e2i Executive Career Workshop - Successful Interview and Salary Negotiations


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This is the presentation I used at an Executive Career Workshop at e2i.com.sg.

The topics covered include Successful Interview and Salary Negotiation

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  • 1. Informational InterviewThe objective of this interview is to ask for advice and learn more about a particular career field, employer or particular job.  Interviewing experts in their field is one more way to become more occupationally literate.  The knowledge that you gain here will make you a sharper and more informed.  You will also make a contact and further develop your network.2. Screening or Telephone InterviewA phone interview is a very cost effective way to screen candidates.  These can last anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes.  You should prepare for it like an open book exam.  It is recommended that you have in front of you your resume, the job description, a list of references, some prepared answers to challenging questions and perhaps something about the company.  The vast majority of communication is non-verbal.  Because they can’t see your body language, it is critically important to have positive and polished answers with energetic tone and inflection.  Be sure to ask what the next step is.3. Individual InterviewThis is the most common type and often called a “personal interview.”  It is typically a one-on-one exchange at the organizations offices.  In order to best prepare you will want to know the length of the interview which can usually range from 30 to 90 minutes.  If the interview is 30 minutes you have to be concise and have a high impact with your answers.  If it is 60 or 90 minutes you will want to go into much more depth and use specific examples to support your generalizations.4. Small Group or Committee InterviewThis is where you will be meeting with several decision-makers at once.  This can be an intimidating experience if you are not prepared.  It’s an efficient way to interview candidates and allows for different interpretations or perceptions of the same answer.  Be sure to make eye contact with everyone, no matter who asked the question.  It’s important to establish rapport with each member of the interview team.  Try to find out the names and job titles of the participants.5. The Second or On-Site InterviewAfter your first interview, you may be asked back again for a “second date.”  They like you enough that you made the first round of cuts, but they would like to know more about you before making their final decision.  Second Interviews can last either a half or full-day so it is best to check again and get an agenda.  You may be meeting with three to five individuals.  This may include a representative from Human Resources, the department head, the office staff and the department head’s supervisor.  Be alert and enthusiastic at all times!  The more you know about the structure of the process, the less anxious you are going to feel and the better you will perform.  This is the last step before an offer is made.6. Behavioral-Based InterviewThe theory behind Critical Behavioral Interviewing (CBI) is that past performance in a similar situation is the best predictor of future performance.  CBI probes much deeper than traditional interviewing techniques.  You should prepare by thinking of specific examples that demonstrate your competence in core behaviors such as teamwork, problem-solving, communication, creativity, flexibility and organizational skills.  You will want to tell your story and structure it by stating your answers in terms of the situation, the task, what action you took, and what was the result or outcome.7. Task Oriented or Testing InterviewThis is a problem-solving interview where you will be given some exercises to demonstrate your creative and analytical abilities.  A company may ask you to take a short test to evaluate your technical knowledge and skills.  Sometimes a presentation to a group is necessary to determine your communication skills.  Try to relax as much as possible.8. Stress InterviewDuring this rare type, the interviewer tries to bait you, to see how you will respond.  The objective is to find your weaknesses and test how you hold up to pressure.  Such tactics as weird silences, constant interruptions and challenging interrogation with antagonistic questions are designed to push your boundaries.  The question you have to ask yourself is: Do I want to work for a company that treats me this way even before the offer is made?  Rethink the corporate culture.
