Interview Help, Interview Advice, Interview Tips

More Interview Tips

6- Interview Question and Answers. How to answer the tough Salary Interview Question

Sample Interview Question 1- "What are Your Salary Expectations?"
  • Sample Interview Answer #1 - "I was making $60,000 at my last job, plus bonuses. I would be expecting at least that and a 15-20% increase.: (This is not a good answer)

  • Sample Interview Answer #2 - "I'm sure whatever you offer will be a fair amount for a person with my qualifications. Salary is not the most important factor to me. I'm looking for opportunity." (This is a somewhat weak answer)

  • Sample Interview Answer #3 - "I really need more information about the job before we start to discuss salary. I'd like to postpone that discussion until later. Maybe you could tell me what is budgeted for the position, and how your commission structure works." (This is the best answer)

  • Sample Interview Question 2- "What Do You Expect in the Way of Salary?"

  • Sample Interview Answer #1 - "Before I answer that question I'd like to ask what you typically pay someone with my experience and education in this type of position?" (Good Answer)

  • Sample Interview Answer #2 - I'm sure when the time comes and I know more about the facts of the position and how it fits into the bigger picture, we can come to a mutually agreeable figure." (Good answer)

  • Sample Interview Answer #3 - "I really need more information about the position before I can begin to discuss salary. Can you tell me the range budgeted for this position?" (Good answer) (This is the best answer)

  • Sample Interview Question 3- "What Salary Range Would You Require to Take This Job?"

  • Sample Interview Answer #1 - "It would be very difficult for me to compare my last salary with this position for various reasons - primarily because I don't have enough information about your whole package. I'm sure we can discuss this subject and your entire package before an offer is made." (Good answer)

  • Sample Interview Answer #2 - "That would be like comparing two jobs that are entirely different in responsibilities and in the base and bonus structure. I would be more interested in hearing what the package you offer is, before I compare the two jobs." I hope we can postpone this subject until we both have more information to discuss salary and benefit comparisons." (Good answer)

  • Sample Interview Answer #3 - "I had an unusual situation at my last job where I took less salary to own a share of the company. I also had a bonus structure that I was receiving. I would have to look at the entire package that you offer before comparing the two jobs or salaries." (Good answer)

  • Sample Interview Question 4- "Would You Consider Taking Less Pay Than You Made in Your Last Job?"

  • Sample Interview Answer #1 - "I would really need to know more about the opportunity and your whole package before I can give you and answer to that question. You may offer extra perks that my last job may not have had - or vice versa. Basically, I need more information before I decide." (Good answer)

  • Sample Interview Answer #2 - "While my highest career value is not money, it is important to me that I be fairly compensated for the work I do. I would be willing to listen to a fair offer based on what I bring to the position in the way of experience and education." (Good answer)

  • Sample Interview Answer #3 - "Opportunity is valuable to me. I am always willing to look at the bigger picture. I would want to be paid according to what I bring to the position, but would be willing to be somewhat flexible." (Good answer)

  • itsnotyouritsyourresume

    You will notice that most of these examples attempt to defer the subject until you have more information and a better idea of whether this is the right job for you. When you have that information you will be able to assess whether this is a job where you have something to offer and what the value should be. In other words, what you deserve to be paid.


7- Interview Tip. Don’t forget to practice!

There is a saying, “practice makes perfect”, and in a sense that is true. However, “perfect practice makes perfect” may be a more accurate way of saying this.

Get together with a friend, family member or colleague to practice how to go about interviewing. Have them ask you the tough questions you may anticipate in the upcoming interview and have they give you hints about what you can do to improve. Then, practice alone and/or in front of a mirror so you can work out the ‘kinks’.

