Interviews are stressful. We've all been there- your palms are sweating, you're in the stiff suit you pulled out of the back of your closet, you're hoping you say the right thing and don't mess up. You feel as though you're on display, being quizzed and trying to guess the right answer. And then the dreaded question comes: "what are your salary expectations?" Many of us are at a loss and feel like it's a game of "pin-the-tail on the hiring range," where we need to guess a number that's not too high, but not so low that we undersell ourselves. So here's my proposal for hiring managers: stop asking this question!
You may be thinking "but Julia, how do we find out if the candidate is expecting more money than we can pay?" Here's my solution- just tell them the range. When I set up the initial interview, I disclose the hiring range, hours worked, and any other essential info about the job I feel candidates need to know up front. This lets them chose whether or not they want to continue in the hiring process based on the realities of the role. While perhaps not conventional practice, this has been extremely successful in practice for me!
When it comes down to it, applicants feel put at ease when you are transparent throughout the process. It allows for better communication and for candidates to evaluate if the role is a good fit for them. Interviewing is a two way street- why not be open and honest? And if you're hoping to offer a lower salary by not disclosing the range, rethink your practices. Employees deserve to be well compensated. This practice also disproportionately affects women and minorities, which is discrimination. For the sake of retention, equity, and just good business practices be direct. Be clear. State the range.
I was reading an article by Chris Ferguson today when a line caught me. He remarks "leadership is about discerning what should and should not be changed." In looking at my own journey as a leader, I think my own failings have mainly been not in the things I've neglected to do, but in what I did that wasn't necessary. I'm a creative thinker who's brain is always buzzing with new ideas and new things I want to try. When I get bored, I seek out problems to solve. However, sometimes there just isn't anything going wrong at the moment. It's in those situations that I end up redesigning things simply to redesign them, even though they were perfectly fine to start with and perhaps better than before I began tinkering.
This tendency is frequently referred to as "shiny object syndrome"- I have a need to chase new goals and ideas rather than stay the course and continue down the path I'm on. I've started and gotten board of at least a dozen businesses. I've re-written the SOP's at my day job more times than I can count. So for my own development, I'm proposing a new idea- static leadership.
We've all heard of dynamic leadership. This can be a great thing- many organizations need new ideas and big overhauls. But once the dust dies down and the course is straight, that's when static leadership comes into play. A good leader learns to recognise when things are going well and stay the course rather than continuing to seek out exciting nw projects that the company isn't ready for yet. Maybe a controversial idea- shouldn't leaders be visionaries, constantly on to the next big thing? I say no. A good leader recognises what the company needs and gives them that. That's true leadership.
Sometimes, the hardest part about work is just getting started. Need some help? Read our guest post on Work It On for advice on how to get motivated and stay productive!
I've been doing video interviews all week to fill an open position and while some of them went seamlessly, others were less successful. While the concept of a Skype or other video conferencing software interview isn't brand new, it certainly has become far more common in the past few years. Personally, I prefer them to a phone interview as they allow you to connect with the candidate more fully. I tend to come away with a better sense of who the candidate is. However, some candidates don't realize that while it's from the comfort of your home, these calls are still interviews. Here are my top pieces of advice for prepping for a video interview.
1. Treat It Like an Interview
Yes, you're at your home, but i can still see if you're wearing pajamas or haven't brushed your hair yet today. Dress like you would for any other interview- the interviewer will appreciate that you put the effort in to present yourself well. You'll also feel more confident- personally, I tend to present myself more professionally when I dress formally.
2. Location is Key
Try to find a neutral background with few distractions. When a candidate is in a busy room with lots of activity, it detracts from my ability to focus on them. Lock any cats, dogs, or wandering tiny humans out of the room- while I may want to meet Mittens, it does distract from the interview and show a lower level of professionalism. If you must do it from your car on your break, try to park somewhere with minimal distractions and keep the phone level and steady.
3. Test, Test, Test!
Make sure you have the software needed for the conference downloaded ahead of time- I use Blackboard Collaborate, but other companies may use Skype, Zoom, or other platforms. Ensure that you have a working webcam and decent quality audio. If possible, test your equipment ahead of time! While we all know tech issues happen, you'll be more relaxed if the interview goes off without a hitch and you're not panicking, trying to get the conference to even start.
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