the job offer goodbye. But what if you
have a family and want to work a reasonably normal schedule? Is there a way to get both the job and the
schedule you want?
question is a softball lob. Whack it out
of the park on the first swing by saying this kind of schedule is just your
style. Add that your family understands
it. Indeed, they’re happy for you, as
they know you get your greatest satisfaction from your work.
this question with another: “What’s the norm for your best people here?”
have any top people who perform exceptionally for you, but who also have
families and like to get home in time to see them at night?” Chances are this company does, and this
associates you with this other “top-performers-who-leave-not-later-than-six”
into the picture. If all those extra
hours make you uncomfortable, say so, but phrase your response positively.
well. I think the results speak for
themselves, especially in …(mention your two or three qualifications of greater
interest to the employer. Remember, this
is what he wants most, not a workaholic with weak credentials). Not only
would I bring these qualities, but I’ve built my whole career on working not
just hard, but smart. I think you’ll find me one of the most productive people here.
who likes to see me after work and on weekends.
They add balance and richness to my life, which in turn helps me be
happy and productive at work. If I could
handle some of the extra work at home in the evenings or on weekends, that
would be ideal. You’d be getting a
person of exceptional productivity who meets your needs with strong
credentials. And I’d be able to handle
some of the heavy workload at home where I can be under the same roof as my
family. Everybody would win.”
door shut on this opportunity. But what
if you’d really prefer not to relocate or travel, yet wouldn’t want to lose the
job offer over it?
and how much travel may be involved.
Then respond to the question.
thought on how to handle it.
reservations to yourself in the early going, by saying, “no problem”. You strategy here is to get the best offer
you can, then make a judgment whether it’s worth it to you to relocate or
other offers and can make a more informed decision. Why kill of this opportunity before it has
chance to blossom into something really special? And if you’re a little more desperate three
months from now, you might wish you hadn’t slammed the door on relocating or
reservation, but assert that you’d be open to relocating (or traveling) for the
are for the job. If you want to take no
chances, choose the first approach.
generating a more enticing offer, choose the second.
Have you had experience firing many people?
which sends you down a chute and lands you in a heap of dust outside the front
door. Why? Because its real intent is not just to see if
you’ve got the stomach to fire, but also to uncover poor judgment in hiring which has caused you to fire so many.
unless you’ve prepared to explain why it was beyond your control, and not the
result of your poor hiring procedures or foul temperament.
process you follow in both hiring and firing.
best people I can find, train them thoroughly and well, get them excited and
proud to be part of our team, and then work with them to achieve our goals
together. If you do all of that right,
especially hiring the right people, I’ve found you don’t have to fire very
done, and the faster and cleaner, the better.
A poor employee can wreak terrible damage in undermining the morale of
an entire team of good people. When
there’s no other way, I’ve found it’s better for all concerned to act
decisively in getting rid of offenders who won’t change their ways.”
position quickly, as you have others.
He’s concerned you may be unstable, or a “problem person” who can’t get
along with others.
stage, you should try to minimize your image as job hopper. If there are several entries on your resume
of less than one year, consider eliminating the less important ones. Perhaps you can specify the time you spent at
previous positions in rounded years
not in months and years.
4/1983 – 12/1983, Position B;
1/1984 – 8/1987, Position C;
1984 – 1987 Position C.
reducing your image as a job hopper.
you must try to reassure him. Describe
each position as part of an overall pattern of growth and career destination.
changes. But you can and should
attribute certain changes to conditions beyond your control.
to avoid an ensuing bloodbath, so you made a good, upward career move before
your department came under the axe of the new owners.
frequent in your younger days, while you were establishing yourself, rounding
out your skills and looking for the right career path. At this stage in your career, you’re
certainly much more interested in the best long-term
and describe that this type of situation is what you’re looking for now.
…a good (job title you’re seeking);
…a good manager;
…an executive in serving the community;
…a leading company in our industry; etc.
designed to test your understanding of your place in the bigger picture of your
department, company, community and profession….as well as the proper role each
of these entities should play in its
by those concerned that you’re coming from a place with a radically different
corporate culture (such as from a big government bureaucracy to an aggressive
simply not being prepared (seeming as if they’ve never giving any of this a
though.)…or in phrasing an answer best suited to their prior organization’s culture instead of the hiring company’s.
success for each category above – your job title, your role as manager, your
firm’s role, etc.
feel are most important to success in each role. Then commit your response to memory.
about the greatest wants and needs of the interviewer, and the more homework
you’ve done to identify the culture of the firm, the more on-target your answer
think it stinks?
values, in this case loyalty and honesty, against one another.
important to emphasize the positive.
What do I like about this idea?”
them out, as specifically, objectively and factually as I can.”
If he can’t count on me for that, then everything else I may do or say
could be questionable in his eyes.”
way. So my goal in this case would be to
see if my boss and I could make his idea even stronger and more appealing, so
that it effectively overcomes any initial reservation I or others may have
way,’ then I owe him my full and enthusiastic support to make it work as best
“If you could, how would you live your life over?” Remember, you’re not going to fall for any
such invitations to rewrite person history. You can’t win if you do.
progress. Maybe, if you had known
something earlier in life (impossible to know at the time, such as the booming
growth in a branch in your industry…or the corporate downsizing that would
phase out your last job), you might have moved in a certain direction sooner.
you are, how you’ve gotten there, where you are going…and you harbor no
wasn’t pulling his/her weight…and this was hurting your department?
test your sense of human relations and how you might handle office politics.
and be guided accordingly. In general, fall
back on universal principles of effective human relations – which in the end,
embody the way you would like to be treated in a similar circumstance.
directly to the person and explain the situation, to try to enlist his help in
a constructive, positive solution. If I sensed
resistance, I would be as persuasive as I know how to explain the benefits we
can all gain from working together, and the problems we, the company and our
customers will experience if we don’t.”
QUESTION: And what would you do if
he still did not change his ways?
slide, because it would only get worse and overlooking it would set a bad
precedent. I would try again and again
and again, in whatever way I could, to solve the problem, involving wider and
wider circles of people, both above and below the offending executive and
including my own boss if necessary, so that everyone involved can see the
rewards for teamwork and the drawbacks of non-cooperation.”
that couldn’t be resolved by harnessing others in a determined, constructive