Dealing with a difficult MBA
Over the years I've had some tough questions posed to me by cocky, arrogant and sometimes condescending MBA types (this problem does not limit itself to MBA's as I've heard similar stories in IT, and engineering fields). Here's one way to counteract the impossibly difficult candidate of this type:
The arrogant/cocky recent MBA grad:
MBA: "I just graduated from (some top 20 MBA school) and know my starting salary is supposed to be eighty-five thousand per year for someone with an MBA from my school. Why should I interview for your $70k position?"
Reply: "Yes! You are correct. US News and World Report (or other similar statistical news article) does show that to be the average for your school. There is something I should tell you which the report does not disclose."
MBA: "What's that?" (asked with disbelief because we recruiters could not know anything more).
Reply: "The report FAILS to provide what the average hours of the typical work week is like for someone at that salary. I happen to know, from interviewing individuals leaving such jobs a year or two later from stress and burnout, that you will most likely be asked to work ten to twelve hour days, and two Saturdays per month. Sometimes you will have to work even on Sundays and until 1 am...especially in Wall Street positions. So what YOU need to ask yourself is, 'do I want to be a slave for eighty-five or a respected professional for seventy thousand per year?.'" Usually what follows is dead silence that I use to build momentum with.
Alternate Reply: "If you divide the salary by the hours you will be required to work, you are actually earning about half as much of that $85k when divided on an hourly basis! That's way BELOW my position paying seventy five with normal hours!!"
Recruiter's Reply: "It depends on your life style. If you plan on staying single a few years with no personal commitments those hours may be of no concern. But if you are dating, plan to date, or are engaged or planning to get married, few spouses will be happy with you getting home regularly at 10 or twelve midnight. It becomes very tiring, exhausting, debilitating (etc., etc.)".
By now I usually have them at least, listening to my less paying job!
The Company Finance Director providing a multiple position search assignment.
Let's face it, multiple openings or repeat business is a GREAT problem to have. What you must be careful with is to not allow the company to believe they are doing US a favor! We must always convey the value they are receiving from us.
Hiring Manager: "Gee, if I give you three (four, five, six, whatever) assignments, that will be a good deal of business for you" (yada, yada, etc.)
Reply: It will be I helping YOU. I'm certain you will look like the company hero when your director- level peers from other departments are still tinkering with their openings weeks and months from now after you've already filled yours as a result of engaging US!
Besides, I normally work on a ("x" percentage fee) and reduced it ("y" percentage you actually agreed to) OR work on ("X" retainer) and instead lowered it to ("Y") for our purposes.
Never let the most casual comment from a manger like this undermine or DEVALUE the service you provide!
- Frank G. Risalvato, CPC CEO IRES, Inc