Applying “The Waiter Test” to Whether You Are Stepping Into a Job From Hell

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EP 1631 The waiter test is one signal that this might be a job that you should avoid. I discuss several others in this video.

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I'm Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. I'm the head coach for and welcome. I coach people and organizations to be more successful and, from a career perspective, I do job search coaching. I do career coaching. And leadership coaching rate help individuals perform at a higher level.

1 of the things for my background the job search is to notice how firms conduct themselves with job hunters, and use it is a benchmark for how they are going to deal with employees. It's nicknamed, "the waiter test."

The way it works is that you may be talking with the nicest guy on the planet, having a meal with them, drinking coffee with them, whatever it is, you are out of the office with them and they are trying to impress the heck out of you as the nicest person in the world. Then you notice that they are just rude to the waiter. Where you're the coffee place and they are just obnoxious with the barista and the staff. There is a message in that and you just have to look at these messages as signals.

For example, you have appointments with them that are constantly canceled and rescheduled. There is a message in that. Maybe you notice that you are kept waiting for lengthy periods of time without explanation, there is a message in that.Just like their late for their calls with no apology or explanation for it. If you did that to them, you would be rejected by most firms. That's because they would expect common courtesy to dictate that you apologize.

"I'm sorry I was late. I was stuck in traffic, It is not a common occurrence" would be a great response. But when they don't do it,there is a message in that. When it is a take it or leave it job offer without explanation, there is a message in that. Notice where I am going?

In the office, when you come to visit, everyone looks dead, you know, they just got that look like, "I have no life to me anymore. I have been beaten into submission by this organization," where there is no vitality, there is a message in that just like there is if you have no passion or energy for this job when you are just in "the dating phase" when they are beginning interviews with you and there is no excitement for you . . . Is that how you want to live your life?

The waiter test is one indicator but there a re many messages employers send in the course of interviewing that you need to pay attention to including one that says. "I'm uncomfortable here," and if you are speaking with a recruiter and they tell you, "Suck it up. It's a great opportunity," no you don't. You can find something that brings life to you.

Again, pay attention to lots of different signals. I hope you find it helpful. I hope you give it 5 Stars in iTunes or Stitcher. It helps other people discover the show


JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1600 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council. “No BS JobSearch Advice Radio” was recently named a Top 10 podcast for job search. was also recently named a Top 10 YouTube channel for job search.

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