Ask Amanda: "How do I nail my next interview?"
Hello job seekers! I’m Amanda Augustine, Job Search Expert for TheLadders, where your career is our job.™ Each week, I’ll answer your toughest job-search questions in my Ask Amanda column, right here on The Career Chronicles.
Have a question for me? Submit your question here for a chance to have it answered in my weekly column, and be sure to follow @JobSearchAmanda on Twitter for up-to-the-minute job-search advice.
Could you please share with me the best things to remember going into an interview? I've had 3 face-to-face, and feel like the one coming up next week is the one! - Ron D., Lakeview, NY
Congratulations Ron, it sounds like your job search is going well. Many people struggle with maintaining momentum throughout the interview process. Here are a few things to keep in mind for your interviews:
(1) Show Your Cultural Fit: Once you’ve proven that you have the right skill set and experience for the job, shift your focus to showcasing how you are a cultural fit. If hired, will you fit in with the team and thrive? Will you be around for the long run?
To find out about a company’s culture before your interview, visit sites such as Glassdoor.com and Vault.com, in addition to the company’s corporate site. Additionally, search your network to see if you know anyone who works (or has worked) at the organization and take those people out for a cup of coffee to pick their brain.
(2) Prepare for Negotiations: I always advise clients to tactfully avoid talking dollars and cents for as long as possible. You want enough interview time to first prove what a value-add you are for the company, so that when they make an offer, you’re no longer just a line item in the budget. You’re a potential contributor.
That being said, you should always be prepared for the conversation. Research competitive salary information for the position using resources such as PayScale.com and Salary.com, and calculate the total value of your last compensation package. Use that information to develop a compensation range that includes the lowest amount you’d accept and the highest number you think you could ask for within reason. Consider all tangible and intangible benefits that are important to you – this could include salary, signing bonus, commission, car allowance, travel budget, training or continued education.
If you have the time, I highly recommend checking out Jack Chapman’s articles on negotiation and his book, “Negotiating Your Salary: How to Make $1,000 a Minute.” His information is easy to understand and incredibly helpful in the salary negotiation process.
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Amanda Augustine is the Job Search Expert for TheLadders. She provides job search and career guidance for professionals looking to make their next career move. Have a question for Amanda? Submit your question here for a chance to have it answered in her weekly column, and be sure to follow @JobSearchAmanda on Twitter and “Like” her on Facebook for up-to-the-minute job-search advice.