By Jeff Altman

There are few things more frustrating for a headhunter than asking a person basic questions that revolve around what you as a job hunter are looking for in a job and being given uncertain answers. I’m not talking about the salary; that’s a question where a wise person states a target objective and is flexible enough to let the market decide their value.

I’m speaking about these basic questions:

Preparing to job hunt1. What is your current compensation? The three wrong answers are: (1) a lie (A lie will be found out generally after you’re hired. Do you know what happens then? While you’re out to lunch or have gone home one day, your ability to log in will be terminated and security will be waiting for you at your desk with your personal items packed to escort you from the premises). (2) I won’t tell you (This reveals that your salary is much lower than the amount advertised and that you are seeking a big bump). (3) Do you really need to know that (Yes. I do because my client will want to know. They will ask it on their form. Many companies will terminate an interview for refusing to answer)?

2. Geographically, what’s acceptable to you. Some people are willing to drive more than others. Some people must follow mass transit routes. Some people are willing to relocate at a company’s expense or are willing to relocate on their own for the right opportunity. Think about it.

3. What’s not working for you that is prompting you to want to look for another job? Most of the time, money is not the only factor. Be prepared to discuss your reasons maturely. An immature answer would be, “I hate my job,” or “My boss is an idiot.” Instead, try this one—“I would like to leave consulting and move to industry so that I can avoid the heavy travel that is keeping me away from my family too much.”

4. What are you looking for in a new position? Nine times out of ten, people don’t think of this when they speak to me. What am I supposed to do? Guess? “I know it when I see it” isn’t helpful either.

5. What was the corporate culture like that you were working in? Did you like it? What did you like about it? What didn’t you care for? Let me know if I should replicate your current work environment in your next firm with more money and more interesting work . . . or not!

Take some time before posting your resume to decide what is important to you and you will find that your interviews will be better . . . and so will your results!


JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2000 episodes and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Schedule a discovery call at my website,

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

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Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

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