If you have some priorities in life regarding flexible working or part-time work, it is good to inform of your expectations during an interview, because if you are unable to convey to the recruiters/hiring managers to what you truly want, a few months or year down the new job, you might not be satisfied with the working conditions and not able to handle the stress at work and managing family. Job hopping can be stressful and also may not be possible at all in case of a bad economy.
Diplomatic answers to this question could be in your favor when you are looking forward to the job; before an interview spend some research time to go through the website of a company and also if you know of someone in the company ask them how flexible the company is towards working flexible hours, telecommuting and working part-time.
Also note that there are many questions that you are not required to answer – these fall in the illegal or inappropriate questions. Here are some examples of such questions:
- Illegal Interview Questions
- Illegal or Inappropriate Interview Questions
- Questions They Shouldn’t Ask
Some options to consider while asking for a better life-work balance
First review the company policies online or through an acquaintance in the company (I emphasize this point again; some time spent on research can result in acing that interview and also in getting what you are looking for).
If the company feels the right fits for your needs, ask questions around:
- Working flexible hours – for example can you start work early in the morning and leave around mid afternoon covering around 8-9 hours of time at work?
- Working from home – how feasible it is for you to work two to three days from home if that suits you the best?
- Working as a full-time employee but on reduced hours – can the project hiring an employee who is available at work for only 60 to 80 percent of the regular full time working hours? Make sure that you have asked about the company policies on retaining the benefits if you work for fewer hours than as required in a full-time job.
During an interview while on this question you can also inform the interviewers that having a good work-life balance makes you a more productive and stress-free person. Your performance enhances and with a focused mind you would be able to deliver better results working in a team or as on your own. Most companies and individuals appreciate your honest approach. It is also on how effectively you market yourself during an interview. It is just not about what you want but also on what the person on the other side of the table desires.
Make sure that you have come across as an efficient candidate and someone who they can rely on for better results over time. Once they see the value in hiring you your needs could be well taken care of with little efforts and demands from your side.