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How do you balance work and home life?

The interviewers goal with this question is to determine if home life will interfere with work, if you’ll be happy in general and therefore a better worker, and if you’ll be willing to do some overtime work if it’s needed, or if you’ll run out the door as soon as the clock strikes the end of the shift.

It’s important to discuss good planning skills in this answer, and let the interviewer know that home and work won’t interfere with each other. If that’s all a lie, you’d better turn it into the truth, or your life will be chaos and you won’t keep good jobs.

“I’m an organized person, which helps me manage home and work schedules. At work I’m 100% on the job. In case of emergencies we have people who take care of things, such as my parents and my in-laws.”

Little Home Life:
“I live on my own and right now, don’t have many responsibilities on that end. So right now I can focus on work.”

This is a fine answer for younger people, but may raise some red flags for someone a little older – 30’s or 40’s or older. Be prepared with a little more detail in case of a follow up question, or raised eye brows.

“I was divorced last year, and while our relationship is still friendly, right now I’m going to focus on my career for a few years.”

Other strong answers include:

Focus on Overtime:
“I’ve talked it over with my spouse and kids, and they know if overtime is necessary that comes first. I spend a lot of time with my family in the evenings and on weekends, and my spouse also works, so we both help each other carry the slack when work calls outside of normal hours.”

Clear Lines:
“What happens at home stays at home, and at work I focus on work. I don’t bring personal issues to the office, and I don’t bring office troubles home. When I need to work overtime to finish a project or address an issue, I do it.”

Interviewers never want to hear this answer. “I’ll need an office, because I bring my baby boy to work with me, and he’s a crier!”

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