How prepare interview for Job

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Published Date:15-07-2017
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Preparing for Job Interviews A HELPFUL GUIDE FOR ENTERING THE JOB MARKET Preparation Company Research An interview seeks to Why research? Learning what you can about the company and being able to ask informed questions at the interview discover whether you are the will help lift you above the competition. It is easier to: right person for the job. • Find information on public companies versus private Career planning firms is a process • Locate facts about corporations as a whole versus in which you subsidiaries/divisions integrate • Uncover information about large, nationally known knowledge corporations than local/regional firms about yourself It is important to check the dates on publications to make with career sure that they are current. opportunities Company information to look for includes: years in and then business, services or products, competitors within the strategically industry, ranking within the industry, growth pattern, reputation, divisions and subsidiaries, location/length market yourself to acquire those positions. of time established there, size, sales, assets and earnings, Marketing yourself requires knowing how projects, number of locations, and foreign operations. your skills, talents, values and personality Utilize your network of professors and career services as lend themselves to particular jobs. As you they may have some insight into the company with which read through this guide, if you encounter you are interviewing. questions or would like more information If you are on the Internet researching companies and a specific to your situation, contact your source charges a fee, first check whether the KU Libraries career center listed on the back cover. already has a subscription to that resource or one that provides similar information. Interview Preparation/Research Managing Your Professional Image • Verify where and when the interview is. Be sure you have directions for getting there and account for rush Email and Voice Mail hour traffic, construction or other delays when making Utilize a professional email address, e.g., your travel plans. (not or When emailing employers, remember that this is an example of your • Know the name and title/position of your interviewer if written communication skills. Use proper grammar; do possible. Being familiar with names ahead of time will not use slang, abbreviations, text messages, etc. Always make it easier to connect in person and it will also give proofread before sending. a more personal touch to the thank you notes you write following the interview. Ensure your phone message is appropriate. If you are not in a setting where you can conduct a professional • It is okay to ask for the type of interview to expect conversation (e.g., a noisy restaurant) and don’t recognize (i.e., panel, behavioral, case, etc.). the number, let the call go to voice mail. If caught off guard or an employer calls at an inconvenient time (e.g., you Make sure you know how to get just returned from jogging), politely excuse yourself for a to your interview. moment or explain that you are unable to talk at this time and request a mutually agreeable time to call them or have them call back. 2Social Networking Sites Professional Etiquette When searching for a job it is important to remember your • Be nice to everyone, especially the receptionist or greeter; online image. Some employers may search social your interview begins as soon as you leave home — networking sites or the Internet for information on job you never know who you may meet before the on-site candidates. Before you post pictures or statements on the interview begins. web, keep in mind that posting to the web is like getting a tattoo — it’s permanent. Never post anything you wouldn’t • Offer a firm handshake — no one likes a dead fish or a take into a job interview or show your grandmother. It is bone-crusher. also a good idea to Google yourself to learn what inform- • Smile, have good eye contact and speak clearly. ation is out there and correct misinformation if possible. • Have some general conversation topics ready at all Applications times — you may want to have at least five current Many companies will require you to fill out an application event topics available to talk about; avoid negativity in addition to the resume and supporting materials that and controversial topics such as religion, politics, etc. you have already submitted. When you are filling out the • Wait to sit until invited by your host. application you may be asked whether you have ever been terminated, arrested or convicted. Read carefully and pay • Do not chew gum during the interview. attention to the details of the question. If an application • Sit up straight and don’t fidget asks and you do not disclose, it can be considered falsification of records. Being honest will not necessarily • Employer-sponsored social events can affect your jeopardize your candidacy. A possible way to answer a reputation and chances for hiring/promotion with a difficult question is “Yes, details provided upon request.” company; keep this in mind