The One Thing You Should Know to Get a Job Offer

Job offer: There are many things that you need to know to get a job offer.  However, the answer to this one question is critical.

Job offer

The One Thing You Should Know to Get a Job Offer

There are many interview questions that challenge your ability to think on the spot.  There are many things that you just can’t know.

Often, you don’t know anything about the other candidates, the salary, or the interviewer.

Therefore, you need to prepare by being able to answer one simple question.

Why Should We Hire You?

The things that you do know are the facts of your qualifications: that is, the things that make you the person the company wants to hire.

Furthermore, you not only want to show that you have the experience and education for the job.  You want to show that you have a record of accomplishment in the job for which you are applying.

Here’s How You Make It Work.

Before you go to an interview, rehearse a short pitch on how your experience shows that you have successfully performed the same job.  Some people call this short pitch, “The Elevator Pitch.”

  1. Say that they should hire the most qualified person for the job.
  2. Summarize the objective of the job.
  3. State a list of successful things you have done to achieve and exceed this type of objective.
  4. State that the reason that you are interviewing for the job is that you enjoy performing the type of tasks the job requires.
  5. Close by saying that whomever the company hires, the person will be lucky to get the job.
  6. Say that you hope that the company hires you.

In conclusion, prepare for the question “Why should we hire you? “

This type of question challenges you to think about your qualifications.  In your preparation, you can practice giving answers that show that you are an outstanding applicant for the job.  Answering the question with a positive, enthusiastic statement about how much you want the job will help seal your opportunity in getting a job offer.

Additional reading.

Negotiating Job Offers: An Outline for Getting What You are Worth.

Negotiating Job Offers: An Outline for Getting What You are Worth. The increase you get when you start a job compounds into thousands of dollars over time.

Negotiating Job Offers: An Outline for Getting What You are Worth.

Negotiating Job Offers: Begin with the Facts

Employers are more open to negotiating a job offer when they can see that there is a real shortfall between what they have offered you and what you have in your current job.

The simple way to approach the matter is to make a straightforward presentation of the facts involved.

Employers do not want to go back and forth over negotiations. Before going to the hiring company with counter offers, you need to make sure that you understand the offer and that you understand how it compares with what you want.  List the offer items in a column.  Then create a second column to list the details of your current or desired offer.  Create a third column to list the details of the job offer.  Create a fourth column of the things you would like to change.

Items Current Job New Job Desired Change
Vacation
Job title
Start date
Salary
Bonus
Unpaid bonuses at your current employer
Reimbursement for business expenses
Benefits: deductibles, costs, coverage, start of coverage
Cost of commute
Retirement plan
Profit sharing
Stock options or grants
Other Items

Now that you have everything on paper so that you can understand how the offer compares with what you want, simply create a list of things that you want changed and present your list to the hiring company.

Ask yourself whether you will accept the offer if the hiring company changes the offer to fit your needs.   If the answer is that you will accept the offer, present your list to the hiring company and state that you will enthusiastically accept their offer if they can adjust the offer.

Can You Get Rich By Continually Changing Jobs?

How Changing Jobs Can Increase Your Income

Can you get rich by continually changing jobs? Is job-hopping for more money smart or stupid? The answer to those questions depends on the answer to five simple questions.

Staff writer Kim Lachance Shandrow, Entrepreneur, raises the question,

“Is job hopping losing its bad rap? People used to frown on hopping from job to job. If you were a career nomad, hiring managers were liable to dismiss you as damaged goods. Maybe you didn’t play well with others or you slacked off on your duties. Perhaps you just couldn’t hold down a job.

Forbes contributor Cameron Keng writes,

“Employees Who Stay In Companies Longer Than Two Years Get Paid 50% Less.”

Vivian Giang, Fast Company, writes,

“You Should Plan On Switching Jobs Every Three Years For The Rest Of Your Life.”

Is job-hopping for more money smart or stupid?

The answer to that question depends on the answer to these five questions.

What is the difference of the total package between the job where you are working and the job where you have an offer?

Are you walking away from retirement savings, profit sharing, vacation, medical coverage, and other benefits? An increase in income is just one part of the package.

What are your promotion opportunities where you are?

Promotions can greatly increase your short-term and long-term earnings.  Changing jobs for more money can cost you in the long end when you career continues to move laterally.

What additional costs do you incur in your new job?

In “Hidden Expenses at a New Job,” I detail the costs that can erase a pay raise and even put you at a reduction in income at your new job.

Is the place where you are going somewhere that you can stay for the long haul? 

