What You Need to Know 75
Do you know how to conduct yourself or what questions you
should ask the employer during a job interview? You may
have spent hours filling out worksheets and putting finish-
ing touches on your résumé, but you often have less than 15
minutes to make a first impression. Interviewing is all about
effective communication. Since you are being interviewed,
your written communication [i.e., cover letter and résumé]
“Let every man was sufficient to help you make the first cut. Now you must
and occupied anticipate what the interviewer is looking for and use this
in the highest face-to-face time to verbalize your interest, enthusiasm and
of which his qualification for the position.
nature is capable,
and die with the
that he had The Employer Perspective
done his best.”
~ Sydney Smith According to recent employer surveys, the following
elements distinguished the most impressive candidates:
F Communication skills
F Strong liberal arts and general education foundation
F Knowledge of career and how their strengths and
F Learning a great deal about enterprise on their own
F Preparedness for interview
F Common sense
F Positive attitudes and realistic expectations
F Bearing and confidence
76 Why Should an Employer What Examples Can You
Hire You? Provide?
No set of typical interview questions Be prepared to talk about your previ-
will prepare you for an interview as ous experiences—in school, at work,
well as really knowing how to address in campus or volunteer involvement,
this question. Prepare yourself by through extracurricular activities— “In order to
reviewing all the work you’ve done on what you’ve learned from them, and must know what
your worksheets. You should be able how they demonstrate your readiness you are doing,
to articulate your skills, experience to meet that organization’s needs. like what you are
doing and believe
and interests, and how they fit with More about this will be discussed in what you are
the needs of the employer. Often, the in the section on behavioral doing.”
person selected for a position is not interviewing. ~ Will Rogers
the best qualified, but is the best at
communicating a good fit with the Do You Really Want
position and company.
Why Are You a Strong The employer is looking for enthu-
siasm for the position and the orga-
Candidate? nization. Use expressions such as,
Identify the key skills, qualities and “I’m really excited about the chance
experiences that the position re- to interview for this job,” to open an
quires, and consider how your skills, interview. As the interview is wrap-
qualities and experiences match ping up say, “Based on our conversa-
what the employer is seeking. tion I’m even more interested than
I was before. What you’ve described
Hopefully, you have already sounds like an exciting place to work.
researched—via the company’s Web When do you think the hiring deci-
site, other Internet resources, peri- sion will be made?” Use your own
odicals, or other print materials— words, but make sure you explicitly
the company’s products, culture, communicate your enthusiasm for
markets, competitors, revenue, the position.
future projections, and geographic
locations. Your informational inter-
views and networking can provide
additional information to assist you
in your ability to articulate the fit
between your qualifications and
Fifteen Surefire Reasons for Rejection
1. Lack of proper career 9. Overbearing, overaggressive,
planning—needs direction, conceited, cocky, aloof.
no defined career goals.
10. Interested only in the
2. Lack of knowledge in the field money.
of specialization—not well
qualified, lacks depth. 11. Asks poor questions or none
at all—little depth or meaning
3. Inability to express thoughts to the questions.
clearly and concisely—rambles.
12. Expects too much too soon—
4. Insufficient evidence of not willing to pay dues first.
achievement or capacity to
excite action in others. 13. Makes excuses or are evasive—
hedges on unfavorable factors
5. Not prepared for the in record.
interview—no research on
the organization. 14. No confidence and poise—
fails to look interviewer in the
6. No real interest in the eye; immature.
organization or the industry—
merely shopping around. 15. Poor appearance—sloppy;
7. Narrow location interest—
unwilling to relocate. You can avoid these reasons for
rejection by using your research,
8. No enthusiasm—indifferent/ worksheets and additional informa-
bland personality, conveyed no tion in this chapter to adequately
genuine interest in the position. prepare for your interview.
“If you have
ones, there is
chance for you.
What we call
failure is not the
but the staying
~ Mary Pickford
78 Projecting a Professional Image
When in doubt, the safest choice for interview attire is
traditional and conservative. Granted, you might feel a bit
uncomfortable if you are dressed up and the interviewer is
relatively casual. But, wouldn’t it be more awkward if you
dress casually for the interview and the employer is in a
nicely tailored suit?
