Work-life balance is important to job candidates today, especially the younger generation of professionals. But it’s also a topic many are concerned about talking about during interviews for fear of being disqualified from contention. They are worried about appearing lazy or not as motivated as other candidates.
“The handful of times I have asked the question straight up, I’ve had hiring managers go on tangents about how they really want someone who can work hard and give their all,” said Jorge Alvarez, a 24-year-old entrepreneur looking for a role in philanthropy or social impact on businessinsider.com.
Alvarez added that the conversations could often “feel like a condescending take on this idea that Gen Z is ‘lazy’ simply because we want work-life balance.”
Since it’s becoming so common for people to ask about this topic, we thought it would be a good idea to ask our healthcare recruiters about the best ways to breach the subject. Here’s what they suggest:
Research the company’s culture before the interview
Companies often communicate if they promote work-life balance. So, do some research on the company’s values, mission statement, and work culture. Look for any information that indicates that the company prioritizes work-life balance, such as flexible work hours or remote work options.
Ask questions that are related to flexibility
There are a lot of ways that you can approach the subject of workplace flexibility without speaking about it directly. You could ask about what the day-to-day looks like and ask about company wellness programs. Or you could ask them about the core work hours, overtime, and other things related to scheduling.
Approach the subject from a productivity perspective
When asking about work-life balance, emphasize that you are interested in finding ways to be more productive and efficient, rather than simply trying to avoid working too hard. For example, you could ask if the company encourages breaks or if they have any tools or resources to help employees manage their workload.
Speak to your work preferences
Talk about your own work style and preferences. For example, you could say something like, “I find that I’m most productive when I have a bit of flexibility in my schedule. Would that be possible at this company?” This shows that you’re not lazy, but rather that you have a specific work style that you think would work well with the company’s culture.
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