Welcome to Part 2 of our blog, discussing a variety of important topics for job seekers with Career Coach, Bob Ingrassio! Today we will focus on Bob’s answers to our questions about interviews, handling rejection, and salary negotiation. (Please note that once again, responses have been edited for length and clarity.)
1). Revision Resume’s business model involves providing clients with career documentation they can use in their job search. We often find that our clients are also seeking interview training which is a service you offer.
What areas of the interview do you find most people need assistance with?
Unquestionably, most interviewees are not aware of how their presence – voice, body language, and communication abilities – may influence the interviewer. (We tend to underestimate our own biases, and those of others).
Secondly, many job candidates don't invest the time to research the company they are applying to. Gathering information may be a benefit at some point during the interview.
The following are also some common areas in which job candidates could use assistance:
Identifying what is involved in preparing for a job interview.
Appropriately considering what questions may be asked during the interview.
Preparing for how to handle unexpected questions.
Learning to bring your questions and identifying the appropriate time to ask those questions during the interview.
2). We have discussed the importance of interviewees reviewing a company website prior to going in for an interview.
Can you explain to readers why this is so important and what they should be looking for during their website review?
This is a great question. I recommend my clients make a list of the key company players: owner, president, HR managers, etc. Look for company accomplishments, current activities, projects, and initiatives, and make notes. Have they posted what appears to be a well-written mission statement? If so, print this out because there may be specific values that you will want to know – and use – when answering certain questions during your interview.
Along with your website search, always research the company on LinkedIn to learn more about the key people you may encounter during the interviewing process. Collecting this information is another essential aspect of the construction of your interview strategy.
3). Revision Resume often emphasizes how important it is for interviewees to ask their own questions during an interview.
Can you share your view on this with our readers?
This is one of the most critical components of the interview. Preparing a list of well-thought-out questions, and knowing where, when, and how to integrate them into the interview is key. You will gain an understanding of specific aspects of the position through your own questions. Additionally, your interviewer will realize you were well prepared in advance for the interview.
Here's an example: "Your website clearly shows the direction of the company. What do you see as the most significant accomplishments that will be achieved in the next three years?"
4). Rejection is an unfortunate part of the job search process.
Do you have any tips for job seekers facing rejection?
From my perspective, accepting rejection positively is a true sign of maturity and humility. For those who want to use rejection as a tool, my advice is to consider the following:
After every interview, immediately record everything you can remember.
Ask yourself: which questions do you think you answered well, and where do you think you may have failed, or not appeared confident enough with your reply?
Do you think you've made it to the second-round interview? If so, how should you prepare?
For those who are using a career-centered coach, be sure to deconstruct your interview with them immediately after making your notes.
Should you receive a rejection letter, review your notes first, then ask yourself (or discuss with your coach) the following:
Could it be something I said or should have said?
Did I speak with confidence and were my answers honest and convincing?
There is a difference between confidence, overconfidence, and arrogance…a trait that usually needs to be pointed out to us. Could that have played a role?
Were you truly qualified for the position?
What was the level of competition you were up against?
There are situations where an interviewer will share why you were not selected for the position, or rejected. Whenever possible, knowing the reason can be most helpful.
5). Let’s talk about salary negotiation! I imagine this is a big part of your career coaching as job seekers only get one chance to negotiate for their salary and benefits.
Do you have any quick tips you could provide readers?
You are certainly correct, and here are a few reader tips.
Before entering a salary discussion, request a copy of the company benefits package. This allows you to pause…and not give them your desired salary range immediately. Once you can review the full benefits, you will begin to determine how your wage fits in. You should do this evaluation outside of the interview. It will create a reason for a follow-up meeting, allowing you time to develop your strategy. Remember that, for highly qualified candidates, many companies today are far more flexible with the benefits they will provide.
If this is an ideal career move for you, do not quibble over a few dollars.
Your perspective will be a big factor. For example, it may be wise to accept what appears to be a lower wage, simply because the cost of benefits you have been able to negotiate is primarily acquired with pretax dollars.
Do not underestimate the value of a 401(k) and a company match policy.
Does the company offer a fair performance bonus plan? If they do, ensure you completely understand what you need to do to achieve it and exactly what it will take.
Other considerations: stock options, pensions, and potential partnership opportunities, all play a role in the negotiation process.
In closing, I extend my sincere thanks to Revision Resume for providing me the opportunity to share some of my experience with you, their readers. I hope that you have picked up at least a tip or two that maybe you haven’t considered before reading this blog.
To receive my free, “Preparation Guide to Interviewing”, or learn about the services I offer, please email me at BobAlan.LLC@gmail.com. Robert A. Ingrassio,
President Bob Alan Associates, LLC
Revision Resume would also like to thank Bob Ingrassio for his time answering our questions and providing such valuable information to our readers! As always, don’t hesitate to reach out if you need assistance with your career documentation! Contact us today!