Do some research before deciding what clothing to wear.
How were your networking and informational interview
contacts dressed? Look at the employer’s Web site to see if
certain clothing appears to be standard with this company.
A call to a company’s human resources department to ask “A strong,
about attire is also acceptable. Finally, after you’ve decided self-image
on your interview attire, ask someone whose judgment you is the best
trust to give you their honest opinion. preparation
Projecting the right image is a good investment. If money is ~ Dr. Joyce
an issue, you may consider asking parents for these items for
Christmas or as an early graduation present.
A good rule of thumb is to err on the conservative side.
If you doubt, opt for the more conventional image.
F Haircut: No extreme styles; avoid styles where hair
is in the face.
F Shoes: Polished [preferably dark leather], with heels
that aren’t run down.
F Clothing: Clean and neatly pressed.
F Hygiene: Shower, brush your teeth and wear deodorant.
F Carry your résumé in a leather or leather-like portfolio.
Briefcases are not necessary.
Standard Tips for Women Exceptions to the Rules
F Wear a business suit typically in Many technology jobs [auto body/
blue, gray or black; a tailored service, industrial maintenance,
dress is also often appropriate, welding, machine tool, electron-
especially if worn with a jacket. ics, heating and air] do not require
F Select neatly pressed blouses the business suit approach. In fact,
in whites or pastels. Watch some interviewers would perceive an
necklines; you want a job, not a overdressed applicant as a negative.
date. Avoid lace, ruffles and poor Instead wear casual dress pants and
quality fabrics or fabrics that don’t an open collar shirt. For example, if
look crisp. applying for electronics technician
F Wear classic, dark, medium-heeled position, you could wear khaki pants
pumps with closed toes. and a nice blue shirt without a tie.
F Be conservative in wearing There may be times when a man may
make-up, jewelry and perfumes, wish to wear a sport coat or a tie.
and keep it simple. Women may wish to wear dark, solid
F Make sure skirt lengths, necklines color slacks and a jacket or blazer
and slits are conservative. Skirts with a contrasting solid color blouse,
and dresses should be no shorter especially if taking a plant tour.
than two inches above the knee.
Hosiery should be worn at all
Standard Tips for Men
F Dark suits [gray/navy preferred].
Sports coats are usually too casual
for most employers. Avoid faddish
styles and cheap polyester fabrics.
Look for a quality wool-blend
“Of all things
F Wear hard sole dress shoes in you wear, your
black, preferably with dark colored expression is the
socks. Avoid casual shoes, cowboy most important.”
~ Janet Lane
or work boots, and suede
F Shirts should be neatly pressed,
plain white or pastel, and worn
with a relatively subdued tie.
Subtle striped shirts may also
work. Make sure tie stays in place
with tie clip. Avoid ties that are
too wide or too thin.
80 Stages of the Interview
Most interviews follow the format outlined below.
Breaking the Ice Communicating Your
F This is your first chance to make Qualifications
an impression. F Expect questions regarding your
F Actively and enthusiastically goals, education, experience,
engage from the start while letting interests, and activities.
your personality come through. F Give specifics that back up your
F Avoid brief, one-word responses. answers to prove by example.
F Maintain eye contact, but don’t Sharing an account of your
stare them down. personal success illustrates your
F Maintain an open posture: effectiveness.
no folded arms, head turned F Lead with the positive. Avoid
downward, etc. [Strive for a anything that seems even vaguely It is confidence
natural, conversational pose that in our bodies,
negative. minds, and spirits
is not overly casual or stiff.] that allow us to
F Control nervous habits like lip Many employers are trained in keep looking for
smacking, ring twisting, fiddling, new adventures,
behavioral or focused interviewing. new directions
tightly grasped hands, leg kicking, The basic premise is to encourage to grow in, and
foot twisting, etc. the candidate to prove him or herself new lessons to
F Handshakes should be firm. learn – which
by sharing stories of past accomplish- is what life
F Using your hands when you talk ments that suggest the probability of is all about.”
is appropriate as long as it does future successes. You can do this by ~ Oprah Winfrey
not distract the listener and is describing a Situation, Task,
natural for you. Action, and Result that utilized your
F Avoid stiffness in posture; unique skills and qualifications.
shifting positions is natural. Using the STAR model as described
F Smile; let them know you are prepares you to answer many of the
friendly and likeable. questions likely to be asked in any
interview, and also allows you to
develop a specific plan of what you
want the company to know about you
before the interview concludes. You
must also be prepared to cite specific
examples to support and reinforce
your education, experience and skills.
