Employers want to know that you have interest in the company. They want to see, based on your job interview answers, that you are planning on helping their company succeed in both the short and long term. To gauge this they will ask you a number of interview questions designed to see how important working for the company will be to you if they decide to hire you. Some of these questions include:
- Are you willing to put the interests of the company ahead of your own?
- Are you willing to commit to at least five years of employment?
- If you won the lottery, would you keep working?
Many applicants worry about these answers. Are they willing to truly put the interests of the company ahead of their own? What if the company asks them to do something illegal? What if their child is being born and they are asked to come in to work?
These questions cause applicants to give honest answers, such as “I am willing to put the interests of the company ahead of my own provided they do not impact my family” and “Well, I think if I win the lottery I would probably want to vacation across the world, but then maybe come back to work depending on how much money it is.”
Not a Contract
It is important to remember, though, that your job interview is not a contract. You do not have to do any of the things you say you are going to do during the interview. For example, if you are asked “how long do you plan on staying with the company?” and you plan on going to graduate school in 2 years, you do not need to say “for at least two years.” You can say “for as long as I am contributing.”
Unless you are signing a professional contract that requires you to stay for as long as the contract states, you are under no obligation to do any of the things you say you will do in the interview. You can quit your job if you win the lottery. You can stay home from work to care for a sick relative even if the company really needs you to come in.
You never need to do what you say you will do at the job interview. That is why it is important that when you are asked these types of questions, you should give the best answer – not the truest answer. The company does not need to know the truth about your long term plans, and you should not feel obligated to tell them.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Job interviews are not contracts.
- You are under no obligation to stick to what you say at the job interview.
- Because of that, you do not need to be 100% honest when you answer these questions.