During a discussion today with a client, three big
concerns came up. We talked about pay and
benefits topics, as well.
Don’t initiate the discussion over salary. If it comes
up, like: what salary do you expect,
show you have done your homework on the topic.
You might mention that salary is only one
component of an overall compensation package.
Do a good search on the ACS Salary comparator
and other salary sites so that you have a reasonable
range in mind, for the position (field, degree),
years of experience, and region of the country.
What is the benefits package? That is another of the
“don’t ask” topics– Benefits will be listed on the
company web page and they will likely bring it up
during the interview day.
The three big topics were– dealing with illegal
questions confidently, having the confidence and
preparation to deal with citizenship and length
of employment and importance of one’s
1. ILLEGAL QUESTIONS
While it is likely that professional interviewers will
not bring these up, it is possible. So that it does
not take away from your confidence and composure,
Have an idea what you would say if an illegal
question or topic comes up. For ladies, for example,
are you married, when do you expect to be married,
do you plan to have children, etc.
For men and women, what is your religion, what is
your political affiliation and other similar topics.
2. CITIZENSHIP AND HOW LONG DO YOU
EXPECT TO WORK HERE?
The woman professional came from southeast
Asia and she revealed to me that she was married
and her spouse was out of the country. None
of these details, I told her, need to be brought
up in the interview (However, it was appropriate
for her to bring it up with her career consultant,
confidentially). They do not factor into her
qualifications for the job, at this point.
She should aim to show her unique skills and
qualifications for the position and to earn the job
Citizenship can come up in many positions, but
she had already passed the resume hurdle where
this would have been considered.
As far as how long would she work there, this
can be addressed by describing her motivation
for the position. She looks forward to joining a
strong firm that works to solve problems or
satisfy customers or invent new treatments for
diseases. As long as the team and challenges
are there, she should indicate that would encourage
her to stay.
Our technical workforce today is quite mobile
and many companies hire people as “at will”
employees. So, we no longer expect lifetime
employment when we start at a firm.
3. IMPORTANCE OF TECHNICAL SEMINAR
This is the means for a company to assess a
person’s technical skills, communication skills
and confidence. It is very significant for people
applying for technical positions.
It is very hard to recover from a poorly received
She mentioned that the company asked her to
present a 45 minute talk on her research. She
was concerned that she had nearly 45 slides.
Many of the slides were detailed. So,
we decided that she could “hide” a few of the
information rich slides and focus on those that
permit her to tell a story of her work. Save
the detailed, information rich slides for a
summary of her work and for details in
response to questions. Do stay within the
45 minute limit as much as possible.