The STAR Worksheet 5-1 will help
you put this plan together.
Example Be a STAR Candidate
Doug claimed to have excellent Use this model to present yourself as a STAR candidate: 81
“people management” skills. He
listed this on his résumé, and hoped Situation—Describe the situation.
to be given an opportunity to dis- In my first semester on campus, I had a job at the
cuss it. During the interview, the campus information desk. I was the first person that
employer asked him about his ability many campus visitors encountered.
to manage people. Prepared for this
question, Doug related how he had Task—What task was required?
supervised a crew of 14 college stu- I had to direct people around a campus that I didn’t even
dents during 12-hour shifts for four know myself yet, so doing the job right was a challenge.
months last summer. He explained
that in order to keep production Action—What action did you take?
levels high, he had to assign each [This is where you can mention your skills.]
person to a workstation according to When the desk was slow I made a point of navigating
where he or she worked best. the college’s Web site, getting a sense of what depart-
ments were in what buildings and where those buildings
Additionally, he had to keep sick were on campus. Plus, I made a point of seeking out the
days low among his crew. He accom- names of the different buildings as I went from class to
plished this by creating a team-work- class—even the smaller ones that were easy to miss.
ing environment, encouraging his
crew to have fun while working. The Result—What was the result?
interviewer was impressed, and Doug Within a fairly short time I found that I was really
received a job offer a few days later. familiar with the campus. Even my own boss—who’d
been at the school for several years—would sometimes
ask me where was a particular room or department.
More STAR examples:
S – At Ivy Tech, I T – I knew that I A – When school R – Things turned
didn’t do so well in my needed to turn things started the next fall, around pretty quickly.
first year. I was trying around, and do it I formed a study By the end of my
to do too much and quickly. group with a couple second semester, I’d
wasn’t budgeting my of friends. We met brought my overall
time or setting priori- twice a week for two GPA above 3.0; I was
ties very well. Midway hours at a time. Also, on the Dean’s list;
through the second I persuaded my room- and I was getting a
semester, my grades mates to set certain lot more out of my
were the wake-up call “no TV” times in the college experience.
I needed. room each night.
Another big thing was
learning that I didn’t
have to say “yes” every
time somebody asked
if I wanted to go out.
S – In high school, T – Part-timers would A – I thought it R – I still work there
I worked weekends come and go pretty would be a good idea during the summers,
at the pizza restau- quickly. The owners to get the basic steps and they’re still updat-
rant near my parents’ were frustrated by the and procedures for ing the basic informa-
home. Over time I did inefficiency of their each job down in tion I put together
pretty much every job training system. writing, so one night I way back when in that
in the place. just started listing the old spiral notebook.
things that I thought
new employees ought
to know into different
sections of a spiral
notebook: how to set
up a table, turning
the ovens off and on,
etc. I added more over
time. Before I left for
college, I put it all
on a diskette so that
the owners could
STAR Worksheet 5-1
Be a STAR candidate! Have several STAR stories prepared before every interview.
Think about what your stories say about the various qualities, skills and experiences 83
S T A R
Situation Task Action Result
S T A R
Situation Task Action Result
Employer’s Questions Worksheet 5-2
Now review the typical interview questions listed below, and consid-
84 er how your stories can help you add substance to the answers.
Hint: Tell me about yourself.
Mix a small amount
of personal info:
“I grew up in central
Indiana.” … with
a small amount of
“I chose Ivy Tech
due to its size and
Why should I hire you over other candidates?
strong reputation of
nities and experi-
about right—and I
chose business as a
program of study
because I thought it
would be a good fit Why do you want to go into this field?
and would provide
a range of options.”
