5 Work-Life Balance Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

Updated December 9, 2022

A healthy work-life balance often entails an equal time spent prioritizing one's professional and personal lives, which may include finishing projects at work while still having time to pursue hobbies at home. Effective employers typically encourage their employees to develop a healthy work-life balance because it may make them happier and more productive at work, and they may ask candidates about this topic during interviews. Understanding why hiring managers ask about your work-life balance can help you develop answers while preparing for an interview.

In this article, we provide five sample work-life balance interview questions, along with example answers you can reference before your next interview.

Related: 10 Tips for a Better Work-Life Balance Now (That Actually Work)

5 work-life balance interview questions with sample answers

Here are five sample interview questions and answers about work-life balances that you can reference before your next interview:

1. How do you balance your work and personal life effectively?

An interviewer may ask you how you balance your work and personal life to gain insight into your habits. They often seek an answer that features a positive attitude toward work but want to ensure that a candidate follows proper steps to take care of themselves personally. Candidates who have developed a healthy work-life balance in previous roles may have a higher likelihood of remaining productive and satisfied while working. When answering this question, consider sharing any challenges you've encountered regarding your work-life balance and how you solved them in the past.

Example: "I believe I manage my professional and personal lives well. I start my workdays by looking at my schedule and creating a list of prioritized tasks to complete during the day. The list usually begins with tasks that are my highest priority, which means I try to complete the assignments with the nearest deadline first.

By accomplishing this, I don't overwhelm myself attempting to complete tasks immediately before they're due. A list helps me finish my work on time, allowing me to relax at home before the next workday. I've been employing this strategy for a few years now and have found that this works best for me to achieve a healthy work-life balance."

Related: How To Achieve a Healthy Work-Life Balance With 8 Simple Tips

2. How would you help your team prepare if you were planning to leave for a vacation?

Interviewers may ask this question to ensure you work well in team settings and can effectively communicate with team members. Try to answer this question honestly and directly to define your boundaries regarding paid time off to a hiring manager. This may entail stating that you don't often respond to emails while on vacation but that you typically complete all important projects before leaving and provide clear instructions to team members who handle tasks while you're gone.

Additionally, if you prefer to remain available while away from the office, you share that preference in your answer. This allows a hiring manager to understand your preferred working style and personality.

Example: "At my previous position, I took a vacation for two weeks with my family after it had been awhile since I'd taken paid time off. Before I left for vacation, I made sure to finish all projects with deadlines set during the time I'd be away. By accomplishing that, I felt comfortable leaving my team for an extended period of time because I knew they wouldn't need to handle any extra work while I left.

I also gave my personal cell phone number to certain team members, allowing them to contact me in the case of an emergency. This ensured that I remained available to them while being away, and I returned to the office feeling refreshed and productive."

3. How would you approach text messages or emails about work on the weekends?

A hiring manager may ask how you handle receiving text messages or emails about work on the weekend. An effective answer to this question is often honest, allowing employers to know what they can expect by hiring you. Your answer establishes expectations for you and your employer regarding how you plan to approach work outside of traditional business hours.

Example: "I primarily like to reserve my time on the weekends for my family and friends, so I'd prefer not to feel like I'm required to answer any text messages or emails immediately on the weekends. However, I understand that I occasionally need to read and answer messages from my manager or team members. Depending on the context of the message, such as whether a task or question can wait until Monday to address, I often respond to messages about work on the weekends if I can do it quickly."

Related: 39 Best Flexible Careers To Achieve a Work-Life Balance

4. How would you ask for help if you had issues developing a healthy work-life balance?

This question aims to gauge how well a candidate communicates with their manager or other important personnel. A hiring manager may also want to know whether you ask for help when you need it. When answering this question, consider sharing a personal experience in which you asked for help. If you don't have a previous experience like this, try to detail how you believe you'd respond in this type of situation. An honest answer may highlight your professionalism and candor.

Example: "During my first year working after graduating college, I began to accept several projects from my manager, which resulted in me working all the time. I wasn't caring for myself or spending time with friends and family, which led to a decrease in productivity and efficiency with the projects I aimed to complete. By constantly accepting new tasks, I thought I was displaying initiative, but I knew I needed help after a few months.

Eventually, I asked my manager for help because I needed to feel better and more productive at work. My manager helped me learn how to delegate and prioritize tasks and when to stop working so I can prepare effectively for the next workday. After asking for help and considering their suggestions, my productivity at work increased, and I was happier in my personal life because I could spend some time caring for myself and pursuing my hobbies."

Related: Ultimate Guide to Work-Life Balance

5. If you had to complete projects at home, how would you balance your personal and professional lives in one space?

Circumstances may arise while working that require you to complete work from home. This request can be common depending on the type of projects you complete and the industry in which you work, such as a teacher bringing home papers to grade. Hiring managers often seek honest, detailed answers to this question. It may also be helpful for you to discuss materials they can provide for you to work more efficiently at home.

For example, you can ask an employer whether you can bring your work computer home. Separate devices for work and personal needs can help you develop a healthy work-life balance while working from home. This may increase your productivity while you're completing work at home, which may encourage you to finish your tasks more efficiently.

Example: "While I'd prefer to not work from my living space, I understand that's not always realistic. If I completed tasks at home to meet a deadline, I would create boundaries for myself. My boundaries might include scheduling work hours at home, and after those hours elapse, I'd take breaks to care for myself and spend time with my family and friends.

If I were to work from home, I'd like my employer to provide a laptop and monitor. It's important for me to keep my personal and professional lives as separate as possible. If provided with these materials, I feel like this would help me develop a better work-life balance and complete remain more productive at home."

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