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It is very easy to overplay your hand when a firm asks you, “So, what you have going on,” and make them believe that they have no chance of getting you. There is a different approach.

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Because my career executive search, I spent a lot of time talking with people who are negotiating. In creating suddenly content, like podcasts, videos and such, I will offer some strategies and opinions about how to do it well. This 1 I haven't covered before. This 1 is a really cool one. It deals with the risk some people play by overplaying their hand. Let me give you an example of what I am talking about.

Sometimes, when job hunters are out there and the firm is trying to find out about their interest, there sometimes asked, "So, what you have going on for you?" In their answer, they talk about every firm known to mankind. All the interviews that they been on. All the firms that seem excited about them. Their 4th interviews with this 1, 3rd interviews with that one, 6th interviews with another one . . I should be hearing about an offer from that one tomorrow. What they are doing is overplaying their hand.

Here's what you should do instead and look at it from an employer's perspective. Again, we are not committing you anything here. Not asking you to tell them, "I am going to accept the job offer from you." Here me out. I want you to say, "I have a number of things in various stages of progress. Some are closer than others but I want you to know I'm really interested in your opportunity."

Then they will follow up by saying, "Why is that?" You have to be prepared to talk about the good things that you are seeing in the organization and in the job opportunity.

"1st of all, the person at the working force fabulous. She is a terrific individual. I see her leadership qualities. I think I can learn a lot from (him or her)."

Then, from there, you talk about the nature of the work. Then, you conclude by saying, "Obviously, everything has to align properly. I'm not going to take the lowest offer just for this job opportunity because, at the end of the day, have to be properly am I want to make sure my children are well cared for. But I really like this job!"

Did you notice my little theater in their? I being exuberant and how I'm speaking about the job. "I really interested in this job!" You change your voice a little bit while expressing your interest. But you also told them that you are not going to take a bad offer, right?

What you want to do is signal your interest, signal that they can get you and not talk about the 37 other things that you have going on. After all, when they hear that, they rolled their eyes into the back of their head and think to themselves, "Oh, man! We're never going to get this person." Then they will make the offer for that reason. You talk them out of it because they don't think that they can win.

You have to give them the belief that there's a shot they can get you. That's why your follow-up in answering this question is so important.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching. He is the host of “Job Search Radio,” “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.”

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching?  Email me at and put the word, “Coaching” in the subject line and tell me about your circumstances in the body of the email. offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.  

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