16) How much do you expect to get paid?
Before you start talking pay (and salary negotiations) with a prospective employer, you need to find out how much the job (and you) are worth. You will need to take the time to research salaries. That way you will be prepared to get what you’re worth and to get a job offer that’s realistic and reasonable.
Once you know what you should be earning, how do you go about getting it? Start by being very patient. When interviewing for a new position, do your best not to bring up compensation until the employer makes you an offer. If you’re asked what your salary requirementsare, say that they are open based upon the position and the overall compensation package. Or tell the employer you’d like to know more about the responsibilities and the challenges of the job prior to discussing salary.
Another option is to give the employer a salary rangebased upon the salary research you’ve done up front. Once you’ve received the offer you don’t need to accept (or reject) it right away. A simple “I need to think it over” can get you an increase in the original offer.
And if you’re ambivalent about the position a “no” can bring you a better offer too. I turned down a position I knew I didn’t want, regardless of salary, and received three follow-up phone calls upping the compensation package. Be careful though, if you do definitely need that new job there’s a risk that the employer may accept your declining the position and move on to the next candidate.
Negotiating a Raise
If you are currently employed and want a raise, start by being prepared. Gather your salary survey information, recent performance appraisals that document the job you’re doing, and any other relevant information. Be aware of company policy regarding compensation. Some employers are limited by budget constraints and can only give raises at certain times of the year, regardless of the circumstances.
Have a clear idea of what you want. Determine the salary range you’re looking for and justification for the increase and have both ready to review with your supervisor. Be flexible. Would you consider an extra couple of weeks vacation instead of a raise? I know someone who has regularly taken time-off instead of money and now has six vacation weeks a year… Then, ask your supervisor for a meeting to discuss salary. Present your request, supported by documentation, calmly and rationally. Don’t ask for an immediate answer. Your boss is mostly likely going to have to discuss it with Human Resources and/or other company managers.
Despite your best efforts, there may simply not be enough money in the budget to increase your salary or compensation package offer. The company may also not want to create inequities by paying one person more than others in a similar position. In that case, you can at least know you tried. Plus, if this is a job you really think that you’re going to love, consider whether the company culture, the benefits, and the job itself are worth it – regardless of the salary.
17) How would you describe the pace at which you work?
When you’re asked to describe the pace at which you work, be careful how you respond. This is another question where faster isn’t necessarily better. Most employers would rather hire employees who work at a steady pace. Someone who is too slow to get the job done in a reasonable time frame isn’t going to be a good hire. Neither is a candidate who works frenetically all day.
Options for answering this question include saying that you work at a steady pace, but usually complete work in advance of the deadline. Discuss your ability to manage projects and get them done on, or ahead, of schedule. If you work at a job where you have set criteria (i.e. number of calls made or responsed to) that measures accomplishments, discuss how you have achieved or exceeded those goals.
18) How would you describe yourself?
Review sample answers to the interview question “How would you describe yourself?” When you respond, keep in mind the type of position you are interviewing for, the company culture, and the work environment. Your answer should help show the interviewer why you’re a match for the job and for the company.
- I’m a people person. I really enjoy meeting and working with a lot of different people.
- I’m a perfectionist. I pay attention to all the details, and like to be sure that everything is just right.
- I’m a creative thinker. I like to explore alternative solutions to problems and have an open mind about what will work best.
- I’m efficient and highly organized. This enables me to be as productive as possible on the job.
- I enjoy solving problems, troubleshooting issues, and coming up with solutions in a timely manner.
19) How would you handle it if your boss was wrong?
The question “If you know your boss is 100% wrong about something, how would you handle this?” is asked to find out how you deal with a difficult situation.
An answer that works well is: “It depends on the situation and the personality of the supervisor.” To elaborate, give examples:
My present supervisor does not like to have his authority questioned. He’s fairly new on the job and almost all of the people he supervises have been on the job longer than he has. He’s never bothered to learn the procedures, how things are done or how the computer system works. But if any of us tell him that how he wants something done won’t work, he gets extremely angry. So, I never tell him he’s wrong. Never. Whatever he tells me to do, I smile and say “okay.” Then if I know a way to get it done that will work, I do it that way, give him the results he wants and never tell him I didn’t do it the way he told me to. He got the results and is happy. I saved myself the stress of being yelled at and gave him what he wanted, so I’m happy.
My prior superviser was more easy-going and if I told her “you know, I think it might work better if I do what you asked in such and such a way,” she say “okay, try it.”
If I were a new hire on a job, I would probably not question a supervisor because I might think I didn’t know enough. Except on the new job I’m going to. The director has admitted that she’s new on the job and there are alot of things that a secretary does that she doesn’t know how to do, so she will be depending on me to know how to keep the office running.
20) If the people who know you were asked why you should be hired, what would they say?
When the interviewer asks “If the people who know you were asked why you should be hired, what would they say?” he or she wants to know what your perception is of what others think about your qualifications and abilities.
I’m sure if you asked my friends that question they would say you should hire me because I have the skills outlined in the job description and I bring 10+ years of expertise to this position. Words they’ve used to describe me are: hard working, professional, trusted and a team player.