  • 1. "How much does the job pay?" This is by far the top pet-peeve question for hirers. They want to think that you're so in love with the job that money isn't such a big issue for you. "Raising the subject of money during the interview stage may give the impression, rightly or wrongly, that all you care about is money, as opposed to working as part of a team and giving your heart, soul, and first-born child to the corporation," says Todd Moster, a Los Angeles legal recruiter.Salary is the elephant in the room that no one acknowledges during the interview phase, says Moster. You'll get a chance to discuss pay once you get an offer, but you may not get an offer if you discuss pay first.2. "What kind of benefits package do you offer?"Ditto. Asking about benefits makes it sound like you could care less about the job, and more about the perks. If you don't love your career, it will show in your interview. Take a few minutes to take a free career interest test if you want to know your best career fit.3. "What are the hours?""This is the question that makes me cringe more than any other," says financial-industry executive recruiter Paul Solomon. "Try 24-7, like every other position these days. Wall Street managers don't want a clock watcher, so when I hear that question, I know the candidate won't be the right fit."4. "How much vacation time will I get?"If you want to give the impression that you're more interested in time off than working, ask this question. Otherwise, save it until after an offer has been extended, recommends Cathleen Faerber, managing director of The Wellesley Group, an executive search company.5. "Can I telecommute?"Wait to inquire about telecommuting until you're well established in your new job and have a good track record. If you ask the question in an interview,"they're going to wonder why you would want to get out of the office before you even see it," says John Kador, the author of 301 Best Questions to Ask on Your Interview.If working from home is extremely important to you, starting your own business is a great career option.6. "What kind of company is this?"If you have to ask this, it shows you didn't have the initiative and incentive to prepare for your interview. That doesn't bode well for how you'll handle the job itself. Before you even write your resume and cover letter, you should know all about the company. "There's no excuse for going into an interview unprepared and not being knowledgeable about the company," says career coach Cheryl Palmer.7. "What happened to the last person who had this job?"Of course you might be curious, but don't ask. "What's the difference? It's not your business to know," says career coach Michael Coritsidis. Asking will just make you look nosy. The same goes for questions that probe into the personal life of the interviewer, cautions Sharon Blaivas, president of Shake Up My Resume. You might have friendly intentions, "but these may be sensitive areas and have nothing to do with the job," she says.8. "What do you like least about your employer?"Sure, you may have heard dirt about the company, but an interview is not the place to bring it up. "It will make you seem like you focus on negatives or don't think the company is representing itself correctly," says Richard Kirby, the author of Fast Track Your Job Search. A little research will give you the scoop about whether this is a company you want to work for.9. "How much help will I get?"If there is a team, you'll be introduced to the members, says executive recruiter Bruce Hurwitz. "Asking about help gives the impression that you can't do the job by yourself and the company will have to do more hiring just to keep you," he says.10. "Can I work at another job part time?"Employers want someone who is devoted to the company, not someone who could burn out by juggling too much, says Robert Galinsky, founder of the New York Reality TV School.11. "Do you do background checks?"Wave the background-check question in front of the interviewer. "The hiring manager will start to wonder if they need to call security or if they're sitting across from a felon," says Adriana Llames, the author of Career Sudoku: 9 Ways to Win the Job Search Game.12. "What is your policy on drug use?"Believe it or not, this isn't an uncommon question, says sales and leadership coach Dave Sheffield. "The funniest part of this question is that the interviewee sees nothing wrong with it," he says.13. "How did I do?"Sure, you want to find out if you're a contender after an interview. "But asking that question puts an interviewer on the spot, and they're rarely in a position to answer," says Frances Cole Jones, the author of "The Wow Factor." Plus, it makes you sound unprofessional. She suggests an effective alternative like, "So what are my next steps?"14. Not asking questions at all."By far the worst question is the one you never ask: Not asking any questions during an interview shows a lack of interest or comprehension, or can make you look desperate, someone who will take any job under any circumstances," says motivational speaker Barry Mather, the author of Filling the Glass. "Nobody wants someone nobody wants."
