Don’t Leave $$ On the Table!! – Negotiating Salary For a New Job

Don’t Leave $$ On the Table!! – Negotiating Salary For a New Job

dollar signOK – your job search has been successful – you have a job offer!! Congrats!! What is your approach to NOT leave $$ on the table? … to negotiate the best salary deal you can get?

The time to negotiate salary and benefits is after you have received a job offer. Why not earlier? Because you don’t want to negotiate against yourself. Your employer contact  knows your compensation history and knows the compensation range for the job he or she is trying to fill (and hopefully you know the range also!). This person is aware of all the answers you and other candidates have given during the interviewing process. Your employer contact has also made comparisons of whom else they have been interviewing for the job and how large the pool is of people to choose from (your competition for the job). From this base of information, a decision will be made as to whom to make the offer and at what salary. These factors will determine if the offer is at the high end of the range or not. Another factor that enters into formula is your current employment status; if employed, the offer may be higher than if you were unemployed. The benefit package is probably formula-driven for the position you are interviewing for, so little opportunity to tinker with it.

What then do you negotiate? Actually, very little. If the salary range is $45 – $50,000… and your last salary was $46,500 and the offer comes in at $47,000 or $47,500 – yes, you are disappointed it wasn’t more. Recognize, however that it is an increase and be assured that the hiring official thought it through and felt that the offer was a fair one. In almost every case, the salary detailed in the job offer has been carefully thought through; the employer wanting to pay as low an amount as is reasonable to attract and hire the talent to do the job. If you ask for an adjustment because you don’t feel it is enough you are not sending not the best of messages!

The best approach is to “pre-negotiate” the salary during the interview process.

If the interviewer asks “What salary are you looking for?”

Answer carefully. Hopefully you know the salary range ahead of time. If so, you answer: “Well, I know the salary range is $X – $Y. My last salary and bonus plan paid $Z on an annual basis. While I would like to be at the high end of your range, I am primarily looking for opportunity first and am prepared to be flexible about the compensation package”.

If you don’t know the range, then you answer: “Well, my last salary and bonus plan paid $Z on an annual basis. While I would prefer to make some upward strides, I am primarily looking for opportunity first and am prepared to be flexible about the compensation package”. Never inflate your current or past compensation. It is not uncommon for an employer to ask to see a W-2…and you’re sunk if it doesn’t match what you have said!

By these responses, you have put a salary number on the table.

If for some reason you aren’t asked this question, towards the end of the interview, say:

“We haven’t discussed compensation. What is the range?” And depending on the response, from there offer one of the two responses above.

Keep in mind that one of the advantages of working with a staffing service (shameless plug for NRI Staffing Resources!)  is that they can negotiate on your behalf without you personally interacting with the prospective employer.

Be also aware  that employers wants some consistency regarding salary levels for the same job. It avoids the hard feelings that arise when workers doing the same or similar jobs find out there is a significant difference in their comp compared to others doing the same work.

For further information on the subject – see The Ultimate Job-Seeker’s Guide – Chapter 11- Congrats!! You Have an Offer!! Now what?? Evaluating Job Offers; Negotiating Salary and Benefits.

Follow me on Twitter for notices of these posts.

For jobs and career opportunities in the Washington, DC metro area –  visit the NRI website. Many jobs are listed there …..and NRI Recruiters can find others for you!

follow me on twitterMy LinkedIn profile

Copyright © Robert Mulberger All Rights Reserved

The absolute worst – and dumbest – question to ask in an interview!

The absolute worst – and dumbest – question to ask in an interview!

I recently was at a dinner function talking to a senior HR manager at one of the Fortune 100 companies. She was in the process of hiring a new administrative assistant that would report to her.

As is usually the case in most interviews she asked “do you have any questions?” after she had completed asking her battery of questions to best understand the candidate,

You can't be serious!!

You can’t be serious!!

To which the person replied – here it comes – “Yes, I’d like to know how soon I can have a one-on-one lunch with the CEO?”

My dinner companion was stunned!! Had the candidate lost all perspective of what I call “the world of work”?? An AA working for a multi-national multi-billion dollar firm can count on NEVER having a one-on-one lunch with the CEO even if he or she is the AA to a senior corporate manager.

I have heard of many inappropriate questions candidate ask while interviewing… but this one “takes the cake”!!

Other equally WRONG questions you should never ask include:

“When can I count on getting a raise”? The correct question is “what is the performance and salary review process”?

“Does the company have any resort facilities for staff to use”? Dumb question – has no basis on the job-seeking process. You will find out soon enough is such a thing exists …and if you are far enough up the food chain to enjoy it!

“How big of an expense allowance do I get”? The issue of expense allowances only arise in two situations:

You will be traveling on company business …or you are interviewing for a sales position where you will incur everyday expenses (parking, tolls, etc.). The correct question in those circumstances is “How are travel/everyday expenses handled”?

“What kind of charitable work does the company support”? If this is important to you – discover the answer via research rather than taking time in an interview to ask it. Asking the question begs the response – “why – is it important to you”? Which in turn triggers in the interviewer’s mind that you might be more of a social activist than they want to bring on board.