Some hiring companies have a dim view of people who change jobs in less than a year or two. They have an even dimmer view of people who change jobs every two years repeatedly. Companies invest money and time in hiring and training people. They want to keep good people to continue to get value out of their investment. They don’t want to hire flakes who will quit every time another company offers a fifteen percent increase.

What is reality?

As a recruiter, I placed hundreds of people in new jobs. The average pay raise for these people changing jobs was two and one half times greater than their annual pay raises at their current or previous company. They came out ahead through these job changes.

Pay raises were not involved in all job these changes. In some cases, people accepted jobs for lateral pay, because the new job fit their needs for various reason.

On the other hand, I placed some people who increased their income fifteen to twenty percent or more. Obviously, pay raises through job changing ever two to three years will result in a person making a lot more money.

But I never saw anyone who was able to change jobs continually for more money.  I did see people who found it increasing difficult to find a new job when they had an employment history of job-hopping.

Image: SEOPlanter/Flickr

Hidden Expenses at a New Job

Hidden Expenses at a New Job

Hidden Expenses at a New Job

If you have a job offer, congratulations.  Before you sign the offer letter, consider the hidden expenses that can change the pay increase in the job offer. Here are some things to consider before you accept the job.

The hidden expenses in tax increases with a pay raise

Have you checked to see whether the new salary puts you into a higher tax bracket? The Internal Revenue Service provides a tax calculator that you can use without signing into the IRS website.  You do not have to identify yourself when you use the calculator.  To use the IRS tax calculator, start here.

The hidden expenses in the commute

Will the new job have a longer commute?  If so, some elements of your car cost will increase with a longer commute.

  • Depreciation
  • Gas
  • Insurance
  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Tires
  • Tolls and/or Parking fees

Failing to evaluate your increased car costs is a mistake.  To give you some idea of how much a commute affects your income, the Internal Revenue Service allows 55 cents per mile for business use of a personal car.  Although in most cases you cannot deduct your commute costs from your taxes, you can use the IRS numbers as a basis for the cost of operating your car for your commute.

The hidden expenses in clothing costs

For some people, getting a new wardroom is a lot of fun.  However, paying the bills for the costs of those new clothes is not a lot of fun and can take a bite out of the pay raise that came with the job.

Other costs to consider are washing and ironing of work clothing.  Some people wear T-shirts and shorts, baggy jeans, or a wrinkle-free skirt.  They do little more than fold their clothes when they take them out of the dryer.  These people may never pick up an iron to prepare their clothes for work.

Other people send their clothes to the laundry and dry cleaners.  If your new job will increase your clothing costs, you should include those costs in your evaluation of job offer.

The hidden expenses in insurance costs

It is great that when a new company offers insurance for your health.  However, the costs to you can vary greatly from insurance plan to insurance plan.  You need to look at the costs to you in the medical coverage: the deductible, the prescription coverage, hospital coverage and charges, and other charges that can raise your medical costs.

The hidden expenses exist in every job offer

Understand the hidden expenses at a new job before you take the job.

Image Microsoft© Art

How To Turn Down A Job Offer

How to Turn Down a Job Offer

For some people, turning down a job offer is unpleasant.  Handling the situation with confidence is often difficult.

How you turn down a job offer is important to managing your career both short-term and long-term.  In the short-term, you can add the contacts you made in your interviews to your career network.  If you are willing to accept the offer provided that the hiring company can change the conditions that do not work for you, you can open the doors to an offer negotiation that may get you the job that you want.  In the long-term, people often reappear in your career in ways that can help you.  How you turn down a job offer affects the relationships you have with the people you have met.

Getting a job offer is only part of interviewing.  Interviewing is a learning process.  You learn things about yourself.  You learn things about the hiring company.  You may learn things that help you better understand your current job.

Withdrawing from the interview process or turning down an offer as soon as you have reached your decision is better for you and better for the people who are interviewing you.  You save time for everyone involved.  You also lower the risk of burning bridges with the people at the hiring company.

The first step in correctly managing a job offer starts before you interview.  You start with developing an understanding of what you want to get in a new job.  Answer three simple questions before you start to interview.

Where do you want to work?
What type of job are you seeking?
How much money do you need to make?

The answers to these questions will guide you through the interview process.

I discuss these questions in more detail in the article “6 Things to Know before Accepting a Job Offer.”

When you turn down an offer, call the people you have met.  Thank them for their time.  Then send each one of them a thank you note or an email.  In your letter or email, you can give them your contact information for their future reference.  Put the name, contact information, and brief notes about each person in your contact manager.  This information becomes part of your database for managing your career.