… and a small
amount of vocational
info: “I’ve had two
in PR departments.
That’s one reason I’ve
been really looking Describe a situation where you had to juggle several difficult tasks.
forward to talking
with you today.”
Tell me about a time when you learned from a setback.
What role do you usually play on a team?
Hint: What are your major strengths?
Be prepared with a
STAR story to illus-
What qualifications do you have that make you believe you will
be successful in this field?
Hint: Name a weakness that you have.
Think “not my
rather than “weak-
ness.” Pick some-
thing that may not
come naturally for
you, that you have
worked on and
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Why did you choose your major?
Tell me about a time when you had to use strong leadership skills.
What do you do when you’re not studying or working?
Tell me about an accomplishment in which you take pride.
How does your education relate to our needs?
Why do you want this job?
Why are you interested in this field?
Tell me about a situation when you had to work under pressure.
How do you feel about traveling/relocating?
What is your communication style?
If you’ve filled out all of the previous worksheets, you have already
answered all of these questions. Now go back and circle all the skills
you highlighted in your answers. Can’t find very many? Better go
over those answers again!
faith in your
a humble but
your own powers
you cannot be
88 Gathering Information about both Closing the Interview
the Position and Company F Indicate enthusiasm for the job as well as
F Research + Curiosity = Good Questions. appreciation for the opportunity to interview.
F Base your questions on the research you've F Summarize what makes you especially
done. “I noticed on your Web page that you interested in and qualified for the job.
have a six-month training program. Could F Don't shy away from a strong closing.
you tell me more about that?” is a better [e.g., “I'm very interested in this opportunity,”
question than, “Could you tell me about makes a stronger impression than, “This
your training program?” sounds interesting.”] Tell the interviewer
that you are confident in your ability to
Typical Questions a Candidate Might Ask perform the responsibilities and make a
In almost all cases you should have access to contribution.
information about the company and position F Ask for clarification about the next steps in
before going into the interview. Your research the selection process and when a decision
into this is crucial when the interviewer asks, can be expected.
“Do you have any questions for me today?” Be
ready to respond. For example:
F I know your company has been successful
in spite of the current slump in the economy.
What do you think the reason is for that?
F Your training program sounds really
extensive. What was your training experience
like when you started your job?
F Do you have plans to expand the XYZ
F The job description says that teamwork and
communication skills are essential for this
job. What other qualities do you see as
F What would a typical week look like? “One thing
life has taught
F What have you liked most about working me: if you are
for XYZ? interested, you
F I know you’ve grown by 20% in the past five never have to
look for new
years. Do you see that type of growth interests. They
continuing? come to you.
F What is your company’s philosophy When you
regarding professional development? interested in
F How are decisions made about who will be one thing, it will
promoted within the organization? always lead to
F What qualities do you think distinguish your ~ Eleanor
best performers? Roosevelt
The Do’s and Don’ts of Interviewing 89
F Be yourself. F Chew gum or smoke.
F Dwell on the positive. F Use slang.
F Volunteer relevant information related to F Slouch or fidget.
your qualifications. F Be chatty while the recruiter reviews your
F Shed your student image in appearance and résumé.
use of language. F Place anything on the interviewer’s desk
F Arrive 15-20 minutes early. [i.e., purse, elbow, portfolio].
F Have references and additional résumés F Be too familiar with the interviewer.
available for the employer. [Calling them by their first name unless
F Be courteous to everyone. asked to, making inappropriately familiar
F Choose a chair facing the interviewer. comments like “That’s a nice suit,” or “Your
F Have money with you for parking, lunch, etc. office is nicer than the one in which I last
F Go to the restroom before entering the interviewed”].
interviewer’s waiting room. F Get the interviewer’s name wrong.
F Be aware of the current events in the world. F Pick anything up off the desk.
F Take a pen and any information you would F Be a jokester.
need to complete an application. F Give monosyllabic answers.
