Tipping the Scales of Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is an issue that can make a difference in employee satisfaction and retention, yet this term is somewhat subjective as well as evolving. Considering the different perspectives of work-life balance can help you navigate the topic in a job interview. 

Tipping the Scales of Work-Life Balance 

Work-life balance is not only about the external factors that help an individual maintain equilibrium between their professional and personal life but also about the mindset, philosophies, and beliefs that shape their perception of this balance. 

People who view work as a job might see work-life balance to separate their work from their personal lives, ensuring that their job doesn’t encroach on their personal time. On the other hand, those who view work as a career may strive for a more integrated approach, where their professional and personal lives are intertwined, and work-life balance is achieved by pursuing a career that aligns with their passions and values. Still, others suggest a hybrid approach to work-life balance, integrating professional and personal lives within some boundaries and the ability to step away from work entirely and reset when needed.  

Perception of Work-Life Balance Varies 

To illustrate the nuance and complexity of putting the finger on work-life balance, we gathered input from some members of the Equiliem leadership team. 

  • Bradley Block, Equiliem’s Chief Vision officer, thinks the notion of compartmentalizing work life and personal life into balanced blocks of time for each is unrealistic. Instead, he measures his balance by the enjoyment he gets from his work and his life. “I don’t know any successful people who do a 9-to-5 day,” he said. Block also condones taking a break to reset. “Unplugging and enjoying family or taking a trip helps me prepare to tackle the challenges again,” he said. 
  • Equiliem’s VP of HR, Joe Scotto, empathizes with those in remote situations with their laptop on the dining room table, forever blurring the line between work and home life. He said, “You can burn out if you don’t set boundaries and give yourself a physical break from work.”  
  • Equiliem’s Chief Administrative Officer, Shannon Block, is willing to sacrifice personal time when the mission aligns with her purpose. “Some days are difficult juggling work, life, and kids. I want to show my children that it might not be easy, but we can make it work.” She also believes that putting things on pause is necessary “to refill your cup; you can’t be a good manager if your cup is empty.” 

How to Broach the Work-Life Balance Discussion

Addressing the issue of work-life balance in a job interview is crucial for ensuring that the job aligns with your values, priorities, and lifestyle. You can gauge whether the job is a good fit by asking the right questions and communicating your preferences.  Here are six tips to help you have an effective discussion. 

  1. Do your research: Before the interview, research the company culture, values, and work environment. Look for information on their website, read employee reviews on websites like Glassdoor, or reach out to current or former employees through your network. This background information will help you get a sense of the company’s approach to work-life balance. 
  2. Frame your questions positively: When addressing work-life balance during the interview, frame your questions to show that you are proactive and value your work and personal life. For example, instead of asking, “Do you have a strict 9-to-5 work schedule?” ask, “Can you tell me more about the company’s approach to flexible work hours and remote work options?” 
  3. Inquire about company policies: Ask about the company’s policies and practices related to work-life balance, such as flexible work arrangements, parental leave, vacation time, and employee wellness programs. This information will help you understand the company’s commitment to supporting a healthy work-life balance for its employees. 
  4. Discuss your values and priorities: During the interview, communicate your values and preferences related to work-life balance. For instance, mention that you are dedicated to your work but also prioritize being an active member of your community or spending quality time with your family. This will help the interviewer understand your perspective and assess whether the company culture aligns with your values. 
  5. Ask about work expectations: Inquire about the typical work hours, deadlines, and expectations for the role you are applying for. Understanding the workload and time commitment required for the position will help you evaluate whether it aligns with your work-life balance preferences. 
  6. Seek feedback from current employees: If possible, talk to current employees at the company to get their perspectives on work-life balance. They can provide valuable insights into the company culture, work environment, and how the organization supports employees in maintaining a healthy work-life balance. 

Finding Your Own Balance 

Work-life balance might not be something a company provides but more about finding an alignment of purpose, passion, and priorities. It helps to clarify your stance and then be genuine and transparent during the interview process. By discussing work-life balance openly and honestly, you can ensure that you and the employer clearly understand each other’s expectations and determine whether the job is the right fit for your lifestyle and priorities. 


About Equiliem

Equiliem (www.equiliem.com) believes in empowering success. It’s our job to cultivate relationships that connect people and employers in a way that is inclusive, intelligent, and allows both to thrive. 

Across the U.S., leading companies in healthcare, government, light industrial manufacturing, professional services, and energy rely on us for their workforce solutions. Our recruiting and HR services include contract and direct hire staffing, Payrolling/EOR, Independent Contractor Compliance, and Managed Services.

Since 1995, we’ve helped shape our industry. Today, we continue to research, ask questions, and continuously enhance the candidate journey and client experience.