For job seekers, finding a company with a great work-life balance is a high priority.
You want to find a job that fits your professional experience but doesn’t leave you without time or energy for other activities.
Asking these questions during your interview helps you discover your work-life balance expectations.
1. What does your company do to improve or maintain its employees' work-life balance?
This is a good question to open up a discussion about what benefits and programs are in place to support work-life balance without putting too much focus on just benefits.
Positive sign: Discussion of benefits, programs, and policies that encourage and support work-life balance in employees.
Some examples of work-life focused benefits include flexible schedules, unlimited PTO, wellness/health incentive programs, and mental health support.
Any program or policy that supports employee’s health and happiness are usually signs of healthy work-life balance.
Negative sign: If the hiring manager seems to freeze up or become uncomfortable with discussing work-life balance, you know the answer.
If work-life balance is essential to the company, they would be open to discussing it in the interview.
2. What does a typical day in this position look like?
This question is a good way to judge your daily responsibilities, how your team functions, and how long a typical workday is.
Positive sign: Your daily responsibilities should be clear and understandably laid out.
The workload on your team is balanced, and the structure is easy to understand.
The work hours are regulated or fair considering the role.
Negative sign: If your interviewer can’t give you specific details on your daily responsibilities, this may be a warning sign that the company is unsure of what your role will be.
If the work hours seem long or unbalanced with the position, work-life balance may not be a priority for this company.
3. What is the company culture like? What makes it unique?
Company culture is a critical part of work-life balance. A company focused on good work-life balance will have a culture that employees enjoy and are supported in.
Asking what makes this company’s culture unique will give you a clearer picture of what this company is doing to stand out.
Positive sign: Good company culture will be clearly defined, support employees, and encourage growth and development.
They may offer employee get-togethers, encourage career development, and support employee health.
Any mention of benefits, programs, support, and growth are all signs that the culture is positive and supportive of work-life balance.
Negative sign: Vague, non-specific descriptions of company culture is a red flag.
If your interviewer can’t give you one example of what makes their culture unique or has nothing positive to say about the culture, it probably isn’t going to be a good fit.
4. How is employee success measured? What is the process for employee feedback?
Examining how a company measures employee success and handles employee feedback is an excellent question to judge how you will be supported in your role.
Positive sign: Defined policy for measuring and rewarding success. Clear process on how your feedback will be handled.
A company that values work-life balance will appreciate your success and will have a process for how you are encouraged and rewarded for meeting and exceeding goals.
Likewise, your feedback should be valued and implemented to improve processes.
Negative sign: If the hiring manager doesn’t have a process for measuring your success or doesn’t put a priority on employee feedback, be warned that it may not be a good fit.
5. What do you enjoy about working here?
While your interviewer can tell you all about the company culture and what they offer, the best way to get a sense of the company is by asking for their opinion.
Positive sign: Your interviewer’s answer should be happy with clear examples of why he or she enjoys working for the company.
Specific examples of the work, the company, or the culture are good signs of a great company.
Negative sign: Vague or non-specific answer without any passion or interest. Any open hostility or negative comments is an immediate red flag.