Instead of “Workaholism,” Say

“I need to get much better at knowing the difference between working hard and working productively. It’s easy for me to fall into the trap of thinking that long hours in the office mean I’m getting a lot done. But unsurprisingly, I actually do my best work when I’m not super tired or stressed.”

Let’s face it: In today’s office, workaholics get pats on the back, not admonitions to take it easier. Claiming to be one (whether it’s true or not) sounds like you’re bragging.

Next, tell your interviewer about a time when you pushed yourself too hard and the results weren’t good.

Then, prove you’re managing the issue by saying:

I’m making a huge effort to work smarter, not longer. I’ve begun responding to emails in batches so I don’t waste hours every day sorting through my inbox. I write down five goals every morning so that I’m focused on the priorities. I try to take my meetings outside so that I get some fresh air and exercise while we talk. These productivity changes have helped me compress the amount of work I accomplish into fewer hours—which also means I can produce higher-quality work.