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Resignation Guide

Behavioral Interviewing

When you are job searching, it is important to be prepared to handle behavioral interviewing.  This is an interviewing technique where the applicant is asked to describe past behavior in order to determine whether he/she is suitable for a position.  Employers use this type of interview to get insight into how you handle specific situations in the workplace.  The interviewer will want examples of what happened, what you did, and how you achieved a positive outcome.

Behavioral Interviewing Strategies

Before you head out to a job interview, take the time to prepare in advance.  You may, or may not, be asked behavioral interview questions, but it is best to be prepared.

Research the Job and Company

Taking the time to research both the company and the position will help you prepare to respond to interview questions and to ask questions.  You will also be able to find out whether the company and the company culture are a good fit for you.  Click here for tips on how to research the company to be well informed in advance.

Behavioral Interview Techniques

First of all, take your time.  It's fine to take a little time to frame your response.  If you are not sure how to answer a question, ask for clarification.  That will buy you some extra time to think about how to answer.  Then be sure to include these four points in your answer - situation, task, action, results.


  • (S)  A specific situation

  • (T)  The tasks that needed to be done

  • (A)  The action you took

  • (R)  The results (i.e., what happened)

Do keep in mind that there are no right or wrong answers to behavioral interview questions.  The interviewer's goal is to understand how you behaved in a given situation.  How you respond will determine if there is a match between your skills and the position the company is seeking to fill.

The best behavioral interview strategy includes listening carefully, be clear and detailed when you respond and, most importantly, be honest.  If your answers are not what the interviewer is looking for, this position may not be the best job for you anyway.

Follow Up After the Interview

Was there something you wished you had said during the interview but didn't get a chance to?  Your thank you note gives you a chance to mention it.  It is also an opportunity to reiterate your interest in the job and the company.  Here's how to follow up with a thank you note after an interview:

10 Tips to Resign Your Job with Professionalism and Pride (Resign with class and dignity)

Congratulations!  You just got an offer for a wonderful new job.  There is just one have to say good-bye to your current employer.

Maybe you loved your job and you face an emotional farewell.  Or, perhaps you hated every minute and you have been counting down the days until you can walk out the door for the last time.

Candidates often admit they are nervous about making the departure announcement.  They are afraid the boss will be angry.  They feel guilty about the work they are leaving behind.  They worry that their departure will cause more work for their coworkers since someone will have to take up the slack.

But Candidates also wonder how to resign gracefully yet still protect their own longer-term career interests. They suspect their departure style will influence their careers for a long time.  They are right.  After all, especially if you are transitioning to a company in the same geographical region, you are still likely to occasionally run into your old coworkers.  For those working in tech fields, you will probably encounter your former colleagues at conferences or on online forums.

How you go about leaving your old position will influence how others perceive you and interact with you in the future.  Here are some guidelines to help you move on to your next position with grace and style.

1.  Give the correct amount of notice required by your company's written policy.

Every so often, my Candidates feel sorry for their former colleagues and stick around an extra week (or even an extra month).  Inevitably, they begin to feel like a fifth wheel.  Nearly everyone says, "Next time, I'm leaving right away!"  A two-week notice is the longest length a person should offer the employer.

2.  After you leave, do not accept any job-related calls from your company unless you have a written consulting contract.

Your boss required two-weeks notice, then belatedly realized she needs four weeks for a smooth transition to your successor.  No matter what projects you might be working on, this is not your issue.  Your boss made a business decision to require two weeks of advance notice.  If she miscalculated, she needs to accept the cost, just as she would accept the cost of late payments to a supplier.

If your company needs additional help and you are willing, offer to work as a paid consultant with a contract.  If you do this, make sure to first get everything in writing and to make sure your new job becomes your number one priority.  You will also want to make sure your new employer is agreeable to you consulting with your old company.

3.  Study your current and future company policies regarding disclosures and non-compete agreements.

Some companies, especially in tech fields, are extremely proprietary about their process and their people.  Once you resign, you may have to leave the workplace immediately.  Or, your new company may ask you not to work for your former employer, even on a part-time or consulting basis.

4.  Resign to your boss in person and Human Resources in writing.

Telephone is second best.  Be sure to tell the boss before you tell anyone else - even your best friend or golfing buddy.

5.  Expect your boss to be professional.

Candidates often fear the boss' reaction.  However, bosses and managers are rarely caught by surprise.  Good bosses are happy to see their employees move ahead.  Thank her for the opportunity to learn, which has led to your newest and most wonderful career move.  Particularly in fields like software development, there's an expectation that employees will make career moves to improve their skills.

6.  Always take the HIGH road.  Thank your boss and your coworkers, even if you dislike them all and cannot wait to leave.

You may regard them more fondly through a haze of memories than through a glare of office lighting.  You may encounter them at conventions and networking groups.  And most likely, you will benefit from strong references and goodwill.

7.  Decline a counter-offer.

Sixty percent (60%) of people who accept a counter-offer are gone in six months and eighty-six percent (86%) within fifteen months.  Remember those reasons why you left in the first place very rarely go away and often companies and managers remember if times turn tough who were the ones in the past that they feel are loyal to them.

8.  Treat the exit interview as a business formality, not a therapy session.

When a Human Resource professional asks why you are leaving, be upbeat and positive:  "For a better opportunity elsewhere".  Talk about how much you loved the company and your job.  You never know where your comments might turn up in the future, mangled and misinterpreted.  This is the time to use the "It's me, not you!"

9.  Resist entreaties to share the details of your future position with anyone.

Occasionally, a colleague will try to assess your salary or other information "so we can stay competitive in recruiting".  Helping your company recruit is not part of your job and anyway, do you really believe this?

10.  Focus on your new opportunity -- not your past experience.


Once you are gone, you are history.  The very same folks who loved meeting you for lunch will likely barely remember your name a week later.  And, if you haven't changed jobs for a while, you may be in for a shock.  Your first day in a new position can be a real eye-opener!

Candidate Resource Center

Here are helpful tools to use during the recruiting process.

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