In a recent blog I wrote about the importance of job seekers (and hiring managers) making a good first impression during the interview process. This starts with arriving on time, dressing for success and, if it’s a virtual interview, being sure that your technology is working.
Once you are in the interview, there are several best practices that are also extremely important and that can help make your interview – and the impression you leave – a positive one.
Be prepared to state an expected salary range. By California law, hiring managers can no longer ask you about your current salary or salary history. They may, however, ask about your salary expectations. Be prepared. Do some research, give it some thought, and determine a salary range that you’d be happy with. What’s the lowest salary you’d find acceptable? Hedging on this question or refusing to answer will only waste your time and the hiring company’s time if your expectations/what they’re willing to offer are too far out of alignment. And don’t forget when you calculate your range expectations to factor in any commissions or bonuses you typically receive.
Be clear about other, non-salary expectations. Part of the needs assessment at the beginning of a job search is to identify all your must-haves in a new opportunity – role, responsibilities, work environment, culture, type of employer, etc. As you prepare for your interview, be sure you develop questions that will help you determine whether the opportunity meets those needs. And be sure that your talking points clearly state what you’re looking for.
Be honest. If you are nearing the offer stage with a company and have another offer on the table, be honest about it. Playing games or creating a “bidding war” is a bad practice and wastes everyone’s time. It will also leave a bad impression.
Stay engaged. This is especially important during virtual interviews, which are now so common. Remember that the candidate is evaluating you as much as you are evaluating them. Make eye contact, turn your phone off and conduct the interview in a place that is devoid of distractions. If it’s a panel interview don’t turn off your camera or do other things while others are asking questions. Demonstrate to the candidate your respect for their time and your interest in learning about them. We are in a market where job seekers have lots of choices and where they don’t hesitate to share their interview experiences with other job seekers on Glassdoor, etc.
Are you planning to look for a new opportunity in 2022? Check out my Career Coaching Packages.