when consuming alcohol, choosing attire for the event, and conducting yourself. Physical Image This is not the time to party. As the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. It’s important to dress for the job you • Conversations, including those with peers, should be of want. If in doubt, it’s better to slightly overdress than to a professional nature. Overly intimate topics or gossip risk appearing too casual. If you want people to take you should not be shared at employer-sponsored events. seriously, you need to dress and act the part. Dining Etiquette Business Professional Meals are a common part of both the job search Attire process and working with clients in the For most interviews, wear business world. Below is a list of tips to a two-piece matching keep in mind when dining for business. business suit. However, rules may vary depending Basic Table Manners on the industry. • Be courteous to everyone, including restaurant staff. Business Casual Attire Business casual clothing • If possible, let the employer should be clean, crisp take the lead in ordering and and fit you properly. It is order along the same price not synonymous with Be courteous to range as the host or choose an loungewear. Business entrée in the middle of the price everyone, including casual is a classic look, not a trendy one. If you would wear range. restaurant staff. it to a bar, the gym, a sporting event, a cocktail party, or a • It is best to order food that can be picnic, don’t even think about it easily eaten with a knife and fork. Finger foods can be messy and are best left for informal dining. 3tt • Do not order alcoholic beverages. If your host orders drinks for you, limit your intake to one (if of legal age). However, you are not obligated to drink it. Drinking too much when dining out is unprofessional and can damage Here’s How to your credibility. • When dining at a formal table setting, a good rule of General Guidelines thumb is to begin with the outermost pieces of silverware • No formal attire (i.e., tux, cocktail dress, sequins) and work towards the plate. • Shirt should be tucked in, starched, clean and unwrinkled • When in doubt about the table setting, always remember solids on the left (bread plates) and liquids (drinking • Avoid anything that is tight or has gaping buttons glasses) on the right. Think “BMW”: Bread- Meal-Water. • You should not be able to walk on the hems of your Wait to eat until everyone at the table has been served pant legs and your host has started his/her meal. • The waist of your pants needs to sit at the natural waist • Eat at a moderate speed and don’t make others wait for you to finish. Remember — your first priority is the • No shorts, jeans or anything really trendy (unless you’re going business, not the food. into fashion or a related field) • When you are not eating, keep your hands on your lap • Avoid a peep show of your undergarments or resting on the table with wrists on the edge of the • No excessive or flashy jewelry table. Elbows on the table are acceptable only between courses, not while you are eating. • Dress shoes only — no flip flops, boots or tennis shoes • Used silverware should never touch the table; rather, it • Be sure your shoes are polished and in excellent shape should rest on your plate. • Don’t smoke the day you meet with employers • If a piece of your silverware falls on the floor, pick it up if • Go easy on or forego perfume/cologne you can reach it and let the server know you need a clean one. If you cannot reach it, tell the server you dropped a • Hair color should be a natural color and pulled back piece of your silverware and ask for a clean one. or styled conservatively • Don’t make a big fuss if you spill or break something on • No five-o’clock shadow — trim or shave facial hair the table. Wipe it up with your napkin if it is small or call • Cover any tattoos and remove body piercings the waiter. • Nails should be well manicured and trimmed • Place your napkin on your chair if you leave the table during a meal. Place your dirty napkin near your plate Women’s Business Professional Attire only when everyone has finished and you are ready to • Two-piece matching suit in navy, dark gray or black leave the table. (Pinstripes, pants or skirted suits are acceptable) • You should not leave the table during the meal except in • Skirts must be at least knee length an emergency. If you must go to the bathroom or if you suddenly become sick, simply excuse yourself. Later you • Hosiery should be of a neutral color or slightly darker can apologize to your host by saying that you did not (no patterns) and always be worn with skirts feel well. • Closed-toe and heel shoes with low heels • Say “no thank you” if you don’t like or want something. • Wear conservative jewelry and makeup • It is inappropriate to ask for a doggy bag when you are • Nail polish should be in a clear or subtle shade a guest. Save the doggy bag for informal dining situations. • Only one earring per ear dress for your interview Here’s how NOT to 4tt Dress for Your Interview Women’s Business Casual Attire • Dress pants/skirts should be worn with a blouse in a solid color or conservative print; sweater sets are suitable • Skirts should be knee-length