Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Back to Business

Last week was a light and fun week for many. Yesterday it was all about getting back to business. While coaching a candidate as they prepared for a face to face interview this week, they brought up a couple very good questions. These questions are applicable across the board. I thought that in this week’s blog I’d get back to business and share this coaching experience.

The questions...

1) Do you know what the starting salary is for this position?
2) Is it acceptable to inquire about health insurance, 401K, and other benefits at this interview?

The answers...

At this stage I would avoid any questions regarding salary or benefits. While I realize these are important to you as they are to anyone, it can give an impression to the interviewer that the person asking is more interested in what the company can do for them. While that is true you are interested in knowing that, what they want to hear is what you can do for them. This is not just applicable to this company, this is true with any company and any interview situation. A candidate should concentrate on presenting themselves in the very best way possible. Focusing on how you can help the company achieve their goals is positioning you for a successful interview.

Now if these things are brought up by them, then it is fair game. Otherwise it is something that can be addressed later.

Regarding the salary on this position. The salary they are targeting exceeds where you were in your last role. It will be a financial gain for you should you progress to offer. So please rest assured if you are offered a job after the entire process I’m confident you will be pleased. I don’t like to get into specifics on salary ranges as there are just too many variables involved. And I’m not the one deciding what the salary will be. So I’ve found it best over the years to be certain two things are achieved going into a situation:

1) The opportunity presents a financial gain for the candidate, or
2) We are in what I call the “okay place” where the candidate’s expectations and company’s expectations are in an area where it makes sense to talk.

In your case, again, the salary targeted would present you with a financial gain from where you were at most recently.

Now if someone were to bring up the topic of salary and let’s just say they ask you what your expectations are. Your safest bet is to answer by saying something like, while salary is important to me just like it would be to anyone, I’d first like to be certain I’m the right person for you and this is the right opportunity for me. If after the entire process you are interested in bringing me on board I’d seriously consider your fair and competitive offer for the position.

Hoping you all have a successful and productive week getting back to business.

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