Posts Tagged ‘Salary Negotiation’

The Worst Interview Advice People Love to Give

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

So, you’ve passed the difficult hurdle of actually landing an interview, navigating the resume submission process and perhaps even passing an obligatory phone screen.

Keen to avoid any obvious mistakes, you ask around for advice from friends, family, maybe even coworkers (or former colleagues), especially if you’re a bit of a novice at interviewing. And people are always willing to give advice, whether it’s about what to wear, what to talk about, how to answer certain questions, or what to bring along. And while undoubtedly some of what they say might be helpful, it can be difficult to determine what to follow and what to ignore.

So here is some advice that you won’t hear from the experts (i.e., the kind of stuff you can probably ignore). Some of these tips seem common sense enough, or have become conventional wisdom to the point where they frequently show up on top 10 lists… but in this case, you’re better off not following them:


Always wear a suit

Yes, you want to look put-together and professional, but it’s more important to fit in with the vibe of the company than show up dressed to the nines. Wearing a suit when everyone at the office is dressed more casually sends the message ‘I don’t understand your culture.

An easy trick: check out a site like Glassdoor to get a feel for the office culture, and dress one or two steps up from that. Dressing appropriately shows your interviewer that you took the time to research and understand the company, which ultimately tells them you care.

Make sure you arrive in plenty of time

While arriving late to a job interview is definitely a huge no-no, experts agree that arriving too early can also hurt your chances at landing the job.

There is a fine line between showing interest and looking desperate, and you don’t want to send the wrong message.

Arriving more than 15 minutes early can be frustrating for a hiring manager especially because it could throw a curveball into their schedule. Instead, if you want to make extra sure you arrive on time, head to a coffee shop in the area of the interview early and hang tight there until your scheduled time.

Say ‘I’m a perfectionist’ when asked, ‘What’s your greatest weakness?’

Everyone has heard the classic advice to say something that’s actually a strength when asked what your biggest weakness is. But while this may seem like a sneaky way to make yourself seem more qualified, it actually comes off as fake and cliché.

You’re missing an opportunity to demonstrate self-awareness and a willingness to adapt.

Instead, honestly explain one of your weaknesses, then say what you’re doing to fix it. This way, instead of presenting a problem, you’re presenting a solution.

Be yourself

You want to show your interviewer why you’re the best person for the job, not wait for them to figure it out on their own. It’s your job as the candidate to figure out what the hiring manager is looking for and tell a story that shows you meet those requirements.

You should never lie or present a false version of yourself, but it’s important to play up your best features and make a memorable first impression.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can just be who you are. You need to nail those first few seconds by carrying the right props, sitting in the right place, and handling the handshake properly.


Don’t ask about salary

Staying silent throughout the interview process about salary could send the signal that you’ll be happy with any job offer they make.

You have to bring up salary by your second job interview at the latest, or you will be walking straight into the common and frustrating scenario where you get presented with an insultingly low-ball offer, because you never asked, ‘What does this job pay?’

While you don’t want to put money first, asking about the pay range for the job sooner rather than later can save you countless wasted hours and energy on a job that won’t pay what you want.

So, any of this sound familiar? Amazing how what people say over and over again can so frequently be wrong.

Of course, your own experience may vary, especially if you’ve already interviewed with many companies over the course of your career. But when you’re just starting out, always remember to dig a little deeper into conventional wisdom; sometimes it pays to not just follow the crowd.

Good luck!

The Worst Job Interview Advice People Love to Give | Emmie Martin via Business Insider

Salary Negotiations: The Lie of Leverage and the Pursuit of Gain

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

A pay hike or a salary increase is something every professional eagerly looks forward to.

Many professionals, however, wait to renegotiate their salary with their existing employer until after they have received an offer from another employer, using it as leverage. This is generally not the best idea, as many people who accept a counteroffer and stay at their current company inevitably leave within a matter of months. This stems from a number of factors:

  1. By even contemplating another offer, you have shown disloyalty and the company will treat you accordingly going forward.
  2. If your company knows you are entertaining other offers, they will likely build their plans for the department and organization without you. They will utilize the time they bought by giving you a raise to find your replacement.
  3. You will likely find yourself at the end of the line when it comes to future pay increases and/or promotions, which will encourage you to leave on your own.

The fact is that employers do not want to lose experienced, talented, and loyal employees to rival firms and thus it is not generally necessary to obtain that sort of leverage. A salary negotiation discussion can commence with either a direct conversation with your boss or with the human resources department, depending on your company’s structure. Here are a few tips to take your salary negotiation forward:

  1. Be clear about what why you think you deserve the increase. HR managers are used to salary increase requests coming in from employees at all levels. They will not necessarily be inclined to give an increase unless it is justified (and having problems paying your mortgage will, unfortunately, not be sufficient; neither will complaints about other workers making more than you, for whatever reason). It is important, therefore, to provide concrete examples of your achievements, typically, though not always, through a direct employee evaluation.
  2. Be aware of your own worth and do your best to invest in its increase. Build your skill set via training, education, and certification, acquiring skills that may be transferable to other jobs in the future. This will not only help you become more indispensable to your current team but also to your company as a whole and may provide you the background to transition into a new department or into a manager role in the future (bringing with it an increase in salary).
  3. When entering negotiations, do not start off by giving a specific number or percentage. Employers will often ask for this information upfront but it’s generally best to avoid the temptation to provide it. Instead, begin by showing what you have done in the past year and what you plan to do in the coming months and years for the company and ask the employer what he or she believes those past and future achievements are worth. This will get the negotiations started and by then bringing in industry figures, past salary history, etc., you will be in a firm position from which to negotiate the best possible increase. Be polite but firm. This isn’t Oliver Twist asking “Please, sir, may I have some more?”; you deserve it.