In your job search, you’ve likely visited your share of employer websites. If you’ve been at it for a while, you’ve also probably applied for jobs online. In other words, you have endured the seemingly endless procession of screens, asking you increasingly private and confidential questions. It’s part of the process. And if you want to be considered for the job, you accept that you need to answer them. After all, “it’s policy.”
Today’s Minnesota jobs market favors candidates, but finding a job can still be a daunting prospect for many applicants. For ‘first time’ job seekers one of the most difficult aspects of the entire hiring process is salary negotiation.
In recent months we’ve seen a rise in the number of counter-offers offered to candidates as sought after skills becoming harder to find. As the labor market improves, we expect to see the number and strength of these counter-offers increase.
Whether you’ve been in the full-time work force for a week or a couple of decades, you’ve probably noticed that there is no shortage of “career advancement” advice out there. But have you noticed that most of that advice is pretty narrow? So narrow, in fact, that it goes in one direction only: up, up, up. Any great career coach, recruiter or mentor can give you solid advice on how to ascend the all-important promotion track. But what if you love what you’re doing right now? What if you don’t have the skills – or the aptitude – to take on that job one rung up the corporate ladder? Conversely, maybe you’re one of the growing number of successful professionals who are more than qualified to succeed in that bigger job – but you just don’t want it. You may fear that it would rob you of precious family or social time.
Congratulations, you’ve been invited for an interview! That means the employer has seen something in your resume that matches the requirements of the job you’ve applied for. The next step is to build on that initial impression during your interview. Attending your first interview can be a nerve-wracking experience, so we’ve put together our five golden rules to help reduce your anxiety levels:
You have an interview lined up. You’ve rehearsed answers to typical questions and you’re fairly confident you’re prepared for whatever the hiring manager will fire your way. You may know what you should say, but are you certain about what you shouldn't?
The interviewer asks, point blank, “what is your salary requirement?” And there you are, trying to present yourself as forthright, easy to work with, and clear about what you need. It’s a tricky business, refusing to answer without looking rude, unprepared or both. With thoughtful preparation, a little online homework, and careful scripting, you can navigate your way through these discussions masterfully.
Emerging from a job interview that went really well is a great feeling. You answered all the questions just as you wanted, put some relevant ones of your own forward and the hiring manager was hinting at a job offer. After a few days without a phone call or e-mail from the employer you naturally begin to get anxious. As a few more days pass by, doubts and frustration begin to creep in.
As a candidate, it’s essential to pull out all of the stops to enhance your chances in a job interview, especially where a vacancy is hotly contested.
Sending a post-interview thank you note is your final opportunity to remind the employer why you are the ideal candidate for the role by demonstrating where your skills and background are an ideal fit for their vacancy. If you’re guilty of sending a standard ‘thank you’ note – or not sending one at all – try the following after your next interview:
Preparing for a great job interview is a job in itself. You’ve done your homework on the company, perfected your resume, answered every question will clarity and confidence. By the time it’s over, you may be tempted to breathe a sigh of relief and think that the ball is now in their court. Well, it’s not. Not quite. Your interviewers invested their time and energy to meet with you. You not only owe them a thank you; you have one more opportunity to remind them of your qualifications for the job.