Having a work-life balance is an important factor for many people when considering a new job. It allows us to have a life outside of the job and spend time with loved ones.
While it is an important factor to consider, we recommend staying away from that subject during a job interview. You don’t want to tell a potential employer that you left your old job because you’re looking for a company that provides a more adequate work-life balance. Employers understand that, deep down, there is a desire for this balance among people in the workforce, so it’s better to not bring it up at all during your interview.
Even if the company you’re interviewing for takes care of their employees through a good work-life balance, great culture, and great atmosphere, I still wouldn’t bring it up during the interview. If you do, it may cost you moving onto the next round of interviews. Coming from someone who has been interviewing people for 30 years, as soon as somebody tells me this, I assume they are a clock watcher — someone who only cares about working from 9-5, doing exactly what they’re supposed to do and nothing more. It shows me that this person won’t be willing to stay extra hours in a crunch or volunteer for extra projects. I assume this person isn’t willing to kick ass for me, and I think about moving on from them.
At the end of the day, every person in the workforce desires a healthy work-life balance. Even individuals at C-level positions care for a healthy balance. However, companies that have had massive successes are comprised of teams that are eager and ready to get after it, especially in startup situations. Employers look for people who don’t shy away from tasks and are willing to roll their sleeves up and get the job done by any means necessary, even if it requires staying after hours. Let’s say you’re interviewing with a founder, or perhaps a CEO that was an original founder of the company, who worked exhausting hours for a long period of time to get this company off the ground. If you go on to tell them that a work-life balance is important, they will see that you are in the market for a cushy, 40-hour a week job. Let’s say you’re interviewing for a management-level leadership position, this would be detrimental to you.
Even though we all want it, we all deserve it, and we’re all looking for it, stay away from noting a work-life balance during an interview. It will bring up red flags that will lead employers to move on from you in their search. They will have that doubt in their mind that you won’t be willing to go the extra mile for them.
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