Work-life balance isn't a topic you should broach during an interview, says Barry Drexler, an expert interview coach who has conducted more than 10,000 interviews. Although employers say that they want workers to prioritize their personal lives, he says it's all talk.
His advice? Don't ask an employer, "What's the work-life balance for this role?"
"Companies talk the talk about having a great work-life balance," says Drexler, who has over 30 years of HR experience at notable companies like Lehman Brothers and Lloyds Banking Group. "At the end of the day, they want work out of you. It's just talk."
When you ask hiring managers about the company's work-life balance, here's what they hear, according to Drexler: "I want to socialize and I'm only going to stay from nine to five, and at five o'clock I'm out the door."
This is not a candidate that any employer wants to hire, says the interview expert. The hiring manager will assume that you're too focused on your personal life and will peg you as a "nine-to-fiver."
As cynical as this may sound, says Drexler, employers just want to see two things: an applicant who is ready to work and one who will work around the clock if it comes to that.
Along those same lines, the interview coach includes these other questions to avoid:
1. "How much time do I get off?"
2. "Will there be overtime?" (unless you note that you're willing to work overtime)
3. "Will I have to work weekends?" (unless you note that you're willing to work weekends)
4. "When do I leave at the end of the day?"