Last week, I shared some of my tips on job hunting and interviewing that I believe apply in all situations, but are especially relevant in the current turbulent job market.
HOW YOU INTERVIEW TOGETHER IS HOW YOU WORK TOGETHER
I come to interviews prepared. Especially for the first in-person interview with a candidate. I take notes to make sure I catch every thing. I know a lot about the candidate. I’ve read social media profiles. I’ve talked to mutual contacts. I want to make the most of their time.
In the old days when candidates came unprepared, especially without resume print outs and a notebook, I would get frustrated. Not because I’m such a stickler for tradition, but because if a candidate is going to come unprepared to an interview they are going to come unprepared to client meetings. And to team meetings. And to strategy sessions.
Similarly, if the hiring manager is inconsistent with communication, unclear on unexpectations and demanding during the hiring process, you know exactly what kind of boss they will be.
As an aside, I’ve mellowed a bit in my old age. I now tell a candidate to bring resume printouts and a note book to the interview. Almost all do, but for those that don’t, it tells me that can’t follow the simplest of requests.
WHY WE DON’T NEGOTIATE SALARY
As both a job candidate and as a hiring manager, I’ve always fundamentally opposed salary negotiations. I believe that hiring managers should disclose salary ranges early in an interview process. By the time a candidate makes it through the later rounds, they have an exact number for the role, based on their experience and potential impact. If a candidate can’t commit to this number, we stop the process. Per the previous section, this is likely an indicator that the candidate is going to be non-comital as an employee.
Similarly, I’ve heard plenty of stories about job postings having one number listed (probalby to drive a lot of candidates) and it goes down each step of the interview process. This is probably a great indicator that this employer would lead you on in a working relationship.
When it comes to offer time, there should be no surprises. We even inform candidates early that we make our first and best offer right out of the gate. If an employer says they can’t go above $50,000 for a role and an employee says they can’t take less than $70,000 and they end up working together for $60,000, you’ve started your relationship by lying to each other.
We also believe that salary negoations contribute to pay inequity across race and gender and we want to do our part to eliminate that gap.
WORK FOR GOOD COMPANIES AND HIRE GOOD PEOPLE
Howard Schultz, the man credited with taking Starbucks from a local coffee shop to a global brand, was once asked why Starbucks employees are happy. He answered, “It’s easy- we just hire people who smile all the time.”
You see that company posting with the terrible Glassdoor reviews. They do layoffs after every bad quarter. Their reputation is more than a little slimy. But the job description sounds perfect and the salary is amazing.
Or you find that candidate with the hard-to-find skill set. But they’ve jumped jobs every 10 months for the last four years, even when the worked for great companies. You ask around and get eye rolls or polite non-committal responses. They are late to the first interview and seem bored.
These employers and candidates are the bad boyfriends of the work world. You know how every one of their past relationships ended. You know their history. You know that they are a future ex-boyfriend. No matter how much you think you can change them, you can’t.
JOB MARKETS CHANGE, THE FUNDAMENTALS OF JOB SEARCHING DO NOT
No one could have predicated the hiring market of the last few months. None of us know what the market is going to look like in six months. But I’m confident that whether you are a hiring manager or a job seeker, learning from my past mistakes can save you some headaches.