You are asked, “What is the difference between hard work and smart work?” Hard work will get you increments and promotions but smart work will take your career trajectory to the next level.
You don’t need to rote learn the definitions from the dictionary or some website. The examples below are for reference and should give you a start with respect to coming up with your own answer.
Possible Answer #1:
“Hard work is what every breadwinner does today, including a rickshaw puller or a daily wager. Smart work is what the educated masses like us are supposed to do, and some of us are actually doing it, like my father. A well-balanced combination of both hard work and smart work is the secret formula for success. I have friends who study all through the year and yet have 10 back papers to clear.
They do not have any interview calls in their kitty, and what do you think is the reason behind this? It is their lack of understanding of smart work. All year through, they were only working hard, but not smartly. They did not prioritize their goals properly. Again, there’s me, I do not have any back papers and have a decent CGPA. I am also attending this interview today. Whatever might be the outcome, I feel I have prioritized my goals correctly and have worked both hard and smart. That is the difference between hard work and smart work.”
Possible Answer #2:
“Hard work is delivering work on time with more effort and smart work is delivering work on time, with lesser effort. I feel that is the basic difference. Most of the time, in the corporate world, I feel a combination of both is needed to attain excellence.”
Want to genuinely impress the interviewer? Show him your understanding of hard work vs smart work through examples from your professional life. If you are a fresher, take ideas from the work you did in university.
What is your understanding of the difference between hard work and smart work? Are you aware of similar job interview questions? We’d love to hear from you about job interview tips which could benefit others.