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Should I disclose my major to prospective employers


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Old 1st December 2007, 12:09 AM   #1
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Should I disclose my major to prospective employers

I am currently in grad school and have 3 more semesters, about a year and a half to go before I am complete. My current job knows I am in grad school, my major and I have a flexible schedule to accomadate my classes. My major is totally unrelated to what I do now, or any office job that I will be doing for that matter. I can't get a job in the field I am majoring in until I am finished with my degree and it's a field that any prospective employee would know that once I graduate I would be leaving watever job I am at. At my current job I did not disclose I was in grad school until during my interview. I left it off my resume and once I was offered the position, I then told them I would only accept it if they could offer me flexibility with my schedule which they agreed to. So now I am searching for a new job. I have an interview with a great company in the same industry I am currently in. I already know the hours won't work and I mentioned to the recruiter who contacted me if they were flexible with the hours but I didn't say why I asked as I left grad school off my resume. So my question is, do I mention this when I meet the manager I will be intervieiwng with that I am in grad school. I feel like I have to, since I would need to have a flexible schedule. Should I wait to ask about my schedule being changed only if they offer me the positon like I did at my current job. Thing is though I feel like once they hear my major, since it is totally unrelated to this field, they might be hesistent in hiring me knowing that once I graduate I will be leaving or knowing that this job will just be a job for now, not a career. Of course I was going to tell them I had just started school so they at least think they will have me for at least 2 years. I was thinking of lying and telling them I am getting my masters in human resources or something related to the business world since most of my interviews are in that filed. How do I approach this?
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Old 1st December 2007, 12:46 AM   #2
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I would caution you to never lie - it can always bite you later. Also if you are going to grad school for something related to your job, why wouldn't you be seeking tuition reimbursement?

I would be up front on the interview about needing a flexible work schedule. If I were hiring I would actually be annoyed if the applicant didn't tell me until after receiving the offer and would be less accomodating if I found out after the fact.

But that's just my opinion.
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Old 1st December 2007, 6:58 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by curiousnycgirl View Post
I would caution you to never lie - it can always bite you later. Also if you are going to grad school for something related to your job, why wouldn't you be seeking tuition reimbursement?

I would be up front on the interview about needing a flexible work schedule. If I were hiring I would actually be annoyed if the applicant didn't tell me until after receiving the offer and would be less accomodating if I found out after the fact.

But that's just my opinion.
I am working in a field UNRELATED to my major.
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Old 1st December 2007, 7:40 PM   #4
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Apologies yes I understood that from your post, my point was if you lie aout your major, then your employe will wonder why you are not seeking tuition reibursement, sorry.
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Old 3rd December 2007, 11:04 PM   #5
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Personally, I would wait until you are offered the job to mention grad school. If you bring it up during the interview, it's easy for the employer to decide it's not worth the hassle of rearranging your schedule. If you wait until they've already decided they want you to work for them, they'll be more willing to accommodate you. As the previous poster said, I wouldn't lie about it if asked, but I wouldn't be the one to mention it first.
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Old 4th December 2007, 9:51 PM   #6
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Personally, I would wait until you are offered the job to mention grad school. If you bring it up during the interview, it's easy for the employer to decide it's not worth the hassle of rearranging your schedule. If you wait until they've already decided they want you to work for them, they'll be more willing to accommodate you. As the previous poster said, I wouldn't lie about it if asked, but I wouldn't be the one to mention it first.
So should I not even ask about the hours during the interview? I have an interview later on this week. The recruiter has been very persistent in contacting me about a few different openings they have in the company. I did ask her when we spoke on the phone if the hours were flexible and I don't remeber what she said but she did write down that I would prefer to work earlier hours then the normal start time. So if I don't bring up anything about school, and if they bring why I asked about the flexible schedule or why do I want to come in early to leave earlier what do I say?
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Old 4th December 2007, 10:26 PM   #7
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I would be deliberately vague in answering those kinds of questions. In fact, that borders on illegal questioning - they can't ask you if you're married, or have kids, or any of that stuff. It could be that you need a flexible schedule so you can pick your kids up from school, but they can't ask you that. I would say that sometimes you have errands or other obligations during business hours and would appreciate a flexible schedule to allow time for those things.

I always ask about flexibility when I interview for jobs, and I'm not even in school any more. I want to know whether I can run downtown and pay my water bill, or when I can schedule doctor appointments, or whether I'll be able to flex off for my son's classroom parties at school. It's none of their business why I need to be able to do it.
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Old 14th December 2007, 1:09 PM   #8
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Hmmmm... I can understand your desire to keep this on the QT until an offer has been made, but I can tell you that as an employer, I HATE last-minute surprises in the hiring process.

I'm hiring to fill a need, and I have some idea how a potential hire will fit into what I'm doing. In all liklihood, I have some flexibility about exactly how it's done, but that depends a lot on the specifics of the position. If someone has been up-front, and told me they're going to school, or whatever, and would appreciate some flexibility, we can then have an honest discussion about the limits of how flexible I can be, and still have my business needs met. We'll then figure out whether that's workable or not.

However, if I've been planning around a normal schedule, and have no idea that accommodations might be needed, and then someone springs it on me at the last possible minute, I'm going to be a) ticked off, and b) wondering what else relevant to the position you haven't mentioned yet. In all probability, I'd conclude that you weren't interested in working with my team as a forthright partner. I'd seriously consider whether to withdraw the offer, based on your lack of forthrightness about your availability. At best, I'd say that the offer assumed normal hours, you're welcome to the job under those conditions, but we can't offer flexibility at this time. I'd then watch your probationary period VERY closely.

Long story short, as an employer, I'm hugely supportive of the fact that people are doing other things. Family, school, hobbies, side businesses, whatever. In return, I expect that my team is supportive of what I'm trying to do, which is run a business that makes enough money to pay their salaries, and hopefully enough that I make money also. I don't respond well to people who are trying to 'work the system', or hide things relevant to their work performance.

If you don't want to tell me that you're in school, that's your choice, no problem. You can also ask for a schedule modification without giving a reason, and if I can make it work, I will. But dropping something on me at the last minute, that you knew from the beginning was going to be the kind of issue that would keep you from taking the job, doesn't bode well for the kind of employee you're likely to be.

Hope this helps - I've worked and managed at many different types of organizations, and in some, you're right on - mentioning it at the end is better. In others, it's a show-stopper. Unfortunately, it's awfully hard to tell which is which in advance.
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Old 14th December 2007, 1:20 PM   #9
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People rarely hire for perpetuity. It's expected that if someone is young and bright, they will be ambitious and want to drive ahead, whether it's in the same field or a different one. Also, students sometimes change their minds, when they get into a field they really enjoy and excel at.

I don't feel you need to tell them that this job is a stop-gap but I don't see why you had to hide it. Unless your major is basketweaving or connecting with spirits, it can only look good on a resume/CV.
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