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.
At the end of every interview, you will normally be given the opportunity to pose questions to the employer. If it is a fiercely contested vacancy, here’s your chance to edge ahead of the field. The responses you are given will also offer insight into whether or not a move to this company is in the best interests of your long-term career plan.
The salary question is a stressful one. But it doesn’t have to derail your job interview. With some thoughtful research, honest soul searching, and careful scripting, you can answer the question with poise every time. Follow these steps.
“What are your salary requirements?”
That question – or any of its many variations – initiates one of the trickiest, most consequential decisions you’ll have to make when communicating with a potential employer.
How should you respond?
With forethought, a well prepared answer, and a clear, confident tone, sure.
But what should you say?
That depends… on a number of factors.
If you write “salary negotiable” on the application, it might keep you in the running and buy you some time to figure out a more specific response. But employers are looking for candidates who understand the market, know themselves, and are confident placing a dollar figure on their professional worth. If you just keep dodging the question by saying it’s all negotiable, you look timid and unprepared for the actual negotiation.
At the same time, your answer need to vary from employer to employer. Here’s how to determine – and adjust – your response for each opportunity:
Without ever, ever trashing your competition