Work late and finish the task or work until the schedule ends and pick it up tomorrow - these are the two stances a company can take in regards to overtime. On the surface, this choice seems minor, but the position a company takes on the topic, will have a significant impact on the overall culture.

Now I've noticed that most companies can easily define their position on overtime. The real issues occur when they try to hire around this belief, which is why I've put together this quick insightful article.

Most businesses, when they recognize overtime as being part of their culture, will mention it in a job post or ask a potential candidate in interviews - "are you willing to work overtime?" If a company's stance is, punch out when your schedule ends, they'll occasionally mention it during the interview or they'll let the new hire figure it out on the job. I find both to be useless.

The Correct Approach

I believe the company that asks, "are you willing to work overtime," is heading down the right path. Unfortunately, the question is terrible; anyone can lie and say yes. What I recommend, and this applies to both stances on overtime, is asking behavioral questions.

You see, behavioral questions are designed to have the candidates talk about their past actions - honestly. This is valuable because past actions are always the best predictor for future actions. So rather than ask a yes/no question like before, try "the last time you were at the end of the workday, and noticed there was still tasks that needed to be completed - what did you do?" From there you can ask follow ups - "How did that make you feel?","How important was the assignment?","If it was a different level of importance, how would you have acted?", etc.

None of these questions, show your stance on overtime, which forces the candidate to answer truthfully (Honest answers should always be your main goal when performing interviews). If their answers align with your view - great! And if not, great! You've just dodged a hiring mistake and made the decision, quickly.

Suggested Follow-ups:

Article By: Tom Kieley

About the Author

Tom is the creator of Fulfillingly. He absolutely enjoys giving people the tips and tools they need to find a satisfying career or dependable employee. Tom does
this by combining years of experience with incredible outside sources.

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