What They’re Really Asking
During a job interview, an applicant may ask a question like, “Aside from such visible compensation as money, fringe benefits, travel, etc., what kinds of mental dividends (such as job satisfaction) does this career yield?”
The applicant asks this question to help determine how happy he will be in this position. He understands that monetary compensation is just one part of what makes a job worthwhile and he wants to be invested in a company that he can feel good about.
Points to Emphasize
When you answer this question, you can focus on any positive aspects of the workplace.
- Mention the company’s mission statement in order to emphasize its passion for excellence.
- Make reference to established employees who have expressed happiness with their job.
- Tell the applicant any specific things that the company does to boost employee morale such as a community-centered business model.
- Discuss the ways in which the job can boost an employee’s awareness, understanding or skillset.
- Discuss any positive effects the company has on those they serve.
That a prospective employee wants job satisfaction that goes beyond the material is generally a good sign. Answering this question should be relatively straightforward.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
While this question may be easy to answer, there are certain statements you’ll want to avoid:
- Don’t turn it back on the applicant, saying that each person is responsible for his own happiness, as that could come across as unsupportive.
- Don’t insist that visible compensation and mental dividends are one and the same, as this detracts from a positive work ethic.
- You don’t have to limit yourself just to job satisfaction but can also mention job security and the growth of the field, etc.
- Avoid discussing any unhappiness you or others feel in the workplace; rather, keep it positive.
In order to reassure the applicant, you’ll want to avoid any negative talk or dissatisfaction.
A great example of how to answer a question about mental dividends is the following:
In addition to the traditional, monetary compensation that we offer our employees, we also find that those who work for us really feel like they get to make a difference in people’s lives. We’ve had so many consumers thank us personally for our products, whether through email, letters or on the phone. We place much this correspondence on a wall in our break room in order to remind ourselves of the real impact we are making on others’ lives.
A good applicant will want a job that gives rewards that go past monetary compensation, so anyone who asks this question is aware of the importance of loving one’s job.