Advice and Examples: Describe the difference between working hard versus working smart. For a General Motors Interview Question.
3. Describe the difference between working hard versus working smart.
Why the Interviewer Asks This Question
By determining your familiarity with this concept, they can ascertain your work experience and fitness for the role. They are also looking for insights into your work style and ethic. Putting in hard work can equate to putting in long and taxing hours. Working smart exemplifies your ability to prioritize, organize, and effectively manage your time and strategize how to complete a project or any given task. This question sheds light on your grasp of the difference between the two.
How to Answer
Recognize the importance of this question, offering your insights and field expertise in this regard. Frame yourself as a leader, acknowledging the time and place for working hard and working smart, and how they play into your leadership skills when performing the work yourself or delegating. Often when working smarter, the hard work you'd otherwise put in is cut in half, lightening your workload and contributing to effective time management.
1st Answer Example
"One should always do both. They're not mutually exclusive either. I start every job, by working hard and evaluating where there is room for improvement. Once I get the hang of something I'll evaluate how I can kaizen an opportunity. First, focus on quality, then quantity. By the end, it should take me less effort to produce the same content."