Whether you’re a recent college graduate, in college and trying to decide your career path, unhappy with your current job and exploring your options, or out of work and searching, there are a few easy things you can do at the #interview stage to give yourself an edge in a competitive job market.
Interview potential employers.
No matter how badly you need the job, you should treat every job interview as if you were interviewing them, rather than vice versa. First, having as many questions for your interviewers as they have for you shows that you’ve done your research, something most employers look for in potential employees. Second, you will set up your own expectations and make your future employer aware of them from the very beginning by asking questions about whether or not raises are merit or seniority-based (let’s hope the answer is “merit-based”), what the benefit package consists of, how often performance reviews occur, and what the company culture is. As early as the first interview with a company, it works to your advantage to make your prospective employer aware that your expectations for them are as high as the expectations they may have for you.
Make negotiating a priority.
Just because you’re fresh out of college with little or no experience doesn’t mean you don’t have ground to stand on when it comes to negotiating a competitive salary. Part of your research before applying for a job should be visiting sites like Glassdoor.com to find out the position’s pay range. Glassdoor has a salary calculator broken down by job title and location. Because your potential employer has the advantage if you don’t even have a range in mind, being prepared has the added bonus of showing your potential employer that you have the competence to #negotiate—a key ability in most career fields.
Nothing is worse than interviewing a candidate who seems like he or she could care less about getting the job. If you’re interviewing with a company, you should have researched the company thoroughly and, if you follow through with the interview, it should be because there’s something about that company that appeals to you as an employee. Share this with your interviewers. Tell them what you like about their company, why you decided to interview with them, why you’re interested in the job, and what you think you can do for them. Don’t make them drag the information out of you. If they have to do it and hire you anyway, they get what they deserve—an unenthusiastic, lukewarm, mediocre employee. Don’t be that.
Do you have a unique interviewing strategy that helped you land a job? Share it with us in the comments!