Tag Archives: Interview tips

Show Me the Money, But WHEN!

DSC_0005Looking for employment can be intimidating and tedious.  The interview process can be nerve racking whether looking for a “dream job” or just looking for something to gain experience.  Whatever the reason for the search, there is always a common goal: money.

Let’s get real: Do you believe people dream about making just enough to get by?  Truth is, we all want to make enough to live comfortably and securely but most would feel better with a cushion.  With so much stress going on, how does one approach salary compensation during the interview process?

Postpone the Talk

Most career experts suggest you let the company approach the subject.  Don’t walk in to an interview and automatically say “I want this much,” especially during the initial meeting.  Try to leave negotiations for a second interview.  Bringing up pay rate too early in an interview can be a major turn off and may turn uncomfortable into disaster.  If the company brings it up, let them know you are interested in a mutually rewarding career and try to leave it at that until later in the interview process.

Know the Going Rate

When approaching any interview, research the industry, job posting, and the company.  Learn as much information possible in general as well as position duties and requirements.  Research what the average salary is for a person with the same title in the area and experience.  Use websites such as Payscale.com and Salary.com.  Onetonline.org can be a good salary staring point.  But remember these sites offer a general scale; the company you are interviewing for may be higher or lower.  Being prepared can better the negotiation process.

Know Your Worth

Use your skills and prior achievements to your advantage.  Sell the company on the skills that will be useful to them and advise them of how you plan on using your skills to better the company.  Let the employer know you are there to help the company succeed and back it up with the abilities you possess and how they will be useful to the company’s productivity.  You have to sell yourself to prove why you are worth more than the person waiting in the waiting room for the next interview.  If you sell yourself as an over achiever and one who can positively affect the bottom-line, the company will be more prone to pay top dollar.

Consider All Benefit Factors

Most companies have a specific salary range and rarely go beyond the maximum.  It is important to not just consider salary, but all benefits the company has to offer.  If the employer isn’t willing to pay the specific salary you were hoping for, you may be able to negotiate for items such as bonuses or extra sick time or added vacation days.  For many positions, you can even request the company to pick up your cell phone or Internet bill.


Before the interview process begins, research the company, position duties, and salary expectations. Remember to consider all benefit factors and don’t shortchange yourself or let being unemployed make you settle for less than what you are worth.

Until our next career chat, I am

Mari Brooks

Interview Relaxation

Have you ever been nervous going into an interview?

Most of us have (our first few times). Not knowing what to say or even how to introduce yourself can be stressful. Physically, your heart starts to race and you get little nervous twitches. The twitches could be your leg shaking, sweaty palms, or messing with your hair. Good news, there are mental and physical ways to prepare and relax for the interview. Here are just a few:

Be Prepared

  • First and foremost, and probably the most overlooked, is getting a good night’s sleep. Have your clothes and everything you will be needing set out the night before so you don’t have to rush around making yourself nervous and uneasy.
  • Make sure you eat something before the interview, even if it is just a couple pieces of toast. You do not want to go in and have your stomach rumble because of an empty stomach.
  • Do not forget to bring a pen! You want to be ready for anything. They usually will have you sign something and if you do not have a pen you may be seen as unprepared.
  • Use the restroom beforehand. Just do it. On this note, look in the mirror, smile and feel confident!

Wear Comfortable Clothes

Ever not know what to wear other than something seemingly nice?

Do   wear



Make-up (but not too excessive)

Button up over shirt

Something clean


Do   not wear

Tight pants

Uncomfortable shoes

Stuff with holes


Tank tops

A face full of jewelry

Be Confident
Well.. this is an easy one. You have to know you’re going to do great! Go in thinking and visualizing: “They love me and I have this job!” Do not second guess yourself. All those “What ifs.. What if they don’t like me… What if I mess up… What if.. What if…” This is what makes you nervous. Another way to be more confident is knowing that it is okay no matter what the outcome! As much as you would want to have that one specific job, you will have more opportunities out there. You do not need extra stress that this one interview could have a drastic change on your whole life because it will not. Greatness will come your way if you just give it time and charge through obstacles confidently.

Make Them Comfortable
During an interview, things may seem to become stiff. This means one thing: Research the job and company beforehand. Think of a way to bring up experiences that are in common with the person interviewing you. Just do not make it a life story taking thirty minutes to explain. Smiles can do a lot to lighten the mood of a serious interview session; not to mention, make you feel more relaxed.

Thank you for taking the time to stop and relax with me. Give it a whirl next time you get called in for an interview. One more thing, check out my next blog on “Unspoken Communication.”

Floyd Cooksey