Interviewing

A job interview is your opportunity to shine, to show the employer the type of employee you will be if you are hired.  Preparation is the key to a successful interview.  Be prepared to talk about the industry, the company and yourself. This includes knowing your market worth.  It is ill-advised to inquire about the salary during the interview process, but the interviewer may ask you.  The best way to answer this is to ask what the standard wage for a person with your qualifications is.  Force the interviewer to throw out the first number.      
 
Most likely there will be one or more subsequent interviews following the initial screening.  For instance you may be invited back for several interviews with different people to determine your skills and abilities, how you will perform and if you will "fit in."  You may experience several types of interviews, including a structured interview. In this scenario the questions are written in advance with predetermined criteria of the ideal candidate.  Another common type is the situational interview where you will be presented with common problems you would face on the job.  Again as with the structured interview the criteria is predetermined, which is how you are measured.  Visit this site for a more specific explanation of the various types of interviews and additional guidance in the interview process.     

Some tips to consider when preparing for your interview:

  • Practice, practice, practice!  Try practicing with someone and have them critique your posture, eye contact and body language. 
  • Look at some commonly asked questions and think about how you would answer them.  This site provides common interview questions ranging from compensation, challenges in previous position, your reason for leaving, etc. 
  • Be prepared to ask some questions of your own. For instance, "How will I be trained or introduced to the job?" "Which duties are most important for this job?" "Please explain the opportunities for promotion or growth." But do not ask about salary or vacation; this may give the wrong impression.

Salary Negotiation

The salary negotiations begin once the employer has made you an offer of employment.  It is critical to remember that you are negotiating a compensation package not just salary.  A compensation package may include health insurance, retirement and investment options, flexible spending account amd tuition reimbursement.  Figure the monetary value of the benefits package and add that to the proposed base salary to determine the total amount of compensation.  Before you begin the negotiation process, research the salary range that someone with your skills and experience can expect to earn.  You can find salary information on various websites, such as Salary.com and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Additional Information

Visit these sites for additional information regarding interviewing and salary negotiation:
Be Specific in the Interview
Negotiating Your Pay
Interview Pet Peeves from Hiring Decision-Makers
How to Negotiate a Higher Salary