When you do turn down a job offer, give the people you have met a specific reason for why you turned down their offer.  During the interview process, you will learn things about your goals and about the job at the hiring company.  Sometimes when you are interviewing your circumstances change.  You receive an offer from another company.  You receive a pay raise or a promotion at your current company.  The reason you started to look for a job no longer exist.  Letting the hiring company know immediately once you have made your decision is courteous and fair.   Explain that you had not known these things before you began the interview process.

If you are taking yourself out of the running, you can build goodwill by offering the hiring company suggestions for referrals or new prospects for the job.  Before giving a person’s name as a prospect, get that person’s permission. Not everyone wants to have calls about a new job.

Image: Sadie Hart/Flickr

6 Things To Know Before Accepting A Job Offer

6 Things To Know Before Accepting A Job Offer

Things To Know Before Accepting A Job Offer

When a company makes you a job offer, you have done a lot of hard work and now you are in control of the process.   You have the power to accept or decline the offer. You are also in a very important part of the process. This is the time for you to make certain that the job is as nearly right for you as you can find.
Here are some job offer questions as to help you evaluate the offer.

1. Have you met your supervisor?  When I went to work at Procter & Gamble, I did not meet my supervisor until the day I started to work.  I was in a division that Procter & Gamble had created to expand the field sales organization in the West.  Procter & Gamble conducted the interviews in an office of a recruiting firm in San Francisco.  The people who interviewed me were charismatic, outgoing, and personable sales people.   I had expected someone who was a fire-in-the-belly mentor who would raise my performance to new levels and teach me how to move ahead in one of the finest companies in the world.

However, on the first day at work, I met my supervisor, and he was anything but what I had expected.  He had been in the same first-line management job for fifteen years.  He was unenthusiastic about what he did.  He emphasized getting the job done as quickly as possible and heading home.  He was a good person, an excellent father and husband.  He was just different from what I had expected based on the people I had met during my interviews.

2. Is there anything in the job description you do not understand?  I have learned from working on recruiting assignments that job descriptions can create confusion.  Here are some things you might want to clarify before you take a job.

  • If the job involves travel, where will need to go and how often?
  • What are the reporting relationships in the new company?  If the job title includes a word such as “manager,” what does that mean?  Will you manage a budget or perhaps manager an overwhelming number of direct reporting relationships?
  • What is the job?  If you think that you are joining an innovation team and you find that you are joining a planning team, you will need to do a lot more analysis that creative thinking.
  • What is the promotion opportunity or expectation?  If you want promotions and there is little opportunity, you are facing frustration.  If the company expects you to take promotions and you want to settle into a career position, you could find that you face pressure to leave for people who can keep the promotion pipeline fluid.

I saw one instance at Polaroid where the company hired a person who quit when he found out he had to fly to a sales meeting in the Bahamas.  The man was afraid to get on an airplane.

3. Is the workplace right for you?

  • How long is the commute?
  • What type area surrounds the office?
  • Does the job allow you to work at home or require that you commute daily?
  • Do you have affordable transportation?

4. Do you have any special conditions that you want to set up?  Perhaps you sunk a few thousand dollars into a family vacation that will start six months into your new job.  If you cannot get your money back or if this vacation has special importance to your family, the time to raise the subject is before you accept the offer.  I married my wonderful wife four months after I started to work for Procter & Gamble.  The management team at Procter & Gamble fully supported my taking time for my wedding honeymoon.  I discussed the matter with them before I accepted the job.

5. Do you understand the benefits? There are a few things for you to consider about benefits before you accept a job offer.

  • When do the benefits start?  This information is critical to transitioning your healthcare coverage from your current coverage to the coverage at your new job.
  • What are the out-of-pocket costs for the benefits?  There are differences from one company to the next.  I placed people with a company that had terrific coverage for people who lived in California, the home state of the company.  However, the costs to people who lived outside of California were several thousand dollars a year.
  • What benefits are you giving up in the transition?  If you have prescription, major medical, primary care coverage, dental, and optical coverage at your current company, and the new company does not cover some of these things, based on your health, you might find a big gap between what you are getting and what the new company will give you.
  • What are the deductibles in the plans at your new company?  Insurance companies offer lower rates for higher deductibles.  You not need in any surprises in these potential gaps.

6. How often will the new company pay you?  If the new company pays you twice a month, you get 24 checks a year.  If the new company pays you every two weeks, you get 26 checks a year.  Companies often state income in the amount that the company will pay an employee per paycheck.

Image Courtesy of Microsoft© Art