Are you High Maintenance?

One of the unspoken questions that the interviewer will seek to have answered during the interview is whether or not you are “high maintenance”.  This is a term that relates to the degree of hand-holding and other special treatment you may require on the job, of management and those employees working with you.  During the interview, you don’t ever want to be perceived as high maintenance.

What are some indications of a high maintenance candidate? 

  • focusing on oneself instead of on the job 
  • asking endless questions relating to the working environment 
  • inquiring about special office accommodations such as chairs/desks/lighting/noise/etc
  • asking about how the company can accommodate your particular personal needs (being demanding)
  • focusing on time off and holiday policy instead of on what is expected of you

Here are some high maintenance questions NOT to ask:

Can I bring my cat to work?

Can I play meditation music in my cube?

Can I work in scrubs (unless you are a medical professional)?

Are gluten-free snacks available?

Do I get a reserved parking space?

Can I have a special 35″ UHD monitor at my desk?

Asking questions like these during the interview will most certainly shorten your interview and cause you not to be hired.  While these questions can be valid, it’s best to hold them until after you’ve been offered the job! 

Employers want to hire employees that are low maintenance and require the minimum in special treatment.  Low maintenance candidates will focus on the specifics of the job, and the company, and show how they can support the company (not how the company can support them).

If you have a tenancy toward high maintenance, there are some things you can do before the interview to eliminate how you will be perceived:

  • do extensive research on the company before the interview
  • talk to people currently or formerly working at the company, and ask them lots of questions
  • remind yourself that you are seeking a good job and are thankful for getting an interview
  • understand that there will be unpleasant aspects of any job, but they will be far outweighed by the favorable aspects

So……………….go into your next interview with confidence and convey the image that it’s not about you and you will be valued as a low maintenance candidate!





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After serving for 27 years in the US Navy and another 20 years in the defense industry I am excited to share my experience in the areas of career and interview coaching with fellow veterans and others joining, or rejoining, the job market.

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