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Putting Your Best Foot Forward: Effective Interviewing and Salary Negotiation Techniques


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Title: Putting Your Best Foot Forward: Effective Interviewing and Salary Negotiation Techniques

Putting Your Best Foot Forward Effective
Interviewing and Salary Negotiation Techniques
Patricia A. Paolucci Associate Director, Career
Services Graduate and Continuing/Career
Education Assumption College

Putting Your Best Foot Forward
  • Preparation is key!
  • This workshop will discuss
  • what to research
  • questions to prepare for and to ask
  • presenting yourself professionally
  • successful negotiation strategies

Interviewing Is…
  • A two-way dialogue to
  • convey your marketable skills, key strengths, and
    motivation to convince employer that you are the
    best choice for the position
  • determine if position and company meet your
    professional interests/ goals and are the best
    choice for you

What Do Interviewers Look For? (source NACE)
  • Applicable job-related skills
  • Communication skills (written and verbal)
  • Analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Team skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Motivation and enthusiasm
  • Honesty, integrity, and work ethic
  • Adaptability
  • Fit

Do Your Homework
  • Research the employer/job/field
  • Company web site, annual reports, other
  • Online or print articles
  • Competitor web sites
  • Professional association web sites
  • Library reference area
  • Career web sites such as vault.com,
    bpl.org/research/kbb, wetfeet.com, ONet Online,

Do Your Homework
  • Use networking contacts to learn more about the
    organization, position, or connect you to a
    company colleague
  • Research the interviewer(s)
  • Use this information to develop the
  • questions youll ask

What They Want to Know Is…
  • Why are you here?
  • Why this company and not another?
  • Why this position?
  • What can you do for us?
  • What are your skills?
  • How will you be part of the solution?
  • What kind of person are you?
  • Are you easy to work with?
  • Do you share our company values?
  • Why you? What sets you apart?
  • Do you work faster? Show up earlier? Stay
  • later? Have a better education? Go the extra
  • Can we afford you?
  • How much will it cost to get you?

Tough but Common Questions
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • Have you ever faced a difficult work situation?
    How did you handle it?
  • Have you ever disagreed with your manager about a
    work situation, and how did you resolve it?
  • What did you like least about your last job?

Now Its Your Turn to Ask the Questions
  • Gives you more information about the job and the
  • Demonstrates your interest
  • Conveys your capabilities and knowledge
  • Helps to build rapport
  • Gives you some control

Key Questions You Need to Ask
  • What are the key qualifications you are seeking?
  • How will success be determined (or measured)?
  • How would you characterize your management style?
  • How does this position interact with your
    function? (to be asked in group or serial
  • What are the initial challenges to be handled by
    the successful candidate within the first six

Before the Interview--Practice!
  • Break down the job description, and prepare
    accomplishment-oriented stories that demonstrate
    a match
  • Practice with a friend, roommate, family member,
    or aloud by yourself
  • Prepare an answer to the Tell me about yourself
  • Use your personal commercial, with attention
  • given to experience, education, skills, and
  • accomplishments related to the job
  • Do not memorize answers try for spontaneity

Before the Interview Ends...
  • Let the interviewer(s) know you want the job!
  • Summarize your applicable skills
  • Ask
  • Is there any additional information I can
  • provide at this time?
  • Do I have the qualifications youre looking
  • for?
  • What is the next step? When may I expect
  • to hear from you?
  • May I contact you about the status if I
  • havent heard from you by X date?

Getting Interview-Ready
  • Confirm time, address, and room location
  • Ask who youll be interviewing with and title (if
    team, ask for all)
  • Map out the route and take a trial run

Professional Presentation Dress for Success
  • Wear clean, pressed, conservative clothing
  • Wear low-key colors (navy, black, grey)
  • Leather portfolios and briefcases are good
  • Avoid smoking in your interview clothing
  • Wear conservative jewelry, make-up, and nail
    polish remove piercings hide tattoos
  • Polish your shoes
  • Avoid using cologne, perfume, or strong

Professional Presentation Body Language and
  • Use a firm, confident handshake
  • Smile good posture look and remain confident,
    relaxed but attentive
  • Make eye contact
  • Speak clearly
  • Keep hands in a relaxed position on your lap or
    arms of chair, or carry a notepad to take notes
  • No gum chewing or smoking
  • Bring water refuse beverage if asked

Professional Presentation Body Language and
  • Most importantly, listen carefully and
  • communicate in a confident,
  • enthusiastic, and positive manner!

