Suppose that for every intelligent question you asked while at your next job interview, you were paid a thousand dollars. Would you prepare several good ones, or would you still say 'Oh, if I think of any later I'll call you,' ?
If you can demonstrate your ability to probe, listen and negotiate strategically, you are actually worth more than just your list of resume credentials.
Suppose that for every intelligent question you asked while at your next job interview, you were paid a thousand dollars. Would you prepare several good ones, or would you still say 'Oh, if I think of any later I'll call you,' ?The tight market for top IT talent makes employers more flexible than ever. Preparing and asking strategic questions designed to strengthen your eventual salary negotiation position can indeed pay returns of thousands of dollars. To prepare for the interview and eventual negotiation, master the following simple techniques. The goal is to assemble enough information about the employer's hiring process to steer it toward a better compensation deal for you. Give your new employers the opportunity to value you more because they paid you more. Gather information These days, a structured interview at a major company commonly involves conversations with a representative from the human resources department, the direct manager, perhaps her boss, several peers, and possibly internal or external customers. There is powerful information to be gathered from each person you meet. Remember to gather business cards as well. You will need them later for direct e-mail, phone, and fax numbers. The HR rep is the perfect person to ask about the official version of the offer and negotiation process. After you hear the overview, ask some specific questions. Will you receive a written job offer? From whom? Who makes the final hiring decision? Who has the authority to negotiate the offer if necessary? Remember to ask one or two of your hot-button questions about benefits - whether that might be time off, additional training, or stock options. Read between the lines It's important to encourage the HR rep to sell the company to you. Tell them you want to work in a dynamic organization, not a rigid bureaucracy. Then ask for recent examples of how the standard compensation and benefits package was flexed to attract or retain a key employee. Listen carefully to the answers and read between the lines. You will learn important information about your potential employer. You'll also gather examples to counter later reluctance to bend the rules during negotiation. When you ask these same questions to the line manager and compare the answers, you will have a useful insight into the politics of the company. Identify objectives There are three key objectives to keep in mind when you meet with your prospective direct manager: getting the offer, establishing a powerful working relationship, and leveraging that relationship into a more desirable compensation package.