F Bring a “mock” application—or your Résumé F Criticize anyone, including your past
Worksheet 1-7 to assist your completion of employer.
an application if necessary. F Overuse their name.
F Greet the interviewer with a smile, firm F Ramble on or interrupt the interviewer.
handshake, and direct eye contact. F Make excuses or apologize for low GPA,
F Take an umbrella in case of rain. lack of experience, etc.
F Send a follow-up letter thanking the F Get upset or angry and let it show. Even if
interviewer. If there is more than one the questions get into questionable areas,
interviewer, send a follow-up letter to each you can be firm without being angry.
person. Be sure to get the correct spelling
and job title for each person by writing
it down or by obtaining their business cards.
90 Dealing with Illegal Questions
Area Legal Inquire Illegal Inquire
Name If the applicant’s work records are under If the applicant uses title Miss, Mrs., Ms.; or
another name. maiden or previous name.
Address/Housing Place, length of time at current address, If own, rent or live in apartment or house.
previous address, phone number, or how to
Age Require proof of birth certificate after hiring. Require birth certificate/baptismal record
before hire, or ask about age or age group.
Race/Color Ask race after hiring. Ask race or color before hire.
Sex State that the organization is an equal Ask for gender, unless job-related, such as a
opportunity employer. restroom or locker room attendant.
Citizenship If authorized to work in the United States. Require proof of citizenship before hire, or
ask status of spouse’s citizenship.
Languages What languages speak/read/write frequently
only if relevant to job performance.
Marital/Parental Marital status, or number and ages of Marital status, or number and ages of
dependents after hire. dependents before hire.
Military Service Ask about U.S. military service record and Ask about service, except U.S. military, or
require discharge records after hiring. request military records before hire.
Education Names of schools attended and about lan- Ask about nationality, racial or religious
guage skills, such as foreign language skills. affiliation of schools attended, or how
foreign language skills were acquired.
Arrest Record Ask for a listing of convictions. Ask about arrests.
References Ask for general work references. Ask for specific references that might reflect
race, religion, nationality, or sex.
Organizations Ask about organizational membership and Listing of all organizations to which the
offices held. applicant has belonged.
Photographs Require after hiring. Take photograph at/during interview.
Work Schedule Willingness to work required work schedule Willingness to work any religious holiday.
and about military reservist obligations.
Physical Data Require proof of ability to perform physical Height, weight, impairment, or non-specified
tasks required for the job; require a physical job-related physical data.
Disabilities Capabilities to perform the job [burden-of- Exclude disabled applicants as a class on the
proof rests with the employer]. basis of a disability [each determined on a
Religion Applicant’s religion, religious customs or
Five Ways to Handle Illegal
1. Answer the question and ignore
the fact that it is in violation of
EEO Laws and Regulations.
2. Answer the question with the
statement; “I am wondering
how obtaining this information is
relevant to the requirements of
3. Politely sidestep the issue by “As in the case
in all branches
not providing the requested of art, success
information and sacrificing your depends in a very
principles, while seeking to avoid large measure
offending the interviewer. initiative and
Question: “Are you married?” exertion, and
Answer: “Regardless of whether cannot be
or not I am married, I am by dint of
determined to have a career in hard work.”
the XYZ field and see your ~ Anna Pavlova
organization as an excellent place
to begin realizing this career goal.”
4. Refuse to answer the question
and take the risk of offending the
5. Ascertain the question behind the
question; [i.e., “Do you have
children?” may be getting at
whether or not you will be
punctual and dependable in
attendance. So you could say
“I assure you that if you check
with my references they will tell
you I had an exemplary attendance
92 Mock Interviewing at Career Services
You’ve looked at how your qualifications fit the employer’s
needs. You’ve developed STAR stories that prove by example.
You’ve researched the company and the position. Are you
ready to gain an edge on the competition? “In the absence
goals, we become
You may wish to set up a time to do a mock interview at strangely loyal
the Career Services Office. These 50-minute sessions, with a daily trivia until
staff member of Career Services in the interviewer role, are become enslaved
videotaped unless you request otherwise. Mock interviews by it.”