Interview Etiquette
  • Arrive promptly (10 minutes in advance in order
    to compose yourself)--allow extra time for
    parking, traffic, written application, etc.
  • Answer questions fully but succinctly stay alert
    to interviewer attentiveness and demeanor if you
    think youre off track, ask
  • Never speak negatively about a previous employer
    or coworkers
  • Be courteous to everyone you encounter
  • Always thank the interviewer(s)
  • Ask for a business card

After the Interview
  • Send a thank-you letter within two days to ALL
    interviewers letters to each must be different
  • Highlight your skills and the notable aspects of
    discussion in your letter
  • Call the primary interviewer about the hiring
    decision to follow up if you havent heard back
    within timeframe

Everythings Negotiable

Negotiable Range10 to 30 of offer
Employer Range ?
Your Range ?
60 of employers surveyed said they would
negotiate the offer. What strategies can you
employ to strike the salary deal?
Source CareerBuilder.com
Preliminary Considerations
  • Do you know what youre worth in the marketplace?
    Research salaries.
  • Do you have strong references? 30 of employers
    say strong references are key to making
  • Do you have other offers? 13 of employers are
    inclined to negotiate if you can show them a
    competitors offer.
  • Is it a jobhunters or employers market? Know
    how the economy is faring and what the demand is
    for your skills.

  • Source CareerBuilder.com

Conduct Salary Research
  • Salary calculators provide general pay ranges
    for specific titles by location (salary.com
  • Salary surveys periodic surveys of industries
    (vault.com jobstar.org idealist.org National
    Council of Nonprofit Associations ONet Online)
  • Salary comparison calculators cost-of-living
    comparisons (CNNMoney.com salary.com)
  • Networking contacts (optimal)
  • Professional organization web sites and journals
  • HR web sites and job ads

Conduct a Self-assessment
  • What has my research shown?
  • What would I realistically like to be earning?
  • How much do I need to live comfortably?
  • What is the amount I can settle for?

Salary Discussions
  • Defer salary discussion until final stages
  • -Never be the first to bring up salary
  • -If you are asked about salary in a screening
  • or initial interview, some possible
  • 1) I would like to gain more information
  • about the position before I can answer
  • 2) Can you tell me what the range is for
  • the position?
  • 3)Im sure that when I receive an offer
  • will be fair and within the market
  • 4) Im extremely interested in the
    position and
  • salary is negotiable.
  • 5) I would like to have the opportunity
  • hear about the entire compensation
  • before I can answer that.

Salary Discussions
  • If pressed, state a range of about 15k--the
    bottom should be your minimum amount.
  • Be sure that you strengthen your position
    initially by looking and acting the part, and
    highlighting accomplishments and results.

Getting the Offer
  • When salary figure is presented,
  • pause. Do not respond right away,
  • even if its the salary you want.

If the Amount is What You Desire…
  • Your response
  • Thats a generous offer. Im inclined to
  • accept the job, but before I give you
  • my decision, Id like to know when
  • salary reviews take place and what
  • salary path can be expected.
  • After discussion, if you like what you
  • hear, you can accept or ask for a day or
  • two to consider.

If the Amount is Lower…
  • Thank the interviewer. Then indicate
  • that your research has shown that
  • position range is up to x. Remind
  • interviewer of the strengths you bring,
  • that your skills and experience should
  • qualify you to come in at the top end of
  • the range. Be amicable but firm.
  • Two possible outcomes employer will
  • counter-offer, or hold to stated amount.

Continue the Discussion
  • If counter-offer is acceptable, follow
  • earlier guidelines.
  • If latter, possible options
  • Ask about salary review process and expected
    salary path. Suggest a 6-month review with
    possible salary boost based on performance.
  • Try to increase value of your benefits package
    (e.g., vacation, stock options, memberships,
    commissions, relocation, etc.) Benefits valued at
    25-30 of salary.
  • Ask for a day or two to consider.

Making Your Decision
  • Assess how youve been treated throughout the
  • Assess pros and cons of the position (compared to
    current situation or other offers)

Moneys Isnt Everything
  • Also consider
  • -responsibilities
  • -professional development
  • -company culture
  • -lifestyle issues
  • -room for growth
  • -job market
  • -overall personal career goals
  • Keep offers on the table until youre
  • absolutely sure youve made the best
  • decision for your situation.

Final Reminders…
  • Bring letter, description, and extra resumes
  • Emphasize your strengths
  • Come across as problem solver
  • Tell the interviewer exactly why you are the
  • best candidate for the job
  • Show that you know something about the
  • job/department.
  • Establish when hiring decision will be made
  • End on a positive note and always thank
  • interviewer(s) (even if you dont want the job)
  • Negotiation is expected
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