and should not be tight; slits to facilitate walking are acceptable; slits to show off your legs are not • Blazers can be worn • Larger casual jewelry can be worn if it is conservative and not distracting • Hosiery should be of a neutral color or slightly darker (no patterns) and always be worn with skirts • Wear shoes that you can walk in, but avoid overly chunky heels/platforms; Flats or low heels are appropriate (closed-toe and heel) • No cleavage (on either end) • No tank tops, belly shirts, jeans, flip flops, capri/crop pants, sweatshirts, t-shirts, shorts, etc. Men’s Business Professional Attire • Two-piece matching suit in navy, dark gray or black (pinstripes are acceptable) • Ties should be conservative and not flashy • Socks should cover the calf and be a dark color to match your suit • Wear a plain white t-shirt underneath a light-colored dress shirt Men’s Business Casual People will take you seriously if you Attire • Button-down shirts and dark or dress for success khaki colored dress pants are recommended • Sport coats and blazers can be worn • Solid-colored v-neck or crew neck • Wear socks that are dark in color and high enough to cover sweaters are appropriate the leg when seated • Avoid shirts with loud prints • No athletic shoes, flip flops, cargo pants, sweatshirts, jeans, t-shirts, shorts, etc. • Belt and dress shoes should match and be polished and professional- • Minimal jewelry: watches, one ring per hand only looking dress for your interview 5The Interview When you arrive at the interview, be prepared to make Answering Interview Questions small talk with office staff and the interviewer(s). Be • Employers determine which skills or critical behaviors are positive, especially in response to those seemingly innocent necessary for the job opening and then ask very deliberate questions, such as “How are you today?” “Did you have questions to determine whether the candidate possesses trouble locating the building?” No one wants a complainer those skills. To assess which skills the employer is seeking, or a person who seems to have a negative attitude as part of talk with alumni, read the company literature and listen their team. closely during the company’s information session. • Always listen carefully to the question, ask for The Employer’s Perspective clarification if necessary and make sure you answer the The interviewers will have objectives to achieve during question completely. the interview process. Although they already have basic • Your resume will serve as a good guide when answering information from your resume, they want to: interview questions. Refresh your memory regarding • Confirm your competence (knowledge, skills and your achievements in the past couple of years. abilities) to do the job • Keep your answers concise but complete. Your answer • Assess your communication skills—every sentence should take approximately 30 seconds to two minutes, you speak during an interview provides an example depending on the depth of the question. of your verbal communication skills and ability to • Focus on your strengths and put a positive spin on present information answers to negative questions. (e.g., what you learned.) • Determine your level of motivation and interest in the • Enunciate, speak clearly and avoid swearing, using slang position as well as the organization or fillers (e.g., “um,” “you know,” “like”). • Observe your interpersonal skills, and how well you get along with other employees Screening and/or General Interviews The purpose of this type of interview is to narrow the pool • Evaluate your problem-solving skills and initiative of candidates. Personal Information Tell me about yourself. What do you consider to be your greatest strengths and weaknesses? How do you handle criticism? How do you think a supervisor/friend/professor would describe you? Why should I hire you? How do you like to be managed? What two or three things are most important to you in a job? Are you willing to relocate? Are you willing to travel? You should prepare for an interview by How do you work under pressure? visiting the company web site and What are your short-range career goals? Long-range goals? reading any available literature about What do you do in your leisure time? What are your the company. favorite hobbies? 6 Education Why did you select your college or university? Why did you choose your major? What class did you like best and least and why? How has your college experience prepared you for a career with our organization? What are your plans for continued study? Do your grades accurately reflect your ability? Why or why not? Experience What did you like best and least about your last job? Wondering which qualities the employer What two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction? may focus on in the interview? What experience do you bring to this job? Reread the job description and desired What have you learned from participating in qualifications for clues. extracurricular activities? Are you a leader? Give examples. In what ways do you think you can make a contribution to our company? Describe your most rewarding college experience. How long do you intend to stay with our organization? Motivation Phone/Video or Web Cam Interviews