~ Robert Heinlein
provide practice in an interview-like setting, help you iden-
tify where you may already be strong, and can detect areas
Make the Most of Your
F Come dressed as if going to an F Come prepared with questions you
actual job interview. have for the employer.
F Have an organization or a general F Any research on interviews that
occupational field [e.g., sales, you can do in advance should
human resources] identified that also help you get the most from
represents a target in your job your mock interview experience.
search. F If you'd like to keep your
F Consider questions that cause videotape, please bring a blank
concern, or you have struggled CD to the mock interview.
with in real interviews. Mention F To schedule an appointment,
these to the career specialist, so please call the Career Services
these questions can be used in staff at  269-5612.
the mock interview and
your responses critiqued during
the video playback.
Follow-up Essentials 93
Follow-up can help you turn an interview into an offer
by knocking out your competition, reassuring the hiring
manager of your capabilities, or turning a losing situation
into a winning one.
First, assess each interview. Effective
“It’s not whether follow-up depends on knowing what
you get knocked happened in the interview. Using
whether you the Interview Follow-up Worksheet
get up.” 5-3 and answering the questions
~ Vince Lombardi can provide valuable direction for
your thank-you letter, and food-for-
thought for future interviews
Interview Follow-up Worksheet 5-3
How did it go?
What did they say?
What did I say?
How many people did I see and how much time did I spend with each one?
What role does each one play and who is important?
Who is the decision-maker?
Which one is likely to most influence the decision?
How quickly do they plan to decide?
What do I have to offer that my competition does not?
What problems does the interviewer have and what solutions
can I recommend?
Send a Thank-you Letter The thank-you letter is a good forum
to compensate for any weaknesses 95
You should always follow-up with
in your interview. For example, if
each person with whom you inter-
you felt that you were too passive in
viewed with a letter of thanks, re-
your interview, express yourself more
gardless of how the interview went.
aggressively in your thank-you letter
“Gratitude is Your goal is to influence the inter-
and vice versa.
the inward viewers. The letter should be typed in
a business letter format. Keep it brief
received. and upbeat. Remind the interviewer Accepting or Rejecting
is the natural
who you are by reiterating a highlight Offers
of the interview. Also, re-emphasize
impulse Let’s say you’ve found an employer
to express your strengths and credentials for the
who wants you to fill their position,
that feeling. position.
Thanksgiving but the salary and benefits don’t
is the quite match what you had in mind.
following of Address the following areas in your
However, it is a short commute with
that impulse.” thank-you letters:
~ Henry Van Dyke free parking and the work environ-
F Apply the same tone reflected
ment seems ideal. Let’s also say that
in the conversation during the
at the same time another company
interview [formal, friendly, etc].
has offered you the same type of job
F Reaffirm your interest in the
but with a higher salary, longer com-
position and thank the interviewer
mute, and rigid work hours.
for the time given to you.
F Recap your key qualifications that
How should you evaluate or even
apply to the position, your
negotiate these offers? First of all,
understanding of the employer’s
if you’ve utilized the exercises and
immediate needs, and what you
worksheets offered throughout this
can do to make his or her job
workbook and done your research,
it’s reasonable to assume that any
F Address any objections to your
offer you receive at this point will
candidacy. For example, you may
utilize your strengths and provide
know they typically hire someone
opportunities to achieve your goals.
with a different background than
Secondly, the manager who ten-
dered an employment offer to you
F Reiterate the commitment you
also thinks you’re a good fit for the
made at the end of the interview
position. You need to perform a final
and state the next steps. For
analysis of how the position tracks
example, “If I do not hear from
for you in terms of where you want
Amy within the next week or so,
your career to grow, what you are
I will follow-up with a call.”
worth, and what you are willing to
give up in exchange for other person-
al or material benefits.
96 Evaluate and Negotiate
__ Did I meet the person who will manage me?
All job offers can be negotiated. As
noted in the previous offer scenarios, __ Do I think that I can get along with my new
some components to consider in- boss?
clude salary, benefits, location, and
work environment. You will also
want to consider the job design, staff __ Have I met the people who I will work with?
personalities, growth opportunities,
scheduling, perquisites [perks], and __ Do I feel comfortable working with the other
signing or performance bonuses.
members of my team?
