This one question usually tends to make most candidates caught off-guard. These kind of questions are actually a false question because a working individual knows that there is no such thing as a “typical” day.
This is a good question to show how to organize your time, your schedules, your workload and use the day more efficiently.
Usually, a good method to answer such question is to point out that there is no such thing as a “typical” day and try to give examples of various scenarios that you have already been engaged in.
This shows how well pivoted and determined you are to strive towards the goal.
To answer this “what is your typical day like” question, be ready to tell about the type of meetings and clientele you have met rather than the achievements you have made.
What is Your Typical Day Like?
People who plan their days get most of their work done. During interviews, explain to the interviewer what kind of work do you normally complete first.
Usually, inform them that you tend to complete the most important work first. This gives the interviewer an impression that you have your priorities set for the day.
This will also let the employer know that one of the basic strengths that the candidate has is optimization and formulation of work.
A typical day in the office is usually an open-ended discussion. Try to explain how to spend the day such that the employer can see you in a positive light.
“I usually start my work at 7:30 am, collaboratively plan my day, and make sure that the most urgent work gets done first“.
This helps the employer interpreting that you are successfully completing the job.
If the interviewer doesn’t specify whether if it is job-related, explain how you spend your typical day. If not, do not go too much into personal details. Try mentioning that you have a checklist ready noting down the various activities that have to be done during the day. This gives you extra points during the interview.
Similar Interview Questions Asked:
- How do you spend your time on a daily/weekly manner?
- Describe a typical work week
- How well do you plan your day?
- What are the different jobs that take up most of your time in a typical day?
- Describe the pace at which you work on a daily basis.
- Do you enjoy your job?
- Typical Work day routine
- Walk me through your list of activities for a normal workday.
- What are the key things you need to accomplish in your work on a weekly basis?
- What are the core deliverables for your role?
- How do you prioritize your work?
Another variation of such question is,”describe a typical day at work in your previous job“. The employer is trying to check that the talents and abilities that you have acquired from your previous job is reflected in the resume. This also gives the employer about your work style and how well you are prepared for the day.
Best Way to Answer “How do you Plan Your Day” Interview Question:
1. When asked such questions, do not give an hourly breakdown of what you do and how you do things. Instead stress some key areas (3 to 5 areas), and try to explain them in detail. Cover each topic along with an anecdote of your tasks. Try to take such topics from a recent week.
2. Try to understand that the interviewer is asking such questions just to get an idea about the content and context of your work and activities. At the same time, he is checking if your resume is reflecting your day to day ventures.
3. Most of the candidates have repetitive and similar work activities, that they do not wish to include in their resume. This also gives the interviewer an idea of how much time the candidate spends to put the topics being discussed into proper use and context. All it requires is a bit of awareness about your surroundings and proactiveness to explain the tasks in a given day.
4. Do not mention time wasting activities or trivial tasks such as:
Taking long lunch breaks
Driving to work
Taking care of personal matters such as calculating rent and checking taxes.
5. Try to demonstrate your organizational skills and at the same time keep the whole discussion short, but not vague and brief.
6. Try to be seen as an individual who is energetic in planning day to day activities. This is always a great way to impress the employer.
7. Mentioning the routine tasks adds realism in your job profile and also proves to the employer that you don’t neglect basic work such as paperwork and meetings.
8. Put yourself in the interviewer’s position and answer the question.
9. You must be well aware of the tasks that you have undertook in a typical day of your job.
10. You should spend time and create a list of the tasks you do daily so as to get an outsider’s perspective of your work.
11. Outline the tasks given to you and show them what you are capable of. This will convince the employer about your potentials and will distinguish you as a contender for the position.
- “My typical starts as I get up early and try to get to work at least 25 minutes before the ‘start time’. In this way, I can avoid any delays due to traffic jams and can still be on time for work. Then, I sit down and plan the day. I jot down what all plans I have to complete and prioritize them depending on their urgency and importance. I check my voice mails and emails and the calendar and try to make plans such as organizing meetings and such. This way I can increase my pace for doing work and can be more productive for the day. “
- ” On a typical Monday morning, I usually begin by going over the list from the previous week. This way I can set up my priorities. I review the status of the projects that I’m currently working on and I try to finish any pending work, if present. I try to make sure that all the work assigned to me is moving forward and without any glitches. “
- ” During a typical day at the office, I am responsible for overseeing and coordinating my team’s progress on the various projects that are assigned to my team. I keep in touch with our benefactors and keep them updated about the progress of the projects and make sure they are happy with the performance and the statistics. “
- “The most interesting part of this job is that there is no ‘typical’ day. One day I would be busy scheduling meetings and the other day I would be supervising my employees. Maybe the next day I would be busy making presentations for the higher ups, or tutoring the trainees on how to speak efficiently in front of a crowd. If the job is unpredictable and calls for efficiency, I try my best to reach that level.”