What are the most important rewards you expect in If the interview is being conducted using video, treat it your career? as you would an in-person interview. Dress and behave Why did you choose this career? appropriately. How would you describe the ideal job for you? • When scheduling a phone or video interview, confirm the time zone; Kansas is in the Central Time Zone. What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort? • If you are not in a setting where you can conduct a How do you determine and evaluate success? professional conversation, let it go to voice mail or request What salary are you looking for? (Try to avoid answering to set up an alternate interview time. this until you reach the final interview stage.) • Prepare your telephone area (paper, pen, calendar, and Company or Organization Questions resume) and the location (i.e., hang a sign to warn roommates or other visitors). Why do you want to work for this company? • Get in an interview mind set — it may help to dress as if What position in our company interests you the most? you are going to an in-person interview. What do you know about our company? • Consider standing up for a phone interview because it In addition to the literature that was sent out, what other may help you project your voice. sources did you use to find out about our company? • Give brief answers and follow with questions of your own. What do you think it takes to be successful in a company • Don’t just repeat what is on your resume (it’s probably in like ours? front of them as they call). 7Be positive, especially in response to those seemingly innocent questions, such as “How are you today?” No one wants a complainer or a person who seems to have a negative attitude as part of their team. Situational Interview Behavioral Interview Questions Situational Interviewing techniques focus on what Decision Making and Problem Solving candidates would do in a specific situation. This technique Describe an instance when you had to think on your feet to involves questions that describe a hypothetical situation resolve a difficult situation. based on challenging, real life, job-related occurrences and ask the candidates how they would handle the problem. Give a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem. Example: You feel that your team is making a wrong decision. How do you handle the situation? Describe a time when you anticipated potential problems and developed preventative measures. Behavioral Interview The basic premise behind behavioral interviewing is that Tell me about a time when you were forced to make an the best predictor of future behavior is past performance. unpopular decision. Some points to remember when answering behavioral Give me an example of a time when you could not make a interview questions are listed below. decision because you did not have enough information? • Prior to the interview you need to think of examples How did you handle the situation? What was the result? where you have demonstrated the behaviors sought by Describe a situation in which you had to make a decision the company. involving an element of risk. What was the outcome? How • Demonstration of the desired behaviors may be proven in comfortable were you in making the decision? many ways. Use examples from past internships, classes, Describe a creative solution you have developed. How did activities, and work experience. In addition, you may use you do it? personal examples such as running a marathon, or running for student body president. Communication Skills • Your response needs to be specific and detailed. Tell Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to the interviewer about a particular situation that relates successfully convince someone to see things your way. to the question, not a general one. Briefly describe the Tell me about a time when you had to use your written situation, what you did specifically, and the positive communication skills in order to get an important point across. result or outcome. The interviewer may probe further for more depth or detail such as “What were you Describe the most significant or creative presentation you thinking at that point?” or “Lead me through your have given. decision process.” Give an example of a time when you were able to successfully • The question will require you to frame your answer in communicate with another person even though that individual one of the following ways: may not have personally liked you (or vice versa). CAR: Challenge (what was the problem/task?), Action Sometimes employees must communicate sensitive or unpleasant (what action did you take?), Result (what was the result information to customers or other team members. Describe of your actions?) a time, in a work setting, when you had to communicate unfavorable information to someone. What did you have to tell STAR: Situation, Task, Action, Result them? How did you communicate the information? How did this OKEYO: Overview, Key Events, Your Role, Outcome person respond? Were you able to keep the interaction positive? If so, how? What was the outcome of this situation? 