Work-life balance interview questions seek to assess job applicants’ priorities to determine if their working style is compatible with the company’s culture.

Additionally, they allow you to determine whether the company’s culture aligns with your expectations of a job, especially during the part of an interview designated for your questions.

Therefore, maintaining a healthy work-life balance depends on a company’s management and on how you plan and prioritize your work tasks and leisure time.

Without further ado, let’s examine the variations of the “How do you balance life and work?” interview questions and the right ways you can answer them. Stay tuned for some work-life balance examples and tips, too.

Key Takeaways

  • Work-life balance interview questions, such as “How would you describe your work-life balance?” are usually common and straightforward.
  • These questions aim to determine whether a candidate’s working style aligns with the company’s values and vice versa.
  • Maintaining a healthy work-life balance by planning and prioritizing your work tasks and taking time off is important for your overall well-being.
  • You must answer work-life balance questions honestly to avoid working for a company whose values you disagree with.
  • Asking about work-life balance as an interviewee is highly advisable.

The Importance of Work-Life Balance Interview Questions

Work-life balance interview questions are important for more reasons than one, but mainly because they determine the compatibility between a job applicant’s working style and the company’s values.

Furthermore, work-life balance minimizes the risk of burnout in the workplace, which is why it’s a key aspect of a healthy lifestyle overall. It also increases productivity, as a well-rested employee is more motivated to give their maximum at work.

Work-life balance interview questions are a great way for job applicants to learn more about the company’s practices and policies and decide whether they meet the expectations they have of a job.

Meanwhile, employers ask, “How do you manage work-life balance?” to assess candidates’ time-management skills and determine whether their working style aligns with the company’s needs and values.

How to Answer the Work-Life Balance Interview Questions

A good rule of thumb is to always answer work-life balance interview questions honestly. That way, if you get hired, you’ll know the company is the right choice for you. Moreover, setting boundaries with your prospective employer is a good way to build a healthy professional connection with them.

However, you need to be strategic in your answers and tailor them to the company to a certain degree. Researching the company beforehand can prove quite helpful in that endeavor—its website and employees’ reviews can offer information you can use to get a general picture of the company and its culture.

Having said that, your answers should depend on your priorities. For example, if you’re in a stage of your career where you want to focus on work and put it before other aspects of your life, state that at an interview. Here’s how you can do that:

I recognize the value of this opportunity, and I’m comfortable prioritizing the job at this point in my career. That includes having a steady internet connection wherever I am and being available to come to the office whenever I’m needed.

Similarly, if you want to maintain a balance between work and your free time, set your boundaries and be clear about them. This is how:

I take pride in my work ethic, and I make sure to always complete my tasks on time. When I’m at work, my complete focus is on the job. I take the same approach when it comes to my time off when I like to engage in my hobbies and spend time with family and friends. I believe my work-life balance helps me stay motivated at work and avoid burnout.

5 Work-Life Balance Interview Questions and Sample Answers

5 Work-Life Balance Interview Questions and Sample Answers

Now that we’ve covered their importance and how to answer them, let’s take a look at real work-life balance interview questions and sample answers. They’ll give you an idea of what the interviewer is trying to assess with each question so that you know what to focus on in your answers.

#1. How do you handle receiving job emails and notifications over the weekend?

With this question, the interviewer is trying to assess your attitude about working outside of working hours.

Some people check their mail on weekends and don’t mind dealing with work-related things on their days off. Others, however, prefer to save weekends for their hobbies, errands, trips, and time with family and friends.

Whichever group you belong to, be clear about it in your answer to let your prospective employer know what your working style is and what they can expect from you moving forward.

Sample answer 1:

I realize that the job requires commitment and that unexpected issues can come up at any point. That’s why I make my work responsibilities my priority at all times, including weekends and days off. That involves checking my mail regularly and answering job emails as soon as I get them.

Sample answer 2:

I reserve weekends and time off for my family and friends, so I prefer to address work-related comeuppances during my working hours. However, if an email is short and regards something I can do quickly, I answer it right away.

#2. How do you balance your work and personal life?