Don't be afraid to ask for help! The types of questions that interviewers may ask is constantly changing as employers and recruiters often meet at a convention or talk or read trade magazines so that they can draw upon each others’ experience interviewing and get better with their own interviews. So there is no list that is appropriately entitled- 5 best/most likely interview questions - you often have to “roll with the punches” during the interview, but that does not mean you can’t ask professionals what are the hot/most frequently asked questions…

AT MyOnlineCareerCoach you can talk to professionals who are ‘tapped into’ the interview field and have the most expertise and knowledge about possible interview questions. There, you can register, read FREE content, including blogs, webcasts and podcasts, and talk to a professional career specialist in minutes.

8- Interview Help. Seven Tips for Acing the Million-Dollar Interview Question

It can spring up near the beginning of an official job interview, or sneak up before the meeting is about to close. Regardless of the circumstances, poised executives are always ready to answer the most important question that surfaces in a serious dialogue between decision-makers and prospective employees.

Exact phrasing varies but the meaning is clear: "What will it take for you to join our team?" or "What is it going to cost to get you here?"

Does the very thought of being in such a situation make your hands clammy, your heart race, and your stomach churn? Would you prefer any punishment rather than confront this question? Unfortunately, accepting a job offer frequently entails negotiating the terms of employment.

Get prepared and save yourself some last minute angst. Here are a few tips to help you face the inevitable, armed with confidence and good advice.
  • 1. Do your homework.

  • Be prepared with facts and figures to demonstrate your value to the prospective employer. Know your worth in the market. Research what comparable positions with similar responsibilities command in your industry and location.

  • 2. Make it clear that your goal is fairness.

  • You want to be compensated fairly with what your colleagues are paid for comparable responsibilities, and you want to be rewarded for superior performance.

  • 3. Show that hiring you is not an expense but a smart investment.

  • Prove that you will be able to add to the bottom line through increased sales, cost reductions, revenue gains, enhanced productivity, etc. Have tables or charts to illustrate the impact your expertise will have, and use actual data where available.

  • 4. Never reveal an exact number for your desired salary or what you're currently making.

  • Give a range that will allow you more room to negotiate for bonuses, benefits, time off, etc. because no two jobs are the same and no two candidates are alike. (See tip # 6 below!).

  • 5. Have a bottom line in mind.

  • Think about what this opportunity is worth to you. What will you give up? Is there a necessity, must have, or uncompromising need? Then be willing to be flexible on the rest. Think about time off vs. salary, educational opportunities vs. conference attendance, etc.

  • 6. Remember that this should be a win-win for you and your future employer.

  • Make sure that they understand that you want this job and you are confident that if you agree that you're the right choice, together you can make this happen. Take the focus off the dollars and put it on the chance to have an impact, find solutions, and move forward.

  • 7. Work this out with your future boss rather than their HR staff person.

  • itsnotyouritsyourresume

    Only your future boss knows what they need and will go to bat to get this deal together for you. It's their budget -- show them your skills right from the beginning with your abilities to negotiate for yourself!

9- Interview Preparation. Don’t forget to prepare for the phone interview!

Often before you get a face-to-face interview, you will schedule and receive a phone call for a pre-interview interview. Businesses do not like to waste time and energy on candidates they know will not be a good fit for their company so these phone interviews are very important- for you and for them.

When preparing for the phone interview, the most important thing you can do is to set a time with no distractions- no dog or kids to take away from your time on the phone, no poor phone connection (if possible take the call on a land line rather than cell phone) and with your information in front of you for quick reference. For more information about which questions are most often asked by interviewers and to learn the best way to handle the phone interview, buy the complete eBook here as it has tons more information than is on this site!

Set aside the time to fully answer the interviewers questions, and have a few of your own that would further qualify whether you would like to move to a face-to-face interview should your interviewer agree that such a move would be pertinent. Use this interview as a mutual ‘feeling out’ process to make sure it is a good fit for both parties.

10- Interview Advice. Interviewing Authentically

If you make it to the face-to-face interview, relax, they obviously like something about you, so just go in and do your best. The more relaxed you are the more relaxed your interviewer will be.

