Lunchtime Poll

Lunchtime Poll: Discretion or Honesty?

My husband says that I offer up too much information, doing myself a disservice in the act. I just like to think I’m a rule follower. Yes, I will declare that jar of jam that we’re bringing back from England, it’s fruit. I don’t want them to do a random search and find it and say I was hiding something. But sometimes… he might be right. Case in point…

I’ve been working with a few temp agencies trying to get some kind of income until a full time position in Preferred Career (PC) comes along. They mostly get positions in Fall Back Career (FBC), which is understandable. I was pretty clear when I met with the agencies – I need a job, any job, but one that I’ll be able to let go when a great PC opportunity arises. I got a call one day with a good FBC opportunity at a big company (that it’d be great to break into), on a five month contract. She stressed that, big company does background checks so puts a lot of money behind hiring and asked if there was any impediment if I were offered the position.

Here’s where my honesty does me wrong: I told her that I had a couple interviews for full time PC jobs pending, one I should hear back by next week, and the other interviewing in a few days. I said that, if I were offered the big company FBC position, I would definitely make sure the others were off the table before accepting. She backed off and said that we should wait on this one until I know from the other interviews. So basically, I talked myself out of that opportunity.

What would you do in a similar situation? Do you lay it all out there, taking what’s best for the company into consideration? Or is it every woman for herself in the cutthroat job market?

By Crystal Coleman

Florida girl living on the west coast. During the day, I consult in social media and community management. I have a really cute puppy (Elphaba) and a British husband (I keep him for his accent) as well as an unhealthy relationship with parentheses.

2 replies on “Lunchtime Poll: Discretion or Honesty?”

That’s a really difficult question. How badly do I need work? How well do I feel the other interview(s) went? I think I do tend to err a little on the side of too much disclosure, but I am learning that I need to look out for my interests, and that as they say, it is easier to apologize than to ask permission.

I think much of this would depend on the industry, as some industries are more competitive than others. But overall, if I wanted to work for a company but had other prospects in consideration, I would not mention it at all until after/during an interview – certainly not during a screening call. Both of us (me & the employer) need to determine if it’s a good fit, after all. I don’t think of it as a matter of honesty, because I would be honestly considering them as an employer.

Any time I’m looking for a job, I focus on what the company needs and how I can help them, because that ‘s what they’re looking for – someone to make them successful, not someone to make successful. Right now I have a ‘dream job’ at a very large, very well-known company. I’ve never heard of a company trying to guilt anyone about their cost of doing business by bringing up their hiring process as ‘expensive.’ Don’t they want the best people? It sounds like maybe they’re having issues getting people to commit, so maybe they’re low-balling the salary or something and trying to pressure people earlier in the process. I had short-term contract job prior to my current one, and when I left the owner tried to make me feel guilty about leaving (even though the work was on hold, and there was an unpaid two-week break right after my two-week notice would end) – those kinds of tactics are usually red flags!

Leave a Reply