This question is straightforward, but it’s pretty general. Typically, hiring managers and recruiters ask it to assess your organizational skills.

According to a study by Wong, Chan, and Teh (2020), achieving and maintaining a healthy work-life balance directly affects organizational performance.

A good answer can be something along these lines:

I maintain a healthy balance between my job and personal life by focusing on work during working hours and eliminating all distractions. I start a workday by reviewing my tasks and working on the highest priority ones first to meet all the deadlines.

This approach allows me to finish everything on time and not overwhelm myself by finishing tasks right before they’re due, so I can relax and rest in between two workdays.

#3. How would you help your team prepare in case you’re absent from work?

How would you help your team prepare in case you’re absent from work?

This is one of the common work-life balance questions for leaders, i.e., people in management positions whose responsibilities include delegating tasks, supervising a team in their completion, and reviewing their progress.

Simply put, this question aims to assess a candidate’s leadership skills and management style.

In your answer, you should be clear about your boundaries and state if you’re unavailable during your time off. Alternatively, if you prefer to be reachable by your team when you’re away from work, point that out as well, like in the following example:

Before I take time off, I make sure I’ve completed all the projects with set deadlines, so I feel comfortable leaving my team for a certain period of time, as I know they won’t be dealing with any extra work while I’m away. However, I make myself available to them by sharing my cell phone number with one or two members of the team to reach me in case of an emergency.

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

This question is relevant to on-site jobs. With it, the interviewer seeks to assess your adaptability and creative thinking. Some jobs require occasional completion of projects at home, so they want to know whether you’re comfortable with remote work.

Here’s how you can answer this question:

While it’s important to me to keep my professional and personal spaces separate, I realize that’s not always an option. If I had to complete a project from home, I would schedule working hours from home. When they elapse, I would take breaks to rest and spend time with my family.

#5. How easy was it to detach from work responsibilities outside of working hours?

This is a work-life balance exit interview question that aims to assess former employees’ satisfaction with the company’s management. Based on their answers, the company can identify its weak points and make adjustments to improve in those areas.

Depending on your experience with the company, your answer can go in one of the following two directions:

Sample answer 1:

I found it easy to organize my work tasks and leisure time and keep them separated from each other. There were no last-minute changes on the management’s part that would affect my work-life balance, so I could plan and prioritize my work responsibilities and complete projects on time during working hours.

Sample answer 2:

While I managed to maintain a healthy work-life balance most of the time, there were instances where last-minute updates would diverge my plans, ultimately leading to me spending extra hours at work without prior notice.

How to Ask About Work-Life Balance as an Interviewee

How to Ask About Work-Life Balance as an Interviewee

Knowing how to ask about work-life balance as an interviewee determines the difference between a well-versed candidate and an inexperienced one. Therefore, practicing your verbal communication skills is paramount for phrasing your work-life balance interview questions correctly.

Simply put, focusing too much on the company’s time off policy during an interview can make you seem disinterested in the job itself when you want to come across as professional. That’s why you should save your work-life balance questions for the end of the interview after you’ve discussed your experience and expertise.

When the moment comes, here are some ways you can phrase your questions:

  • What are the criteria for advancement within the company?
  • What does a typical workday look like?
  • Can you tell me more about the company’s culture?


By wording your work-life balance questions like this, you appear interested in the particular hiring company and motivated to develop professionally. Meanwhile, you can learn whether the company promotes healthy work-life balance and in what ways.

In this regard, you shouldn’t word your questions like this:

  • Do you promote a balance between work and leisure?
  • Is overtime work common here?
  • How do you support a healthy work-life balance?


Of course, depending on the company’s culture, you can be direct when asking about work-life balance. However, indirectness typically translates as politeness, which is why it’s advisable.

Additionally, wording your work-life balance questions carefully helps you gather other information about the company, such as its criteria for advancement and subsequent promotions.

Final Thoughts

Work-life balance interview questions reveal a lot about both the interviewing company and job applicants. That’s why they’re important, although they can sometimes be tricky to answer.

Practicing your answers to common work-life balance questions at a mock interview can help you prepare, as can familiarizing yourself with the hiring company’s culture and tailoring your answers (and questions) to it.