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To ask how you'd answer this interview question?

(73 Posts)
Justanothernamechange2 Wed 13-Mar-19 09:49:13

I didn't get a job I had interviewed for based on my response to this question.

My DP thinks the answer they wanted is quite company unique and he would have, and always has, answered like I did.. so im looking to see what others would answer.

The question: The end of your shift is here and you still have outstanding work that would take you around 30-40minutes to complete, what would you do?

ShirleyPhallus Wed 13-Mar-19 09:50:50

Did you say you’d stay on and do the work and they wanted you to say you’d tools down and pick it up again tomorrow?

I’m surprised they gave you feedback that you failed on one specific answer. That’s very unusual.

nauseous5000 Wed 13-Mar-19 09:51:44

It would very much depend on the job and company culture.

Like if you're doing open heart surgery you can't exactly say I'll prioritise finishing up tomorrow morning, but if it's an office job where nobody is impacted by you finishing it later your answer would be different

Sexnotgender Wed 13-Mar-19 09:53:21

Totally depends on what type of job the interview is for.

beenandgoneandbackagain Wed 13-Mar-19 09:53:55

Wouldn't it depend on what the outstanding work was, company culture, etc. If it was something that could wait, then fine to down tools and leave it. If it was time-critical then that's not so great, but again, would depend on whether there was a handover to the next shift. And it would also depend on how often this occured.

Neverender Wed 13-Mar-19 09:54:20

I'd start by saying I'd plan my work appropriately to ensure that didn't happen.

sirmione16 Wed 13-Mar-19 09:54:24

Depends on the work...loads of factors I'd consider

Do it because
- impacted someone else
- time critical/deadline to achieve
- would affect workload significantly next day
- paid for amount of work done not time spent
- could do it now but take the time back another day (leave early or something)

Don't do it because
- paid for time worked not amount of work done
- can be completed next day without issue

My answer to the interviewer would be based on the job and these factors IMO

sirmione16 Wed 13-Mar-19 09:55:20

@Neverender that's a good point actually too

FuckertyBoo Wed 13-Mar-19 09:55:21

I’d tell the truth, which is that I’d stay unless I couldn’t. I’ve done it a lot, but always when childcare was not an issue. If I had to collect dcs from childcare then of course I’d down tools.

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Wed 13-Mar-19 09:55:55

It really depends on the company doesnt it. Whether the work is urgent, or can be left. Can you justify your rational for either completing or leaving? eg pushing some paper round an office is somewhat different to a nurse in A&E when a major trauma has been brought in

VeraWangTwang Wed 13-Mar-19 09:56:05

I would have been honest and said it depended on if I had to be somewhere else and how regularly it was happening. If it was down to my inability to complete the tasks I would expect further training
If I didn't have an appointment and it rarely happened I wouldn't have a problem as I like to finish a job

ContessaIsOnADietDammit Wed 13-Mar-19 09:56:59

Yes, I'd say that I'd stay unless I couldn't as well; I'd also offer to log back on later after kids were in bed and get it done then, if that helped.

shaggedthruahedgebackwards Wed 13-Mar-19 09:58:41

Response completely depends on the job and what the impact of leaving the work to be completed the following day

Clearly the response will be different if you're a brain surgeon than if your applying for a job as a librarian

Damntheman Wed 13-Mar-19 09:59:25

I'd start by saying I'd plan my work appropriately to ensure that didn't happen. This is the only answer you could really give.

What a bullshit question! They almost certainly wanted you to say you'd stay and complete while being unpaid while your children (if you have them) languished uncollected at daycare/school.

I'm surprised they're even allowed to ask this kind of question. Was a union representative present in your interviews? Do unions do this outside of Norway? Wow they would not have gotten away with that question here.

