work and, while my job is clearly very important to me, I would generally like to keep my working hours within normal bounds. In my current role I have had to put in some overtime during especially busy periods – and I have had no objections to doing so. However, I am efficient and productive and I generally manage to complete my work without having to resort to overtime.

The Interview Question & Answer Book

The Interview Question and Answer Book

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More classic interview questions and answers

 

How would you describe yourself? / How would your boss/colleagues/team/family/friends describe you?

In what ways are you a team player?

Do you work well on your own initiative?

What techniques do you use to get things done?

What motivates you?

Are you proactive?

Are you creative?

Are you a risk-taker?

How do you handle pressure and stress?

Can you tell me about a time when you have failed to achieve a goal?

What's the worst mistake you've made at work and how did you deal with it?

How would you handle the following situation?

Can you tell me about a major project you have successfully completed?

Can you tell me about a major problem at work that you've had to deal with?

We have a problem with x. How would you resolve that?

What do you do when you disagree with your line manager?

How would you describe yourself as a manager?

Can you give me an example of when you have successfully coached a member of your team?

What is your customer service philosophy?

How did you get your last job?

What does your current job involve on a day-to-day basis?

What contribution do you make to the department in which you work?

What changes have you made to your current job role since you started?

What have you learned in your last job?

Can you tell me about your last appraisal?

How would you describe your current boss?

Why did you leave that job?

Which of your jobs was the best?

Why is there a gap in your resume/CV?

What do you know about us as an organization?

What do you know about our products/services?

What do you think are our organization's greatest strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?

What do you know about the vacancy for which you are applying?

How do your skills and experience match the job description/person specification?

What appeals to you most about this vacancy?

Why have you chosen this line of work?

Are there any other organizations to which you are applying?

How does this job compare to others for which you are applying?

Can you describe your ideal employer to me?

What sort of person would you most like to work for?

In what ways is your degree relevant to the work you are now doing?

What have you learned and how have you developed over the last year/five years?

What sports are you/have you been involved in?

Do you know what the current headline news is?

How quickly can you adapt to a new work environment?

Would it be a problem if we asked you to work overtime/evenings/weekends?

What is your current salary package?

What salary package are you expecting for this role?

When would you be available to start?

Do you mind if we contact your current employer for a reference?

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