Before Taking an Expat Assignment, Make Sure Your Family Is on Board

Getting an expat assignment can be exciting, but it can also be hard on your family. Before accepting a temporary reassignment to another country, think it through with your partner or family. Be sure to frame the decision as a real choice:

Should we go or stay?

And consider the degree of change: If you live in Amsterdam, relocating to Brussels is very different from moving to Guangzhou, China.

Then go through the pros and cons of each alternative, laying out the full implications for your children or extended family, your career — and your partner’s — and your support networks.

Try to anticipate and discuss how the change would affect family dynamics — e.g., shifting from a dual-career marriage to one where a spouse stays at home, or replacing a grandmother babysitter with a professional nanny.

These discussions will not only shape your decision about the assignment but also help set expectations and prevent resentment later on.

Adapted from “Making Your Expat Assignment Easier on Your Family,” by Katia Vlachos


Trevor Lee



Panel Interviews

A Great Way to Learn More and

Naturally Control Emotions 

If you want to save time, learn more and eliminate your emotional biases, try a Panel Interview.

If done correctly, it can be one of the most effective tools for assessing competency. Shorter interviews test chemistry and fit, but tend to be superficial.

Remember, “interview” personality is not the same as “on-the-job” personality.

Here is some basic advice on conducting a panel interview:

▸ Make sure each interviewer has reviewed the resume and performance profile before the interview.

▸ Tell the candidate beforehand that there will be a panel interview – No surprises

▸ Avoid intimidating the candidate by limiting the panel to 3-4 people. Use a round table.

▸ Assign a leader.

The leader is responsible for:

□ Keeping the group on topic – Only leaders can change the topic. Other interviewers should be observant and ask fact-finding and follow-up questions for clarification

□ Making sure each important topic is explored completely. Don’t change subjects too quickly. Explore each topic thoroughly and weave a thread around the topic with follow-up questions, fact-finding, and examples.

□ Keeping the discussion moving. Once a topic is fully explored, move on to another topic quickly.

□ Making sure other interviewers don’t come in with a list of prepared questions.

▸ Ask the candidate to visualize how they would solve a specific job related challenge. Get into a give-and-take discussion using the “visualize” question (i.e., How would you handle the task or solve the problem, if you were to get the job?).

▸ Give the candidate a take-home problem to present in the panel session. This fosters a “real life” discussion about the job and makes the interview more of a working session.

Trevor Lee – EP International