8outcome? What did you learn from this situation? What would Adaptability/Stress and Time Management you do differently if you had it to do all over again? By providing examples, convince me that you can adapt to a wide variety of people, situations, and environments. Give a specific occasion in which you conformed to a policy with which you did not agree. Describe a time when you had to function in a new environment that was different from one you had functioned in previously. Teamwork How did you adapt? Tell me about a time when you had to work with a difficult Describe a time when you were faced with a stressful situation co-worker or customer. that demonstrated your coping skills. Describe a situation in which you were part of a team and Tell me about a time when you had to work with competing not everyone was doing their share. How did you handle the priorities or an excessive workload. situation? What was the result? Give me an example of a time when your schedule was Tell me about a team project in which you are particularly proud interrupted. How did you react to this? of your contribution. Tell me about a situation when you had to learn something new Case Interviews in a short time. How did you proceed? Case interviews are a specialized style of interviewing that are common for consulting and finance interviews; however, Give me a specific example of a time when you did not meet a they can be found in any field. Case interviews allow an deadline. How did you handle the subsequent situation? employer to assess a candidate’s ability to use logic, analyze Leadership/Personal Effectiveness a situation, sort through a large amount of information as well as their ability to present recommendations to a group. Give an example of an important goal you set and tell about your Coming to the “right” answer is not as important as the success in reaching it. process you use when answering the question. Case Tell about a time when you went above and beyond the call of questions can take several forms such as market-sizing duty in order to get a job done. questions, business strategy questions, or business operations questions. Examples of case questions are Describe a time when you decided on your own that something “How many ping pong balls fit into a 747?” “ABC Widget needed to be changed, and you took on the task to get it done. Company would like to buy Worldwide Faucets. What Give me an example of a time when you tried to accomplish would you advise them to consider before making this something and failed. How did you deal with the failure? acquisition?” What did you learn from the experience? What would you Answering case interview questions can be very have done differently? overwhelming for students. However, students who know Give me an example of a time when you motivated others. they will be getting a case interview question or who have an interview in the areas of consulting or finance Tell me about a time when you delegated a project effectively. are strongly encouraged to contact their career services Tell me about a time when you missed an obvious solution center for additional information on the do’s and don’ts of to a problem. answering case interview questions. What are three effective leadership qualities you think are Technical Interviews important. How have you demonstrated these qualities in your This type of interview is usually conducted by a past/current position? professional in your field. You may be asked about How have you motivated yourself to complete an assignment or knowledge specific to your industry. Be prepared to define task that you did not want to do? terms common to your discipline such as “define net present value” or solve basic problems common in your academic Tell me about a time when you constructively dealt with area. You may want to review some of the vocabulary and disappointment and turned it into a learning experience. What problems found in basic-level courses in your fi eld. was the situation? What factors lead to the disappointing 9Questions to ask Employers You should ALWAYS have a few questions for employers — it shows interest in the company. These questions can be written down and taken to the interview with you. Because you should also prepare for an interview by visiting the company Web site and reading any available literature about the company, your questions should not be the type that could have been answered by doing very basic research. Be aware that some interviews have very strict You should always have a few time limits (such as 30 minutes), so don’t ask an excessive questions for employers — it shows number of questions. Make sure you know the interviewer’s interest in the company. name for follow-up. At the end of the interview, find out the company’s next steps. Once the training period is completed, how mch authority will I have over decisions? Questions About the Company What happens during the training program? What expansion is planned for this department/facility? What are your growth projections for next year? Personal Questions What is the largest single problem facing your staff What do you like most and least about working for the (department) now? organization? Do you fill positions from the outside or promote from within? Can you tell me about your own experience with the organization? What do you consider to be