Career publisher jistWorks provides
this evaluation checklist of ques-
__ Where does this job fit in terms of organizational
tions to consider before making a goals and values?
final decision. You will find it in Job
Search and Career Checklists: 101
Proven Time-Saving Checklists to Or- __ Do I understand the job responsibilities and
ganize and Plan Your Career Search, expectations?
by Arlene S. Hirsch. Many of these
questions can be answered by the
__ Do I think that I have the skills and experience to
research you’ve already done, and
may provide good negotiation spring- do the job right?
__ Where does this position lead in terms of career
paths and direction?
__ Is this a dead-end job? Or is there room for
growth and advancement?
__ Does the company treat its employees with
__ Does the company have a lot of turnover?
__ Do I know why this position is available now?
__ Is the compensation acceptable?
__ Is the company competitive in its industry?
__ Does the company have a good reputation?
__ How often will I be evaluated? And on what
__ Does the company provide any training?
__ Does this job enhance my skill set and career
__ Do I feel good about this offer?
__ Would I prefer to keep looking for a better
of success is
Take this opportunity to speak with Refer back to your Career Worksheet
98 your contact to clarify anything that 2-1 and Qualities Worksheet 2-2
was not spelled out in the job de- to revisit your career goals and to
scription, posting or interview. Now refresh yourself on the qualities you
that the interview is behind you, per- offer. Make sure you compare any
haps you could request a follow-up offers you receive against this model
visit that affords a more relaxed tour of your ideal career situation.
or an opportunity for a more candid
discussion than what the structured F Salary
interview situation allowed. The re- F Bonus
sponse to these requests may reveal F Health Care
a good deal about the corporate cul- Medical Coverage
ture, as could any additional opportu- Dental
nity to interact with your prospective Tax Saver
co-workers or manager. Flexible Spending Accounts
Now that you’re a candidate you can Long Term Disability
ask more probing questions about F Life insurance
the position itself, the department or F 401[k] plan
area growth opportunities, and the F Childcare assistance
company’s growth and direction. F Dependent care support
F Employee assistance program
How to Negotiate [EAP]
There is never a better time to nego- F Paid time off [PTO] bank
tiate than when you’ve been offered F Retirement benefits
the position. You know your career F Stock ownership plans
goals and needs and have researched F Tuition/education reimbursement
opportunities, salary ranges and mar- F Professional development
ket trends. Negotiating provides the F Car allowance/company car
opportunity to: F Signing bonus
F Establish the value of your skills/
F Establish a base for future salary
F Ensure win/win situation for you
Accepting and Rejecting When you have made a decision to
accept an offer you should respond 99
Offers verbally, specifying your understand-
Whether you accept or reject an ing of the offer. In most cases it is
offer, you still want to maintain any appropriate to also follow this up
networking opportunities that may with your written acceptance. Notify
arise during your search, so always your current employer of your inten-
respond positively and enthusiasti- tion to leave in writing, and present
cally to any offers you receive. Keep it to them in person.
in mind the hiring authority of your
contact, and be respectful of their Other companies that are consider-
time frame and needs. ing you as a job candidate or with
whom you have been in negotiation
Most career search manuals and should also be advised that you are
online resources stress the impor- no longer in the market. Make sure
tance of securing the offer in writing. you express your appreciation for
Ideally it should specify the depart- their consideration so you can keep
ment and position or title, salary and future opportunities open as well.
benefits, probationary period and
review dates, any special arrange- When you determine that the offer
ments [such as a company car or is not in line with your goals, inform
employer-supplied uniforms], and the your contact in a timely and cour-
beginning date. One way to secure teous manner. Tell them why you
an offer in writing is to note that you cannot accept and whether you want
can consider starting on a certain to be considered for future opportu-
date once you’ve received a written nities that are more in line with your
offer that allows you to provide your career goals.
current employer with adequate
notice of your intention to leave.
