How to Answer Interview Questions About Bringing Work Home

Woman working late

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“Do you take work home with you?” is a tricky question; be ready. Employers ask this question for a variety of reasons. They might want to know that you are organized and can do all of your work in the allotted time. They also might want to make sure you maintain a decent work-life balance (which many employers believe will ultimately make you a happier, and thus better, employee).

However, some employers really are looking for people who make work the center of their lives, and want to assess just how dedicated to the job you will be. Answering this question, therefore, requires you to know a bit about the particular company and job.

How to Answer

Before you answer, think about the company culture. If you know the employer values work-life balance or time management skills, you will want to emphasize your ability to complete your work during work hours so that you can focus on family or other activities after work.

If the company requires employees to put in lots of extra hours and emphasizes the need for dedication and passion in the workplace, you may want to stress your willingness to bring projects home in order to ensure high-quality work.

If you aren’t sure of what the employer is looking for, the safest way to answer is to emphasize your organizational skills while also saying that, when necessary, you will take work home with you.

This question also provides you an opportunity to think about whether or not the job is the right fit for you. If the employer clearly wants to you take work home with you on a regular basis, but you value your free time, you may want to consider not taking the job. Instead, look for jobs at companies that value work-life balance.

Sample Answers

When I need to, bringing work home with me is not a problem. I realize the importance of meeting deadlines and getting work done on time, and sometimes that requires extra hours in the office or at home.
I am extremely organized and skilled at budgeting my time. When I begin a project, I create a timeline for myself that allows me to complete the assignment in a timely manner without taking my work home. However, I understand that sometimes timelines change or issues come up, and I am always willing to take work home with me when that happens.
When I begin a new project, I often choose to take work home with me in order to ensure that I complete the project for my client on time. However, maintaining regular time to spend with my family is very important to me, so I try to limit this to the early stages of projects and to urgent matters.