There are few things more frustrating for a hiring manager or headhunter than asking a person basic questions that revolve around what you as a job hunter are looking for in a job and being given uncertain answers. I’m not talking about salary; that’s a question where a wise person states a target objective and is flexible enough to let the market decide their value.
You need to be able to answer these basic questions:
1. What is your current compensation? The three wrong answers are:
(a) A lie. A lie will be found out, generally after you’re hired. Do you know what happens then? While you’re out to lunch or have gone home one day, your ability to login while be terminated and security will be waiting for you at your desk with your personal items packed to escort you from the premises
(b) I won’t tell you. This reveals that your salary is much lower than the amount advertised and that you are seeking a big bump.
(c) Do you really need to know that? Yes. I do because my client will want to know. They will ask it on their form. Many companies will terminate an interview for refusing to answer?
This will change nationally with the implementation of a new law in Massachusetts that will prohibit employers from asking questions about current salary in order to avoid the hint of bias. In the meantime, A, B, and C are all valid points.
2. Geographically, what’s acceptable to you? Some people are willing to drive more than others. Some people must follow mass transit routes. Some people are willing to relocate at a company’s expense or are willing to relocate on their own for the right opportunity. Think about it.
3. What’s not working for you that is prompting you to want to look for another job? Most of the time, money is not the only factor. Be prepared to discuss your reasons maturely. An immature answer would be, “I hate my job,” or “My boss is an idiot.” Instead, try this one—“I would like to leave consulting and move to industry so that I can avoid the heavy travel that is keeping me away from my family too much.”
4. What are you looking for in a new position? Nine times out of ten, people don’t think of this when they speak to me. What am I supposed to do? Guess? “I know it when I see it” isn’t helpful either.
5. What was the corporate culture like that you were working in? Did you like it? What did you like about it? What didn’t you care for? Let me know if I should replicate your current work environment in your next firm with more money and more interesting work . . . or not!
Take some time before interviewing to decide what is important to you in the next job or organization and you will find that your interviews will be better . . . and so will your results!
© The Big Game Hunter, Inc. Asheville, NC 2016
Do you think employers are trying to help you? You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell you as much as they think you need to know to take the job they after representing so they collect their payday.
The skills needed to find a job are different yet complement the skills needed to do a job.
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.
JobSearchCoachingHQ.com changes that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.