Are interviewers asking candidates about ‘quiet quitting’? - Albuquerque Journal

Are interviewers asking candidates about ‘quiet quitting’?

Jeanine “J.T.” Tanner O’Donnell is a career coach and the founder of the leading career site Dale Dauten is founder of The Innovators’ Lab and author of a novel about H.R., “The Weary Optimist.”

Dear J.T. & Dale: “Quiet quitting” is becoming a well-known topic. Are there any reports on interview questions surrounding this? They may not actually ask specifically — it could be questions that sneakily get you to answer. What’s the word on this? — Elle

DALE: Let me start with a bit of background on the questionable term “quiet quitting.” Turns out, it’s a misnomer, because it doesn’t involve leaving one’s job, but rather, describes those employees quitting any attempt to excel or to contribute beyond minimum job requirements. So, the term is merely a new name for “slackers,” or those “just getting by,” or, as I’ve written about them, “the ALAPs,” the As Little As Possible employees. Thanks to the work of Greg Daugherty at, I can also tell you that “quiet quitting” was popularized earlier this year by TikTok (of course) and YouTube videos, and is related to a slightly less recent Chinese term that translates to “lying flat.” The Chinese notion makes more sense as it suggests avoiding being seen by supervisors, a workers’ strategy that surely predates the pyramids.

J.T.: I have not heard any report of companies asking directly about an applicant’s thoughts on quiet quitting. However, it could come up and, if you’re asked about it, I suggest framing the discussion by asking the interviewer, “Can you clarify what that term means to you?” This gives you a chance to tailor your response, saying something about proper communication and assuring the hiring manager that this is something you would participate in. At the same time, any company that is so worried about quiet quitting that they’re asking about it in an interview should be regarded as a red flag. Pay close attention to what they say about work-life balance and their expectations of employees’ time commitments.

Dear J.T. & Dale: I was with my former company for five years. I was then recruited by a company (same industry but not a competitor) that offered me double the pay. Well, it’s awful here. I don’t have confidence that the company is going to even survive. Truthfully, I want to go back to my old job, which is still open. What’s the best way to approach my former employer? I really would like them to acknowledge that I was doing a great job and at least pay me more to come back, but, at this point, I’d take the job just to get out of here. — Jeremy

DALE: I’m surprised by how often we’re getting asked similar questions. I suspect that the tight labor market has caused some employers to offer big jumps in pay and to, perhaps, be less than candid about working conditions. Even so, doubling pay is an extreme case and I think it’s also your conversational home-free card. Often, there’s resentment toward people who quit the team and suspicions about why they want to return; here, though, being offered double the salary is enough to explain/justify your leaving and it fits with a prodigal son return.

J.T.: Maybe. First, you need to start by getting clear about why you chose to leave: was it truly only the money? And did you have some honest conversations with management prior to looking for a job where you’d make more? You have to own up to your past actions in order to be able to go to them and have an honest conversation about returning. I would reach out to your manager and ask if you can chat directly. This kind of thing is too sensitive to do via email. And then I would share the story of the money and how you didn’t realize what you were getting into. I would then ask them if they would ever consider hiring you back. If they show interest, you could talk about the fact that one of the reasons that made you want to leave was the pay and could they find their way to pay you a bit more money. These are always difficult conversations, and I find the best thing to do is be transparent and sincere.

Jeanine “J.T.” Tanner O’Donnell is a career coach and the founder of the leading career site Dale Dauten is founder of The Innovators’ Lab and author of a novel about H.R., “The Weary Optimist.” Please visit them at, where you can send questions via email, or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803. (c) 2022 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

Home » Business » Are interviewers asking candidates about ‘quiet quitting’?

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email

taboola desktop

UNM's Anderson School of Management names new interim dean
ABQnews Seeker
Current Dean Mitzi Montoya is departing ... Current Dean Mitzi Montoya is departing for a University of Utah job.
How does someone abandon an investment?
ABQnews Seeker
Q: I acquired a 10% interest ... Q: I acquired a 10% interest in a real estate partnership in 2018. The partnership is a Delaware entity and the property is in ...
Legislation aims to add protections for renters
Real Estate
Councilor says new bill would regulate ... Councilor says new bill would regulate fees, provide information up front
Could EV charging stations become targets?
ABQnews Seeker
Sandia researchers sound alarm on potential ... Sandia researchers sound alarm on potential cyberattacks
Asian shares mostly decline ahead of Fed chair's key ...
Most Recent Biz News
TOKYO (AP) -- Asian shares were ... TOKYO (AP) -- Asian shares were mostly lower Wednesday ahead of a closely watched speech by the Federal Reserve chief that may give clues ...
Mayor says NYC will treat mentally ill, even if ...
Health & Safety
NEW YORK (AP) -- New York ... NEW YORK (AP) -- New York City's mayor on Tuesday said he was directing police and city medics to be more aggressive about getting ...
US rule would limit methane leaks from public lands ...
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Interior Department ... WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Interior Department on Monday proposed rules to limit methane leaks from oil and gas drilling on public lands, the latest ...
Biden calls on Congress to head off potential rail ...
Most Recent Biz News
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- President Joe ... OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- President Joe Biden on Monday asked Congress to intervene and block a railroad strike before next month's deadline in the ...
Nursing home found negligent in resident's choking death after ...
ABQnews Seeker
Jury awards more than $750,000 in ... Jury awards more than $750,000 in damages