your organization’s three most important assets? What does it take to advance in this field? Tell me about your company’s culture. Wrap-Up Questions What is unique about the way this company operates? What is the next course of action? When should I expect to hear Questions About the Position from you or should I contact you? Please describe the duties of the job for me. When will a decision be made as to whom will be offered the job? What is a typical day like? Get a business card or contact information from every person you interview with. Always send a thank you note What kinds of assignments might I expect the first six months on the job? to each individual within 24 hours following the interview. Thank you notes can be typed, handwritten, or emailed; What are the potential career paths within the company? use your personal preference. Has there been much turnover in this job? Questions on Salary Is this a new position or am I replacing someone? Let the company initiate salary discussions. Some experts What is the person doing now that previously held the position? suggest deferring salary discussions if they come up early in the interview process, but always be prepared by knowing What qualities are you looking for in the candidate who fills this position? the appropriate salary range. What skills are especially important for someone in this position? When asked for salary requirements, suggest to the recruiter that you would like to discuss this topic after Is there a lot of team/project work? exploring the nature of the position and your qualifications. Will I have the opportunity to work on special projects? If pressed, try to get the recruiter to state a range first: Where does this position fit into the organizational structure? “I expect to earn a salary that is appropriate for my education and qualifications — what is the range that the How much travel, if any, is involved in this position? company has in mind?” 10Sample Thank You Letter  11 500 Lawrence Avenue Your Address Lawrence, KS 66049 Date March 1, 20xx Ms. Deborah White First and Last name Director of Human Resources Title of contact person Data Systems, Inc. Employer contact information 875 Knotty Pine Road Sacramento, CA 92390 Dear Ms. White: Use the correct title: Mr. or Ms. (not Mrs. or Miss) I want to thank you very much for interviewing me yesterday for the software First Paragraph: developer position. After meeting you and learning more about Data Systems, I am Express your sincere appreciation for the interview even more impressed with the advanced technologies employed by your company. Keep the letter warm and friendly, but also professional My enthusiasm for the position has grown stronger as a result of the interview. As I Body: discussed with you, my past two summer positions were related to the development and design of software programs for corporate accounting applications. With my Reemphasize your strongest qualifications skills and interest in software design, I believe I could make a significant Draw attention to the match between your experiences and the requirements contribution to your company, and I would appreciate the opportunity to do so. for the position I want to reiterate my strong interest in the position and in working with you and the Last Paragraph Data Systems team. This is exactly the kind of opportunity I am seeking after my Reiterate your interest in the position graduation. If I can provide any further information, please let me know. You may offer to provide additional information not previously given Express your appreciation Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you. Or, “Respectfully” Sincerely, Leave four spaces so you can sign your name in ink after the letter is printed Leave only one blank line and type your name for emailed letters Ima Jayhawk Type your first and last name After the Interview Calculate Your Yearly If an employer has not gotten back with you within the Factors to Consider in an Offer time frame discussed, it is appropriate to contact the Expenses A candidate rarely gets everything he or she wants in a job employer to follow-up on your status. If a time frame offer. Consider which factors are most important to you It is important that you have a basic understanding was not mentioned, wait two weeks after the interview and which ones you would be willing to give up in order to of how much money you will need. If you plan to move to follow-up. Keep in mind that employers may be very get what you want most. Think about what you would like to another geographic area, be sure you factor in the busy meeting other work responsibilities — it is important to have in a job several years in the future. difference in cost of living. Here’s a list of items to help to limit the frequency of follow-up contacts to avoid you get a realistic idea of your expenses. • Salary and benefits annoying the employer. If you are not sure whether it is appropriate to call — ask your career center. • Job/industry stability (including turn-over and layoffs.) • Physical work environment Rent or mortgage _____________ Job Offers • Geographic location/possibility of relocation Health insurance _____________ Receiving an Offer Vision insurance _____________ • Personally rewarding work, impact on society An offer for employment is typically delivered over the telephone by your primary point of contact through the Dental insurance _____________ • Opportunities to travel recruiting process. Be sure to thank them for the offer Life insurance _____________ • Level of responsibility/autonomy and clarify when you need to provide a decision. Do not Disability insurance _____________ instantly accept the offer because there may be multiple • Size of the organization factors to consider. Medical expenses _____________ • Non-profit vs. profit/public vs. private Example: Medications _____________ • Nature of supervision “Thank you for the offer. I am excited about this position and the Car payments _____________ • Fit with co-workers opportunity to work for your company. Of course, this is a very important decision for me and I will need some time to think it Car insurance _____________ • Telecommuting/flex-time over. May I get back to you with my decision?” Student loan payments _____________ • Opportunity for advancement In addition to a verbal offer, you should request and Miscellaneous loan payments _____________ • Work hours receive a written document outlining the details of the Homeowners’ association dues _____________ employment offer as well as associated benefits. Bonus or • Ability to use skills and be challenged relocation details and associated stipulations may also be Electricity _____________ • Training and development included. Utilities (gas, propane, etc.) _____________ DO NOT ACCEPT AN OFFER AND CONTINUE THE Water _____________ JOB SEARCH. If you would like to continue interviewing Coping with Rejection Homeowner’s/renter’s insurance _____________ with other companies or finish the interview process, ask If you get the dreaded rejection letter, it’s okay for a deadline extension. Property tax _____________ to feel disappointed. Give yourself a brief time period to grieve and then move on. Spend some Evaluating the Offer Phone/cell phone _____________ time analyzing the process and what you could do There are many issues to consider when assessing a job Internet _____________ differently in the future. Review your resume and offer. It’s not unusual for new questions to emerge as you reflect on the interview. Consider your presentation, Cable/satellite _____________ evaluate an opportunity. Now is the time to ask the including preparation, interview attire, body potential employer about these issues — and to do some Gas (for your vehicle) _____________ language, nervous habits, and answers to the checking on your own. Before you make a decision you Public transportation _____________ questions. might regret, make the effort to get clarification. You can Groceries _____________ get in touch with the recruiting contact, an alumnus that Consider reapplying. In some industries it is works for the organization, career services staff or a current common to apply several times before your Entertainment _____________ employee to provide you with the information that you application is successful. A one-time rejection is not Clothes _____________ need to make the best decision for you. always a permanent rejection. Ask “What is your Miscellaneous expenses _____________ reapplication time frame or protocol?” 12Understanding Benefits and Total Compensation Total compensation includes your base salary plus the value of the benefit package and is a factor that must be carefully weighed. Benefits can increase your compensation Calculate Your Yearly by up to one-third of your salary. These factors should be carefully considered: Expenses • Insurance premiums and coverage (medical, prescription, It is important that you have a basic understanding dental, vision, life, disability, flexible spending) of how much money you will need. If you plan to move to another geographic area, be sure you factor in the - What is the co-pay? difference in cost of living. Here’s a list of items to help • Paid time off (PTO): vacation, sick/disability leave, you get a realistic idea of your expenses. family leave (maternity, paternity, or family leave) EXPENSE COST PER YEAR - How are these allocated? When can you begin to use them? Do you accrue this immediately or is there a Rent or mortgage _____________ waiting period? Does your PTO roll over from year to Health insurance _____________ year? When does your PTO allocation increase? Vision insurance _____________ • Retirement plans Dental insurance _____________ - Does the company match contributions? Are you eligible for this immediately? Is a contribution Life insurance _____________ mandatory? Disability insurance _____________ • Stock options and profit-sharing Medical expenses _____________ • Bonuses: signing, holiday, productivity Medications _____________ - If you lose your job for any reason, will you be required Car payments _____________ to pay it back? How are bonuses allocated (according to seniority, sales, level of position, etc.)