Tough Interview Questions: If You Won $1 Billion, 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 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 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 would be pretty overwhelming if I were the sole winner of a $1 billion lottery.  I would reach out to professionals, talk with them about different options but, I suspect, I don’t think I’d quit.  I would change it.  Change to what? I have no idea.  I can imagine what having the money would allow me to do.  Maybe investing in 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 to quit abruptly because that would be cruel to this organization that I’ve invested time and effort into.  What I would try to do is ensure that there is as smooth a transition as possible and, from there, complete the plan (whatever that might be) 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 one, 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 being considered and considerate.  

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

Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2020



Jeff Altman, The Big Game HunterJeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1800 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

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