Tough Questions for Job Hunters


‘How do you feel about doing overtime work even on weekends?’ We tell you why employers are asking such questions, and how to give the best answers.

Here’s why: Employers are looking for values other than skills and expertise in their future employees just as you are looking for other values beyond salaries and benefits in our would-be employer. Right now, there’s a mismatch between the candidates’ skills and certain values or qualities that employers seek. We call it “preferential mismatch” that has less to do with skill and ability ultimately creates a tug-of-war where the candidate and the employer find it hard to let go or give in.

First, let us give you a background. The global economic crisis has changed the employment landscape. With recovery still a distant way off, many companies are either freeze-hiring or cost-cutting. If they do hire, they want to make sure that the candidate they finally hire will be worth the investment they will be putting in (which is kind of a risk in itself in these hard times). Your skill is only a secondary factor. What the companies are looking for is a certain set of hard-to-find attitudes and mindset such as:

Your sense of ownership, which means you, the candidate, are willing to consider the welfare of the company beyond your own ambitions.

Your ability to make sacrifices, including a low compensation package

Your capability to multi-task (very important trait as most companies are downsizing and will require one person to take on the work of three)

Your creativity and resourcefulness that will enable you, the new employee, to deliver fantastic results given the very little support available at this time.

Yes, it’s a tough act, and candidates are making the same tough demands on their prospective bosses. Because you, the candidate, are also feeling the pinch, you looking for a stable company, higher-than-usual pay, and exposure to multi-cultural practices, possibly as a means for career advancement or overseas employment.

There are no guarantees, but an open spirit and a positive disposition to give more can bridge the gap in the preferential mismatch that we are now seeing. Hopefully, as one side understands the other, both will win.

Vance Madrid

Freelance writer, lifestyle blogger, social media manager, events coordinator, scriptwriter, film buff, wanderlust and certified foodie. Zealous for a keyboard and new experiences, I wish to live and learn through my writing.