The goal of the interview is to showcase your accomplishments while developing a relationship with the hiring manager. The quality of the relationship hinges on the job seeker's ability to construct credibility for their candidacy and, therefore, effectively gain the hiring manager's trust.

Despite this relationship-building goal, many job seekers continue to "spin" their responses to interview questions. This tactic is often used when job seekers are asked questions with a negative slant such as "What is your greatest weakness?" or "Tell me about a mistake you made."

Perhaps candidates spin their answers in an effort to downplay any blemishes in their background or to stick with the strategy that so many interview preparation books teach. Either way, candidates that lack authenticity are easy to spot, and the outcome of the interview is severely compromised when job seekers chose to use this falsified approach.

As a matter of fact, in a recent Society for Human Resources Management survey, recruiters and hiring managers reported that one of their biggest pet peeves during an interview was candidates who responded to difficult interview questions with answers that attempted to spin a tough situation into one with only positive outcomes.

Below are a few of the most common interview questions to which job seekers try to spin their responses.

  1. What is your greatest weakness?

  2. Red flag answer: "I'm a perfectionist, and I get frustrated when people aren't as committed to the job as I am."

    Problem: The candidate is answering the question about a weakness by responding with an answer that suggests a strength. Such answers are disingenuous and are not well-received by hiring authorities -- the candidate hasn't answered the question asked, but turned the question into one that he or she would rather answer.

    The candidate is also assuming that perfection is considered a desirable trait in the organization. Some hiring managers will perceive a perfectionist as someone who gets so caught up in the details that they can't achieve objectives.

    Adjusted response: "Earlier in my career, when I was a software developer, my strong attention to detail was an asset because I could quickly spot and correct systems errors. But after I was promoted to project manager, this strength became a bit of a liability because I was now responsible for delegating work and overseeing the big picture aspect of the project. I struggled at first because it was my nature to want to fix every error. While I still have that tendency, I now rely on the technical expertise of my team, which allows me to concentrate on delivering projects on time and on budget."

  3. Tell me about a situation where you did not get along with a supervisor.

  4. Red flag answer: "I've been very fortunate and have never worked for someone I didn't get along with."

    Problem: Everyone has had situations where they disagreed with a boss, and saying that you haven't forces the interviewer to question your integrity. Also, it can send out a signal that the candidate is not seasoned enough or hasn't been in situations that require him to develop a tough skin or deal with confrontation.

    Adjusted response: "It's natural for people to have differing opinions. When this has occurred in the past, I have presented my reasons for my position and openly listened to my supervisor's opinion as well. Recently, my supervisor recommended a change to a report that in my opinion made the reporting more cumbersome and time consuming. I expressed my concerns, but also asked many questions to determine what information my boss needed to capture that was not currently in the report. Once I understood her needs, I was able to offer a suggestion that satisfied her information needs and actually streamlined the existing report making it easier to use."

  5. Describe a situation where you were part of a failed initiative.

  6. Red flag answer: "I've never had a project that failed. My supervisors have always praised my work."

    Problem: If you can't discuss a failure or mistake, the interviewer might conclude that you don't possess the depth of experience necessary to do the job. The interviewer is not looking for perfection. They're trying to better understand your level of responsibility, your decision making process, your ability to recover from a mistake, what you learned from the experience, and if you can take responsibility for your mistakes.

    Adjusted response: "Everyone makes mistakes. I'd like to think that I have learned something valuable from every mistake I've made. In my previous role as marketing director, I launched a product and was disappointed in the initial sales results. I realized that we had launched too quickly and needed to do additional market research to determine the needs of multiple demographics within our market. Following the research initiative, the marketing was realigned with a niche demographic and sales doubled within a year."

    By developing and practicing honest, thoughtful responses to difficult interview questions, you will create a realistic and authentic portrait of your candidacy and develop a strong rapport with the hiring authority. Building a trusting relationship will help you advance to the next round in the interview process and bring you one step closer to securing the position.



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