Hiring managers and human resources professionals are trained to ask commitment questions during job interviews.
It’s how they understand the applicant’s expectations for giving loyalty and cooperation to their organization. They want to make sure you’re not just headhunter bait who will leap to another job when an offer appears.
Which makes perfect sense. In a marketplace where employer turnover is high and talented employees are difficult to hang onto, smart companies want to hire someone who is going to grow as the company grows.
But commitment is a two way street. It takes to tango, baby. And if an employee is going to sell their skills to an organization, then that company has to return the favor. They have to do more than pay you to show up at an office with some nice people to share your misery.
One particular job interview comes to mind. The recruiter asked me to convince her my goal was to become a long term member of her team. Because after looking at my resume, she was concerned my job experience of short lived stints at several companies demonstrated a lack of commitment and loyalty on my part.
Which, for anyone who knows my personality, is not the case at all. But her concern was well founded. It was a fair question that deserved an answer.
Which I happily offered, and was satisfying to her.
In retrospect, however, I wish I would have turned the tables with a commitment question of my own. Here’s what should have come out of my mouth:
Can you convince me that your company’s goal is to become a long term part of my life, and not treat me like some invisible temp who feels like he’s always on probation until somebody faster and cheaper comes along?
She would have been stunned into silence. No candidate asks questions like that before.
Point being, the person across the table is not the only one with the power of choice.
You’re hiring them as much as they’re hiring you. Never forget that.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you asking the same questions as your competition?
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