So I thought I would hit on some basic interview questions that you are certainly going to be asked in your interviews. I actually used to ask this question with every single graduating senior when I taught at the college. You would actually be amazed at the answers. I would also phrase it as “What is your motivation for looking for a new job?” There are always issues/problems at current jobs and many times you can identify a problem in a past/current job and prevent it from happening again in this one.
Example. A hiring manager comes to me as the HR business partner and asks a serious question. “I have a candidate I really like, but she has really big boobs and I am afraid that the guys are going to be a problem. AND she is currently suing her current boss for sexual harassment, because of her boobs. They aren’t real.” Wow. Amazing the things people say in an interview. Well, we all know the professional answer is we have to qualify and screen candidates based on their skills and not their looks. I looked at him and said “Are you crazy? If you hire her and she gets any issues, I will say that you consulted me and against my advisement of potential litigation, my risk management assessment was to find a male candidate. Your hiring was negligent.”
If you haven’t heard it before, I will tell you now, that most employees leave jobs for a couple of reasons. Money. They hate their boss/co-worker(s). Poor management/leadership. It is not in line with their career goals. So, think about those and decide which of those you quit jobs in the past. There is also something that really drives and motivates someone to leave a job. Anger. Something in the job really, really pissed off an employee that he/she will make it a mission in life to get the hell out of there. I know of past employees who held grudges to this day. You might be a careless manager and say something ignorant to an employee and while they may not say anything to your face, trust me, they will slam you in their exit interview. Some employees will be super sweet to your face and then they will make bold face lies about you just to get back at you. I have heard them and usually can see right through to the truth. Sure there are bad managers, we all know that. And those managers get reprimanded and performance managed as well. Even store managers get put on probation. I can think of a ton of managers who got fired. As I have told many customers and employees, everyone … yes, everyone reports to someone, so be careful or you might find yourself in a world of trouble. True story, once I had an attorney personally threaten me at Best Buy. Said he was going to sue the pants off of me because I wouldn’t take his return and give him his money back. Whoa. I took a step back, crossed my arms and said, “Oh really counselor. Can you please tell me your attorney registration number? I am sure the ethics committee will be very interested to hear of this behavior in public. Oh, … how do I know about that? Yeah, I work for the Bar Association and you have rules you have to follow.” He was silent. His eyes wide open and he turned around and walked out, … with his return, with no receipt. I turned to my the employee who called for the manager and said “Fucking attorney. I bet he was bullied in school and try to bully me into doing it.” Like I said, everyone reports to someone.
From an HR perspective it is good to know what motivates an employee so they will perform better. Example. If the team reaches _____ goal/metric, we will all go to a night out at Dave & Busters on the company. Free food and drinks for everyone! For some people that is a great motivator. Others are like, “Meh, show me the money.” Now if you are somewhere at the bottom of organizational chart, you might be motivated by intrinsic items, like a crappy promotion with a shitty office with no window. No money. Title only. Or you might get a window if you are considered a manager, again no money. This is very common, so be prepared. What other “benefits” do you want that will motivate you that are not money. Trust me on this one. If you can negotiate these things in writing from the very beginning you are off to an amazing start. I once asked for one day a quarter as a personal day that I could use for grad school projects. Since I had to travel for work, unpaid, this seemed acceptable. Until the boss realized I basically just got an extra week when you tack it onto a holiday. Bam. Mic drop. Score.
As you created your dream job you should have had a list of things that are part of this imaginary dream job. Office, work from home, gym membership, onsite daycare, 3 weeks vacation, use of the company jet and condos, an obnoxiously overpaid high salary, … you get the idea. Many of these things on the list “might” be one of your motivators. And of course, don’t forget the sappy predictable HR answer, “Recognition”. If you are working on your doctorate, or getting published in a journal this is a terrific answer. Mail room clerk, not so much.
Next weekend is Memorial Day weekend, what are YOU doing now that you are vaccinated? It’s gonna be CRAZY everywhere! Smoking some ribs and baked beans myself. Mmmmm. Ribs. Smoked ribs motivate me.