Toooldtocareanymore Wed 13-Mar-19 10:00:18

the answer they may have wanted was more an answer to indicate that you are a team player , not necessarily that you would always do one or other option as if you were working in a vacuum, but maybe a reply something along lines that you would engage with next shift coming on, or talk to supervisor to see if they want you to simply hand on to next person, but your always be willing to discuss finishing tasks or assist handing over if they needed you - pure speculation and it may very much depend on what the job is , was just thinking they may be looking for communication skills rather than determining worth ethics, I mean who'd say in interview minute shift up I go

PompeyBez Wed 13-Mar-19 10:00:19

I think the answer would depend on the type of job and industry and if the work was absolutely critical.
My answer would probably be, if it was a one off or very occassional occurance i would stay behind and finish if I was able to do so. If it was a regular occurrence I would look at why this was happening and perhaps address the issue with my line manager.
To be honest I wouldn't be interested in a job where I was regularly expected to stay past my hours unless there was give and take both ways. Could this be a c.f. employer who is just looking to see how much unpaid work they could get you to do?

mrsdavys Wed 13-Mar-19 10:00:28

I don’t think they would’ve asked the question if they hadn’t been expecting a response of ‘i’d stay late to get the work done’ !

Justanothernamechange2 Wed 13-Mar-19 10:02:40

Ok so the job is within a medical practice, mainly admin based.. calling patients, sorting paperwork and referrals etc with a small amount of patient care.

I said id stay to complete the work unless it wasnt possible - close of department etc.

Apparently the answer was that i should pass on outstanding work to a team mate and should never offer to stay late...

I asked for feedback btw, i was told the response to that question suggested im not a very good team player and would be more suited in a job by myself...

NWQM Wed 13-Mar-19 10:03:20

Presumably your husband thinks there was an internal candidate that therefore knew the answer? Sounds like there could have been.

JenniferJareau Wed 13-Mar-19 10:03:54

I'd answer that I'd review the work and ask myself if it was time critical that it was completed today or if it could work until the next working day. If it had to be done, I'd either stay and complete it or I'd go home and log on and finish it.

However without knowing the job, my answer might differ.

IceRebel Wed 13-Mar-19 10:05:14

i was told the response to that question suggested im not a very good team player

That's debatable. I would consider you a good team player for not wanting to dump the unfinished work to another colleague, as surely they also have enough of their own to be getting on with? confused

olderthanyouthink Wed 13-Mar-19 10:05:39

Weird, could see that as dumping your work on a colleague...

Cath2907 Wed 13-Mar-19 10:05:54

I would say - it depends on the urgency of the activity and how likely I am to be able to complete it tomorrow. Whilst I value my work/life balance and always aim to get my work done within normal working hours I fully understand that there are situations where that isn't possible and I'd need to put in a few additional hours to complete something vital. If I found this happening often I'd speak to my supervisor to get help in organising my workload better, prioritising and improving my efficiency so that I could fit in everything I needed to within normal working hours.

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Wed 13-Mar-19 10:07:12

I'm surprised they're even allowed to ask this kind of question. Was a union representative present in your interviews? Do unions do this outside of Norway? Wow they would not have gotten away with that question here.

Union reps in interviews - why ? And not all work places are unionised.

Nothing actually wrong with the question per se.

LondonJax Wed 13-Mar-19 10:07:27

I would reply that it depended on the work. So if it's something that's just landed on my desk (or whatever) and I'd had it agreed that it could wait, I'd prepare it for the morning (sort out papers/set up the workstation or whatever it was) and get in a bit earlier if I could.

If it was a job I could do at home - assuming I needed to pick up the kids or whatever - I'd arrange to do that.

If it was urgent and had to be done in the workplace because of what it was or security issues I'd stay.

One thing though. If you 'answered incorrectly' and you spoke as you saw it, do you really want the job? Would you really want to work for a company that had a different interpretation on how you manage your work? You could find the 'only 30 minutes extra' isn't a one off in that company's culture. Because it's an odd thing to ask if it's an occasional thing - everyone expects urgent work to land on them occasionally. Whether it's a contract needs to go out, a machine had a fault so there's factory downtime that needs to be caught up, a client arrives late for an appointment. But it shouldn't be so often that it's part of the culture.

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