Over the last several years, there's been plenty of back-and-forth between Millennials and Baby Boomers over their work ethics. Each criticizes the other for their definitions of what "hard work" looks like. To Boomers, it's about "paying your dues" and putting in the time. To Millennials, it's about getting creative and "working smarter, not harder" to free up time.

Whichever work ethic you prefer, one thing stands true: if your definition doesn't match that of your manager's, you'll be the one out the door!

Ask this in your next job interview to reveal the hiring manager's preferred work ethic.

One of the best behavioral questions you can ask a hiring manager in an interview is: 

"Tell me about the most successful new hire you've had in the last couple of years. What did this person do to get up-to-speed and how did they exceed your expectations so quickly?"

This question is helpful for two reasons.

First, it forces the hiring manager to define what a "successful" employee is to them. Second, it details the work ethic they applied to be successful. Based on the hiring manager's response, you'll be able to quickly understand whether your work ethic is a match. Better to know now then to take the job and find out you won't be respected for your efforts.

P.S. - This isn't the only question you should ask!

Good job interviews involve two-way communication. Besides preparing to answer a lot of questions, you should also have a list of prepared questions to ask in the interview. This shows the hiring manager your level of interest and enables you to further convey your knowledge and expertise. Failing to do this can make you look unprepared and uninterested. It's already very tough to get a job interview these days. Don't blow it by being unprepared to engage the hiring manager in a meaningful conversation!