“I firmly believe
that any man’s
fulfillment of all
that he holds
dear, is that
he has worked
his heart out in a
good cause and
lies exhausted on
the field of battle
~ Vince Lombardi
You are now prepared to conduct yourself effectively in an
interview situation. You know how to present yourself in a
professional manner, what questions to expect, what distin-
guishes an impressive job candidate, how to present your
skills and experiences, and you’ve done the research to know
how to ask your own questions. Now you can relax and use
this face-to-face time to verbalize your interest, enthusiasm
and qualification for the position. When you do receive an
offer, you can use your career goals, research and the ex-
ercises in this workbook to make an informed decision and
provide opportunity for future growth.
Want to Know More?
301 Smart Answers to Tough Get Paid What You’re Worth:
Interview Questions the Expert Negotiators ‘Guide to
Vicky Oliver Salary and Compensation
This book is packed full of the tough- Robin L. Pinkley, Gregory B.
est interview questions and the savvy Northcraft
answers for which today’s managers Applicants who negotiate job offers
are looking. While many interview receive salaries and benefits of sig-
books still focus on “What are your nificantly more value than those who
strengths?” and “What are your do not. And the compensation pack-
weaknesses?” 301 Smart Answers age you negotiate today will affect all
to Tough Interview Questions is the your future job offers. Shouldn’t it
definitive guide to the real [and be the best that it can be? Get Paid
sometimes quirky] questions employ- What You’re Worth is the handbook
ers are using to weed out candidates. you need to successfully navigate the
business of negotiation
Interviewing and Salary Negotiating Your Salary:
Negotiation: For Job Hunters, How to Make $1,000 a Minute 101
Career Changers, Consultants and Jack Chapman
Freelancers [The Five O’Clock Job hunters need this information
Club Series] now because the biggest mistakes
Kate Wendleton happen in the beginning, well before
Author Kate Wendleton has spent the negotiating interview! Whether
years helping job hunters land the your style is tough or gentle, blus-
best jobs at the best pay. She pres- tery or quiet, nervous or calm, you
ents all the latest ideas for getting can still negotiate more money. You
what you want, including how to will learn: how simple preparation
assess the interview and turn it into can double your salary, who should
a job offer. mention a dollar amount first, talking
about salary incorrectly can knock
Negotiate Your Job Offer: you out before you even get a chance
A Step-by-Step Guide to a to interview, what your best first an- “You have to
Win-Win Situation swer is to an offer, one phone call or have confidence
Mary B. Simon, Charnan Simon one Web page can tell you what sal- in your ability,
and then be
Job hunters in today’s volatile busi- ary to ask for, and specific phrases to tough enough to
ness climate owe it to themselves to memorize that will boost your offer follow through.”
find out everything they can about 10% or more. ~ Rosalynn Carter
their prospective employers and
negotiate the best possible deals for Preparing for the Behavior-Based
themselves. This book arms savvy Interview: Getting the Job You
job-hunters with the knowledge and Want
skills they need to evaluate a job offer Terry L. Fitzwater, Brenda Pittsley,
in terms of mutual fit and the corpo- Charlotte Bosarge [Editor]
rate culture, research a company for Discover how to get noticed before
market value and long-term stability, the interview, learn to prepare for a
gauge the impact of potential merg- successful interview, ask the right
ers or reengineering programs, and questions and have the right answers,
negotiate the best possible salary and increase your potential for
and benefits package employment offers.
102 Online Interviewing Resources
Sample job application form to download and use as a guide to completing
a job application form.
If the very word “interview” makes your palms sweat and your head itch, then
take a deep breath, sit down and explore easy step-by-step tips and resources
to master interviewing.
Behavioral Based Interviewing
Behavioral based interviewing has been gaining momentum along with the
ever-increasing demand for skilled and competent employees.
Questions Asked by Employers
What are they going to ask? Obtain access to popular questions.
Students with Disabilities
Your source to the largest hidden job market for people with disabilities.
Evaluating a Job Offer
At this site there are several articles about job evaluation.
Learn the average salary at your level in your industry.