  • 1- Do your researchLearn as much as you can about the pay scale of the company that wants to hire you. Find out the industry average, as well. You may aspire to a career in scheduling at a major airline, but if the company's practice is to hire from within, you might need to accept an entry-level position. Union constraints may limit any flexibility on salary levels, no matter how many university degrees you have.As part of your research, you need to have a clear idea of what your minimum salary expectations are. Do the math in advance and decide what your deal-breaker point is. There's no point wasting your time — and the company's — interviewing for a low-paying job in a company or industry that may not be able to offer the wages you need.2- Don't tip your handLeave the salary expectation question blank on application forms, and don't mention a specific salary level in your cover letters. You want to get past the paper screening into the "to be considered" file without anyone thinking your anticipated salary is too high. You also don't want to lock yourself into accepting an offer of $55,000 per year if the decision-makers had budgeted up to $70,000 to fill the vacancy.3- Understand your valueConsider whether you are in a position of power. If you're in high demand elsewhere, you have leverage. Draw attention to it, but be careful not to emphasize it too much. Avoid acting overly confident or cocky. It's OK to mention that you have interviews at other companies, but don't try to force a favorable decision.4- Let the company bring up the salary negotiation issueAvoid being the first to propose a salary figure. Tell them you're interested in a mutually rewarding career with the company and you're sure you can agree on an acceptable compensation package. If you're backed into a corner, introduce your salary range, but make it clear that it is "up for discussion." Don't ramble on. Say what you have to and then be quiet and listen.You need to be ready to negotiate if you want a higher starting salary...5- Emphasize the benefits of your skillsWhen you talk about your last job, describe your accomplishments. Quantify your successes in terms of cost savings, increased productivity and overall contribution to the company. This will help the interviewers recognize the benefits of having you join their team, and will help boost the salary offer. If you earned performance bonuses or incentive awards, mention those so that you'll be viewed as an achiever, well worth top dollar.6- Don't blinkListen to how the offer is presented. When the interviewer or prospective new boss states a salary figure, nod your head to signify you're considering it, but keep quiet. If they're low-balling you, the figure could make a quick jump in those few moments of consideration.7- Be reasonableFrom your research, you know the offer is low. What do you counter at? If you choose 10%, you may have to accept a saw-off at 5%. Don't be confrontational. It's a calculated risk to walk away from a job offer. They might call you back with a revised starting salary or they might just close your file and hire someone else if they feel you've been greedy, arrogant or overly demanding.8- Be flexibleIf you want this job, consider agreeing to start at the salary level they're offering, so long as they offer additional bonuses for specific accomplishments. Be prepared to define them. Money is important, but consider the complete compensation package. Negotiate other perks and benefits and get them in writing. Ask about the frequency of potential salary increases. As with any negotiation, your goal is to create a win-win situation.believe in yourselfSometimes the only way you can get a higher starting salary is by being actively sought for your position. Other times, you may have to demonstrate that you have the exact skills the company needs and, if you play your cards right, you may land the job you want at a salary level beyond your dreams.In all cases, being well prepared, using a little psychology, and practicing your marketing and negotiation skills will help you maximize the salary offer.
  • Revealing How Much You Would Accept. Never reveal to an employer what you consider an acceptable salary. This can be difficult since many companies request salary requirements and history during the application process or first interview. You should be prepared to appropriately answer these questions if asked. If you divulge these details, it will be difficult to negotiate for a higher salary if hired. Be cautious to agree to a specific salary during the interview.Focusing on Need/Greed Rather Than Value. Many people make the mistake of trying to convince employers they should receive the salary accommodating their needs when they should focus on qualifications. Be prepared with arguments about how you will contribute to the company during salary negotiations.Weak Research or Negotiation Preparation. There are plenty of resources readily available to learn more about salary negotiation, including websites, books, and professional associations. Also, take time to learn more about your new companies' performance requirements for salary increases and average salaries for other employees. Whether you plan to negotiate or not, it is useful to be aware of how much other professionals with similar qualifications and experience earn in your field.Making a Salary Pitch Too Early. Before receiving a job offer, you should not begin negotiating for a future salary. This should not begin until an offer has been made. Once it has been made, it is acceptable to ask questions about wages and benefits. Some employers do not look favorably upon candidates who seem too concerned about their salary. Brining up salary too early in the interview process can also backfire for job candidates since they could be asked about salary expectations and not be offered the salary they sought.Accepting Job Offer Too Quickly. Most people do not enjoy looking for a new job. As a result, many people accept the first job offer they receive. However, if you receive a job offer, take some time to think over the offer. Most companies will allow you to take time to consider the offer. Since the company wants you to be part of their organization, you should use this as leverage to secure an acceptable job offer. Be sure not to take more time than you request to make the decision.Declining Job Offer Too Quickly. Many people make the mistake of rejecting job offers after being offered salaries below their expectations. This may be a good idea if the offer is well below average salaries for professionals with similar experience and qualifications as you, but often salary offers are accompanied with excellent benefits and opportunities for bonuses. It is not uncommon for companies that pay low base salaries to offer big bonuses and large quantities of company stock shares. Plus, you can negotiate with the company for a higher starting salary.Asking For Too Many Changes in Counteroffer. A counteroffer can be made if you receive a job offer below your expectations. However, making too many demands can be counterproductive. If the company making the offer will not budge on salary, you can seek more vacation days, a bigger signing bonus, etc, but again, do not make excessive demands. Select only a couple of requests in your counterproposal.Taking Salary Negotiations Personally. As with most business situations, it is unwise to be personally insulted from a salary offer below your expectations. Remember, the employer wants you to be a part of the organization. If after negations you decide to pursue other opportunities, be professional and avoid saying anything rude or inappropriate since you could change your mind.Not Asking for Final Offer in Writing. If you are satisfied with a salary offer, request it in writing from your new employer. A professional manager should not have a problem with this request. If he or she does, you might want to reconsider working for the company.