In summary – there are right questions to ask … and there are wrong questions to ask. Be sure you know the difference!! Getting a job offer may depend on it.

Follow me on Twitter for notices of these posts.

For jobs and career opportunities in the Washington, DC metro area –  visit the NRI website. Many jobs are listed there …..and NRI Recruiters can find others for you!

follow me on twitterMy LinkedIn profile

Copyright © Robert Mulberger All Rights Reserved

5 Must Ask Questions You Raise in a Job Interview

5 Must Ask Questions You Raise in a Job Interview

The job interviewing process has one objective for you – to get a job offer that is a good fit for you and your career path.

You will be asked lots of questions and as I have discuss numerous time, you MUST be prepared to nail the answers….. every time. You will be evaluated to a large degree on your answers and behavior during the interview. Remember – job interviewing is a single elimination process!!top-5

However, you will also be evaluated  in light of the questions you ask…so let’s review the top 5 questions for you to ask! Each of these questions brand you as a serious job seeker and one who understands that “things may not be what they seem to be”.

1. What is the training or orientation program for the position we have been discussing? Note – if applying for a significant management job – then ask What is in place to get me up and running as soon as possible –  what is your “on-boarding” process?

2. How would you characterize the culture of the organization overall and of the XXX department/division/etc. where I will be working? Formal? Informal? Collegial? Tough – best perform or else?

3. Is it possible that I meet who I will be reporting to during the interview process?

4. What are the areas of performance that – when accomplished to a high degree – will mark hiring me as a successful decision and mark me as a valuable asset? What is important to accomplish in this job; how will success be measured?

5. Based upon the people that have been in this job before – what are the most enjoyable aspects of it and what are least desirable? Are there any hidden challenges to this job that don’t appear on the surface?

My suggestion is to memorize these questions or study them sufficiently that you know them cold. Of course, you can have them in written form in your notes you have before you but you don’t want to appear to be reading them. Referring to them – yes; reading them – nope!

Follow me on Twitter for notices of these posts!

For jobs and career opportunities in the Washington, DC metro area –  visit the NRI website. Many jobs are listed there …..and NRI Recruiters can find others for you!

follow me on twitter    My LinkedIn profile   

Copyright © Robert Mulberger All Rights Reserved

 

Successful Delegation Requires a Process

Career success and job success is a function of your skills and abilities. If you are – or ever will be – in a supervisory job… in charge of a project…or chairing a committee… delegation skills are critical to success. Someday getting the job offer you want might hinge upon your ability to answer successfully  the interview question “Tell me about how you delegate – how do you go about it?”! Interview preparation is job search tip #1!

Delegation is universally understood to be necessary to the success of any organizational unit. For delegation to be successful,  however, it must be structured –  a process must be determined and then followed.

To delegate successfully follow these guidelines from MindTools:

1. Articulate clearly the desired outcome. Specify the results that will make the effort a success. Include any “stakeholders” in the discussions leading to the definition of success for the effort. Provide initial timelines and deadlines.

2. Identify the degree of authority and accountability of each person involved.

3. Define who and when are the people involved to:

a. Develop a plan and ask for approval?…or

b. Develop a plan and proceed to implement, reporting status/results on what frequency?

4. Be sure authority and responsibility are in sync; if someone has the authority to act in a particular aspect of the project – he or she is also responsible for the results.

5. Delegate as far down in the organization as possible; the people closest to the action are in the best position to know what will work and what won’t.

6. Make answering procedural questions and clarifying issues a priority of all. You don’t want the process to come to a halt because someone can’t get an answer to a procedural question.

7. Don’t permit “upward delegation” to take place; where someone shifts responsibility upward or to you. When someone comes to see you with a problem  – picture the issue  as a monkey on his/her back. Don’t let that monkey jump on your desk, and then you are left with the monkey (the problem or issue)! Don’t answer such questions – ask questions instead as to possible approaches/solutions until they arrive at one you would agree with….then just nod approval!

8. Focus on results – not procedure, so long as procedures don’t exceed pre-determined parameters (cost, not a violation of any law, etc.). How you would do it is not necessarily the best way – if the right people are in the mix, the “how” should not be an issue.

9. Every now and then – there will be a glitch. That is, “the cow will get in the ditch”. This can be a great learning exercise – instruct whomever of the three-step process:

a. Get the cow out of the ditch.

b. Find out how the cow got into the ditch

c. Develop and implement procedures so it can’t happen again!

10. Have periodic meetings to discuss progress, stressing the objectives and what the desired results will have in terms of payoff for the organization and the team members. Review timelines and deadlines. Be sure to give recognition when earned. Document progress and distribute to all involved.

Successful delegation can only be achieved by understanding that it is a process that needs to be put into place and then followed religiously.

For further reading on the subject – go to http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_98.htm

Follow me on Twitter for notices of these posts.

For jobs and career opportunities in the Washington, DC metro area –  visit the NRI website. Many jobs are listed there …..and NRI Recruiters can find others for you!

follow me on twitter    My LinkedIn profile   

 Copyright © Robert Mulberger All Rights Reserved