I'm a student attending university. I currently live in city X and my family and I have been planning on moving to city Y for 2 years, but it always gets postponed for one reason or another. It's been postponed multiple times and me moving depends on my family finalizing it. My parents said it is basically finalized that we're moving in 1 month and a half. Note that last few times my parents said that it's "finalized", it never happened.

With that said, I need money to pay off tuition, car, food, housing etc. I applied to jobs (local restaurants, clothing stores and even part-time computer jobs because I'm a programmer). I got an interview with an IT company (not possible for me to work from home). During the interview, they asked how long I plan to keep the job. My response was "I don't know, until I feel that I no longer need the position" (I know, horrible response but it was like my 4th ever interview and I'm still getting the hang of it). They followed it up by saying "just keep in mind that it is a part-time job and there may be weeks where you work very few hours so you shouldn't expect to be promoted to full-time and shouldn't expect a raise in salary".

I agreed. They also asked if I was okay with working while taking university courses (they assumed that I'll be here in September taking courses when university starts).

They called me back for a 2nd interview. At this point I think my chances of getting the job are pretty high. But I also think that if I tell them "although I'm not sure how long I plan on keeping the job, there is a possibility that I may quit 4 weeks after getting the job", it will significantly hurt my chances of getting the job.

As a student, I need the money this job offers and gaining the experience will be good too, even if I can't use this employer as references.

With that said, in the 2nd interview, should I mention that there is a possibility that I may leave 4 weeks after getting the job even if it will significantly hurt my chances of getting the job?

  • Just wondering, why do you feel the need to tell them "I may quit after 4 weeks"? To be honest, it's probably quite often that the proposition "I may quit after 4 weeks if so and so conditions are met" is true. But why not instead focus on the positive things that you want that would make you want the job and keep the job (steady part-time work flow, responsibilities in line with the experience you want to gain, etc.) – Brandin Jul 24 '15 at 5:52
  • @Brandin On one extreme, some might say "it's the interviewee's job to mention that he might quit in 4 weeks because the information is so important and it can really determine whether or not the interviewee should get the job. The interviewee must warn the employer that the employer might have to go through another hiring process in a month if the interviewee gets hired". On the other extreme, people might say "The interviewee does not need to mention it. If the interviewee is asked how long he plans to stay, the interviewee can simply say "as long as I can keep the job" which is the truth." – user18703 Jul 24 '15 at 6:14
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    I guess I mean more to flip the conversation a bit. Your phrasing as proposed is "if X is true, I will leave in 4 weeks". I mean it is more productive to both parties here instead to phrase this as "if Y, then I will be a satisfied employee who is on board" – Brandin Jul 24 '15 at 6:20
  • @Brandin Oh, I see what you mean now, and what you are suggesting seems like a great idea. I never thought about that. Basically what you're saying is, mention my situation that I May move to a different city, but if I don't, then I will definitely be a satisfied employee who is on board. I'll wait and see what other's say in reply to this post, but I'll keep in mind to phrase it like that if I do end up mentioning during the interview that I might leave in 4 weeks. – user18703 Jul 24 '15 at 6:26
  • No I mean focus on what the employer can do to make you want to stay, i.e. positive things that you want that make it good for both parties. Possibility of moving is presumably always there no matter what the employer does so don't mention that. Besides, even if you do end up moving that doesn't necessarily mean you'll quit your job. It sounds like you're being a little pessimistic (well, I may move... so...), be optimistic on what you want in the job (here's what I want... if I had that, I wouldn't want to leave). – Brandin Jul 24 '15 at 6:33

When you start a new job, there is always the possibility that the employer figures out within four weeks that they don't like you, or you figure out within four weeks that you don't like the company, and in either case you leave. There's the possibility that you find the love of your live next week and move 2,000 miles away. No need to tell the employer. They know that.

All that you can achieve is that you are not going to get the job. It's simply a shared responsibility: Your responsibility is to look after your interests, and the company's responsibility is to look after their interest. And believe me, they are better at it than you are. No need to help them. That should be your first question: How does it benefit me?

  • okay thanks. And what happens if I'm asked "how long do I plan to stay with the company?" during the 2nd interview? How should I respond? – user18703 Jul 25 '15 at 18:59
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    Good question. Tell the truth. I mean tell something that isn't a lie. Like "I'd love to stay here as long as I'm needed, or until it's time for me to get a permanent job". – gnasher729 Jul 25 '15 at 22:30

I think you should not tell them because your parents' transfer has been postponed several times in the past and there is no guarantee it won't be postponed this time. So basically you are not sure about transfer. So why tell your potential employer this when you yourself is not sure how long you will be there? And even if your parents move to city Y you can commute to this workplace if city Y is not very far from city X (your current city).

  • Right, makes sense. My current city is actually very far from the city I'm planning on moving to so I'd definietely have to quit the job. But on a side note, if I am asked "how long do I plan to stay?" again in the 2nd interview, how should I answer it? – user18703 Jul 25 '15 at 18:58

Given your parents' history of saying that you'll all move and then you don't, my attitude is pretty much "I'll believe it when it happens"

Act as if your parents moving until they actually instruct you to put things in boxes. At that point and only at that point, let your employer know that your parents have decided to move and in your case, where ever they go is where you go.

It's part-time job, so your employer should have no trouble finding an adequate replacement for you. And don't feel too guilty about giving notice, no one employee is or should be irreplaceable.

Once thing you need to learn as a professional is to make decisions based on the facts at hand while accommodating for the maybes, some of which can be quite disruptive if they happen. The fact at hand is that your parents haven't instructed you to pack things up as of yet. You can manage the maybe that you will move by giving adequate notice - one to two weeks - to your part-time employer.

And yeah - know your parents, too :) Otherwise, you'll go insane.

  • @VietnthiPhuvan Okay got it. I also commented on the other responses but I'll comment here as well just to get other people's perspectives. If I'm asked "How long do I plan to stay with the company?" during the 2nd interview, how should I respond? – user18703 Jul 25 '15 at 19:01
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    Chances are extremely good that they won't be asking that question - you're a part-timer and a college student, so they know that you won't hang around for ever. Simply say, I graduate in June ..." and leave it at that. My thinking is that you're going to be holding to that job unless something changes. You are not planning anything, it's your parents who are doing any and all planning. When and if you move are simply out of your control, so don't think about it. They asked you about YOUR plans not your parents' plans. – Vietnhi Phuvan Jul 25 '15 at 19:37

It depends upon the role.

If the job is as a cleaner, probably. It's not worth them hiring you then to have to go through the whole hiring process again in a month.

If the job is as a white-collar worked, yes (without a doubt). When dealing with graduate programmers, I do not expect to get any useful work out of them for 6 months.

  • That's your problem. Not the employees problem. – gnasher729 Jul 25 '15 at 14:58

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