? Car insurance _____________ • Relocation expenses Student loan payments _____________ - Is it a flat fee or a reimbursement? If you lose your job Miscellaneous loan payments _____________ for any reason, will you be required to pay it back? Homeowners’ association dues _____________ • Tuition reimbursement Electricity _____________ - Will they reimburse for advanced degrees or licensures? Utilities (gas, propane, etc.) _____________ Do they have a student loan payback plan? Water _____________ • Flex-time or telecommuting Homeowner’s/renter’s insurance _____________ - Is there flexibility to work from home for this position? Property tax _____________ Do you need to be employed for a specific amount of time to be eligible? Can you work four 10-hour days Phone/cell phone _____________ instead of five 8-hour days? Will weekend or evening Internet _____________ work be available/required? Cable/satellite _____________ • Professional memberships/professional development opportunities Gas (for your vehicle) _____________ • Expense accounts Public transportation _____________ • On-site child care Groceries _____________ • Company car, mileage allowance, parking Entertainment _____________ • Technical allowances (cell phone, personal computer) Clothes _____________ Miscellaneous expenses _____________ TOTAL EXPENSES _____________ 13 • A peer’s higher offer is not sufficient reason to negotiate Negotiating the Offer your offer. Salaries differ from company to company and WARNING: Proceed with caution because you are affecting from industry to industry; plus, a certain skill set may be your relationship with your future employer. more in demand at the current time. Are there issues you want to negotiate that would make • Understand that your negotiation requests may be the offer more attractive? Perhaps there are issues about denied. Even if an employer wanted to concede to your the offer that are flexible, such as start date or location. If requests, the ability to do so might not exist. Decide you have concerns about a particular aspect of the offer, ask which of your requests are “deal breakers” and which whether it can be negotiated. Many employers have a set are only on your “wish list.” salary range for entry-level positions and may not have • If your negotiation requests are accepted, you are flexibility to negotiate. Check with your career center for expected to accept the job with no further negotiation. salary surveys for new graduates. Handling Multiple Offers Salary Negotiation Tips Weigh all of the factors. Create a pros and cons list, • The best time to negotiate is after an offer is made. Avoid outlining comparative aspects of each opportunity. Analyze salary discussions during an interview before a firm offer the list according to what is most important to you. You is made. might be tempted to accept the higher paying offer, but • Don’t negotiate just for the sake of it. A company will many other factors will impact your career satisfaction. offer what is perceived by them to be a fair compensation If the opportunities seem genuinely equal, look inside package based on your experience, educational yourself, keeping in mind what is really important to you. background, and skills. If you feel that it is inconsistent Turning Down an Offer with market data, share your researched facts with them. Be tactful and timely when declining an offer for • Always maintain professionalism in the negotiation employment. It is very important not to “burn bridges process. Your professionalism will confirm the skills that behind you.” Be sure to indicate any aspects about the you will offer the organization. recruiting process or organization that you enjoyed or • Don’t negotiate TOO hard. Aggressive negotiation tactics appreciated. Decline the offer verbally and in writing. may lead to a rescinded offer. For example: • During the negotiation process, reiterate your excitement Thank you for offering me the position of Business Assistant with about the offer. Be gracious before elaborating on the XYZ Company. Your organization’s reputation for exemplary concerns that you would like addressed. customer service was reflected in the courtesy and professionalism provided to me throughout the interview process. • Research typical salary ranges for the nature of the work and the geographical area before asking for more money. However, after careful consideration, I have decided to accept Current economic factors such as hiring demand and another position that aligns more closely with my skills and availability of candidates will influence your worth to an interests at this point in my career. employer. Thank you again for the opportunity to interview and learn more • Do not bring your personal financial obligations into about your organization. I enjoyed meeting you and the other a salary discussion. The organization is not concerned members of the sales team. about your expenses or debts and is not likely to consider Accepting the Offer these issues in determining a fair salary for you. Get the final offer in writing. Sign a copy for the employer • Be able to articulate your strengths so that there is no and keep a copy for yourself. Thank your references and question what value you can offer to an organization. others who have assisted in your job search. Report your This value can come from experience, specialized offer to your career center. knowledge or certifications/licenses. 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