Tough Interview Questions: If You Won $1 Billion Would You Quit Your Job? |

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As often is the case with questions like this, it isn’t just what you say but what you revealing telling your story.  Here I explain what the intention is and how to best answer. 

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The question today is, "If you won $1 billion in the lottery, would you quit your job?"

I think this is a wonderful question and, I think, a lot of job hunters get trapped in the notion that there is a right or wrong answer. I think, here, it's not about right or wrong; it's about mature and immature. Let me give you an example of immature.

" YOU BET I WOULD! I HATE DOING WHAT I DO! IT'S AN AWFUL JOB THAT I DO. " Who wants to hire someone what like that? They don't expect that you will win the billion dollar lottery but what they're trying to do is give you a hypothetical that causes you to reveal something about yourself that is distasteful, unbecoming, untoward.

A more mature answer is, "1st, I would take some time. I think the reaction be pretty overwhelming if I were the sole winner of $1 billion lottery. I reach out to professionals, talk with them about different options but, I suspect, I don't think I'd really quit . I would change. Change to I have no idea. I can imagine what having the money would allow me to do. Maybe investing this firm. Maybe investing in another firm. Working with my advisors to make intelligent choices. The 1st order of business would be taking the time to sort it out. I don't expect him to quit abruptly because that would be cruel en route to this organization that I've invested time and effort into. What I would try to do for the organization is ensure that there is a smooth transition as possible and, from there, complete the plan (whatever that might be) in order to make a good transition to my new life. After all, if one billion dollars was handed to me, I can assure you there be a new life involved because everything changes with that kind of money."

What you're doing is revealing something of your character in the course of the answer. In this 1, there is a fairly measured response. It is considered and considerate all at once. It is revealing that you are calculating., That you don't just abruptly change and jump into something and go, "YIPPEE! I'm through here!" What you're going to do is is be considered and considerate.

A lot of people would walk in the next day, quit, yell at their boss, all sorts of ridiculous things. This kind of response or one that you are more comfortable with that reveal something of your character goes a long way toward assuaging or relieving any concerns that you are hot tempered, impulsive . . . stuff along those lines.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for what 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 1100 episodes, “Job Search Radio,” “and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

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