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The New Stuff



Why aren’t you earning more money at this stage of your career ?

You like to make money, but other factors are even more important.


The “Secret” Illegal Question

Much more frequent than the Illegal question (see Question 55) is the secret illegal question. It’s secret because it’s asked only in the interviewer’s mind. Since it’s not even expressed to you, you have no way to respond to it, and it can there be most damaging.


What are your greatest weaknesses ?

Disguise a strength as a weakness.

Example: “I sometimes push my people too hard. I like to work with a sense of urgency and everyone is not always on the same wavelength.”

Drawback: This strategy is better than admitting a flaw, but it's so widely used, it is transparent to any experienced interviewer.


“The Salary Question” – How much money do you want ?

For maximum salary negotiating power, remember these five guidelines

Never bring up salary. Let the interviewer do it first. Good salespeople sell their products thoroughly before talking price. So should you. Make the interviewer want you first, and your bargaining position will be much stronger.

If your interviewer raises the salary question too early, before you’ve had a chance to create desire for your qualifications, postpone the question, saying something like, “Money is important to me, but is not my main concern. Opportunity and growth are far more important. What I’d rather do, if you don’t mind, is explore if I’m right for the position, and then talk about money. Would that be okay?”

The #1 rule of any negotiation is: the side with more information wins. After you’ve done a thorough job of selling the interviewer and it’s time to talk salary, the secret is to get the employer talking about what he’s willing to pay before you reveal what you’re willing to accept. So, when asked about salary, respond by asking, “I’m sure the company has already established a salary range for this position. Could you tell me what that is?” Or, “I want an income commensurate with my ability and qualifications. I trust you’ll be fair with me. What does the position pay?” Or, more simply, “What does this position pay?”

Know beforehand what you’d accept. To know what’s reasonable, research the job market and this position for any relevant salary information. Remember that most executives look for a 20-25%$ pay boost when they switch jobs. If you’re grossly underpaid, you may want more.

Never lie about what you currently make, but feel free to include the estimated cost of all your fringes, which could well tack on 25-50% more to your present “cash-only” salary.


How many hours a week do you normally work?

If you are in fact a workaholic and you sense this company would like that: Say you are a confirmed workaholic, that you often work nights and weekends. Your family accepts this because it makes you fulfilled.

If you are not a workaholic: Say you have always worked hard and put in long hours. It goes with the territory. It one sense, it’s hard to keep track of the hours because your work is a labor of love, you enjoy nothing more than solving problems. So you’re almost always thinking about your work, including times when you’re home, while shaving in the morning, while commuting, etc.

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