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8 essential interview questions about work-life balance

Asking the right interview questions about work-life balance is crucial to ensure your priorities are met at the company you’re interviewing with


It’s essential to make sure you are asking the right interview questions about work-life balance.


Everyone says that work-life balance is a priority in their career.  But finding the right company to support that priority can be a challenge.


But how can you assess whether a company supports your work-life balance priorities over the course of a series of short conversations?


If you know to ask the right interview questions about work-life balance, you can make a more informed decision.


These questions are designed to get at the core of a company’s philosophy about the work-life balance they value.


1. What is the company’s mission statement?


Mission statements are more meaningful to small companies than large companies.


An organization’s mission statement is a good indicator of how that company feels about the employees who represent them.


Does the mission statement mention the employees at all?  If not, that can be a red flag.


If the mission statement explicitly mentions its employee philosophy, that’s a good sign.



2. What’s the culture in the office?


Every interviewer will say their company culture is tremendous, but drill down.


Do the people working there seem friendly with each other?  Do they hang out outside of work?


Understanding how people at the company engage with each other will be a good indicator of the value it places on work-life balance.



3. What’s the policy on working remotely?


Being able to telecommute will be a major advantage for working moms and dads.


Employees are happier, more engaged, and more productive when they are able to work remotely.


People can make more money working from home than ever before.  A company that restricts telecommuting entirely is living in the past.



4. How are your employees set up for success?


Ask this to the person interviewing to be your direct manager.


This questions will illustrate whether your manager likes to “hover” or will let you do your own thing.  It’s important that managers are confident in their employees’ abilities to work independently.


If you’re only allowed to follow pre-established habits and rules, you might be stuck in an environment that’s not for you.


Work-life balance requires a manger that allows his or her employees to succeed on their own terms.



5. Walk me through your typical work day.


This is a bit of a trick question.


The interviewer shouldn’t have a strict schedule of your daily activities.  You should have the freedom to set your own schedule, with the understanding that you can accomplish what you need to on your own.


If the answer is strict and prescriptive – i.e. 9AM we do this, 10AM we do this, etc. – it may not be a flexible work environment.


There are rarely right and wrong answers to interview questions, but this one is pretty straight-forward.


Tightly-scheduled 12-hour workdays are not going to make for a healthy work-life balance.



6. Walk me through how you measure success in this role.


Leaders who are people-oriented focus on the quality of work and the happiness of the employee when answering this question.


For you to be a fit in the environment, you need the environment to be a fit for you.


Filling the role successfully means finding that happiness while contributing to the overall success of the company.



7. What work-life balance benefits are in place?


It’s fairly easy to say that your company supports work-life balance.  Backing it up is more difficult.


Ask what specific benefits are in place to support work-life balance.


What is the company’s vacation policy?  Are there physical fitness stipends?  What are the mental health benefits?



8. How do you incorporate employee feedback?


Maybe the company you’re interviewing with doesn’t tick all the above boxes.


But if they are willing to listen and have processes in place to incorporate employee feedback into their daily operations?  That means they are open to new policies that better reflect the priorities of their employees.


It’s important to know that your priorities about work-life balance will be valued.



Those are our tips to make sure you’re asking the right interview questions about work-life balance.


Overall, it’s important to ask these questions so that employers know that work-life balance is a priority for you.  And that is should be a priority for them as well.