How Not To Answer Such Job Interview Questions:
1. Avoid giving nearly perfect scenarios and over enthusiastic responses. This can create suspicion to the interviewer and doubt whether the candidate is being truthful or not.
2. Do not take responsibilities of tasks that you have not done. Be completely aware and thorough of the tasks assigned to you.
3. Avoid narrating over used and banal phrases. Try to be original and keep it real.
4. Do not rant about fellow employees and higher ups. Do not overly criticize supervisors and coworkers.
5. In your daily tasks, do not narrate about the common problems faced by a worker without explaining them how you overcome such obstacles.
6. Do not try to brag about your job. Instead, state how productive you are for the company.
7. Never sound bored about your job. Answer it in a vibrant manner. The employer should be interested about your job, even if it is a small task.
8. Do not state each and every detail that usually happens in a day. Just give a brief answer about your job, what do you do, how well you do, how do you manage your time, how people are benefited from you and so on.
9. Avoid topics such as coming late for work due to personal or family reasons or due to chit-chatting with coworkers.
10. Don’t be thrown by the question. Do not panic when such a question is asked.
” I usually come 10-15 minutes late due to personal reasons. I stay at my desk the whole day. I’m usually slow paced at my job and I expect others to do my job..”
“ I usually ask my supervisors for what to do or else I usually don’t do the work ”
Why the Interviewer is Asking this Question?
The reason for an interviewer asking “what is your typical day like” interview question is to analyze the quality and the quantity of your work.
They mainly would like to assess the type of work or tasks which you do on a daily basis, like the type and nature of work, for example repetitive tasks, normal tasks, creative tasks etc. You could also be a part of maintaining systems or in the developing team of the products.
The top insight of the employer is to see how you manage your work, time at the workplace, that help them analyze and see will you be able to fit their work culture or not
Example of how to best answer this question for experienced candidates:
“I have key responsibility for maintaining several core products, two of which I was personally involved in developing. So usually the first part of my day is taken to make sure these products are running correctly and applying any necessary fixes, if needed. Yet the greater part of my day is taken with our recently launched new product development for the accounting department. Here are some of the details about that new product…”
Example of how to best answer this question for entry-level candidates:
“In my recent internship, I had a core project that was my key deliverable for the summer. So my work day was structured around the completion of that deliverable. So I’ll cover first an example of a work day early in the project and then I’ll also give you another example of a work day as we I got closer to completion of the project…”
Example source: collegegrad
Final and Last Minute Tips for your Interview:
1. Furthermore, while answering questions like this, try to make it sound convincing. Do not add any over the top details. You should also make use of the fact that, all the tasks usually present in a “typical” day are not necessarily typical. Give the employer an idea that you are ready to tackle any sudden assignments you are given at any place and time and are not bound by your typical work day. Try to complete them in an orderly manner, and not haphazardly.
For example, if you are applying for a job as a personal assistant state what are all the necessary duties that you do and what all duties should be done in a typical day. And if anything unexpected comes up, (like a scheduling of a meeting), explain to them how you would arrange the task and make use of the resources present.
2. Do not sound shallow even if it is just a simple task. It gives the employer an idea that you are satisfied of whatever jobs you are given and you are not an individual that makes a fuss about it. Even if it is copying and editing reports or documents for a meeting, try to make it sound interesting to the interviewer. This shows how well adapted and efficient you are in any of the jobs you are given.
3. Also, if you are a team player try including instances where you have been a valuable asset to the team. For example, you try to organize and conduct group meetings daily or once every three days. This shows how much you care for others and that you are a caregiver. Indirectly, you push your team towards the objective.
4. Try to prove that you are also increasing your skill set as a working individual. Try adding what all new things you have learned in a typical day at work. This proves that you are always upgrading yourself and trying to reach a level where the company expects you to be. If the company wants skilled speakers, you try to organize and attend more meetings or try to take initiatives at social gatherings. This shows that you are not afraid to move forward rather than being fixed with your acquired abilities. This, in turn, will help the company in many ways, even if it is incidental.
5. Try to convince the person that you don’t follow an immutable job description. Add several instances like, “a typical work day or a typical day is rare” and such. Explain that a typical day at the office can vary day by day. It depends on how the organization expects you to work and how practical you are in your jobs and your duties.
6. Do not be too startled by the question and start to fluster. This is what the interviewer expects you to do. Since these type of questions are not that common. But at the same time, don’t overly prepare yourself. The interviewer may get second thoughts and might think that you are bluffing. A well-thought answer is always a good choice, but a memorized one might not be that helpful to you.
7. Always expect the unexpected. The questions like “Describe your typical day? ” are a magnet to bring you various follow-up questions. Try to be calm and be specific. Do not exaggerate or add false details when under pressure.