  • e2i Executive Career Workshop - Successful Interview and Salary Negotiations

    1. 1. Executive Career Adrian Tan
    2. 2. MD of RecruitPlus, specialist recruitment agency since 2004 President of Singapore Professional Recruitment Organisation Co-Author of “Everything you wish to ask a Headhunter Speaker Trainer
    3. 3. What we will be learning Phone interview tips o How to prepare, what to say, and when to say it o How to establish your professional presence over the phone o How to get to the next step How to make interview successful, the before, during and post interview tips o What should I prepare before an interview? o How should I handle typical interview questions? o What are some unexpected interview questions? o What are some interview scenarios that I should be prepared for? Salary negotiation tips o Where to find salary info o How to negotiate like a pro o Beware of pit falls
    4. 4. Phone Interview - Do's • Prepare for the interview by compiling a list of your strengths and weaknesses, accomplishments and answers to typical questions. • ƒHave your resume in front of you to refer to when speaking about your work experience. • ƒHave a pen and paper available to take notes. • ƒBe in a quiet place alone—turn off the radio, television and any other background noise that might be distracting. • ƒTake a moment to think about the question, and, then, respond speaking slowly and clearly. • ƒ Smile during the phone interview to project a positive tone in your voice and your image. • ƒ Send a thank-you note after the phone interview to reiterate your interest in the position.
    5. 5. Phone Interview - Don'ts • Smoke, eat or chew gum or candy during the interview. • ƒRamble—make sure that your answers are direct and to the point. • ƒInterrupt the interviewer when he or she is speaking. • ƒProvide too much information—keep your answers short and to the point; however, make sure to fully answer the questions. • ƒ Bad-mouth former employers.
    6. 6. Types of Interviews 1. Informational Interview 2. Screening or Telephone Interview 3. Individual Interview 4. Small Group or Committee Interview 5. The Second or On-Site Interview 6. Behavioral-Based Interview 7. Task Oriented or Testing Interview 8. Stress Interview
    7. 7. Be Funny
    8. 8. Questions to Never Ask at a Job Interview 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. "How much does the job pay?" "What kind of benefits package do you offer?" "What are the hours?" "How many annual leave will I get?" "Can I telecommute?" "What kind of company is this?" "What happened to the last person who had this job?" "What do you like least about your employer?" "How much help will I get?" "Can I work at another job part time?" "Do you do background checks?" “So when is the baby due?" "How did I do?" Not asking questions at all.
    9. 9. Science of Salary Most raises are given out in Jan, Jun & Jul Standing tall - each inch above average may be worth $789 more per year $75,000 to buy happiness, nothing more
    10. 10. 8 Tips to Negotiate a Higher Salary Do your research Don't tip your hand Understand your value Let the company bring up the salary negotiation issue Emphasize the benefits of your skills Don't blink Be reasonable Be flexible
    11. 11. Common Salary Negotiation Mistakes 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Revealing How Much You Would Accept. Focusing on Need/Greed Rather Than Value. Weak Research or Negotiation Preparation. Making a Salary Pitch Too Early. Accepting Job Offer Too Quickly. Declining Job Offer Too Quickly. Asking For Too Many Changes in Counteroffer. Taking Salary Negotiations Personally. Not Asking for Final Offer in Writing.
    12. 12. Executive Career Adrian Tan www.facebook.com/askaheadhunter