Career Coach Office Hours May 21 2021

Office hours are open! Today’s questions that I did not get to during the week are:   

How do I negotiate higher pay at an initial interview?  

Is there any reason why I shouldn’t apply to all the jobs I am interested in now as soon as possible so that I know the response either way?  

How long should one search for an “ideal job” until it’s time to pick one and move on?  

Job search preparationI’m applying for multiple jobs. If I get an offer, how do I tell the employer that I want to wait and see the results for my other applications?  

Why are job interviews so difficult for me? and How can I improve my interview skills?  

Why do companies like to use incompetent interviewers when interviewing a candidate?

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Hi, It's Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter, and welcome to career coach office hours for May 21, 2021. I used to work as a recruiter did it for what felt like 100 years and now I coach people and people send me questions all the time and I try to get to them during the week. But I've got a coaching schedule, I'm writing schedule, a podcasting schedule, I got a lot of things on my plate plus trying to have a life as well and I'll just simply say, some questions I don't get to right away. So, I'm using office hours to respond to questions.

So, if you've got one for me, email it to The Big Game in the subject line, put something like office hours or I've got a question for you. Something along those lines that lets me know that you've got a question I need to deal with. If I don't get to it during the week, I'll try and cover in office hours on Friday morning. Okay, so I've got a bunch of questions that were sent to me and if you've got one, and you happen to be catching this live, put it in chat, and I'll try and respond to it while I'm here.

So, the first question is, how do we negotiate higher pay at an initial interview?

Cool question and I'm curious about negotiating salary at an initial interview when they don't really know anything about you, and you don't really know anything about them. So, think about it for a second, how are the two of you negotiating with one another, except they're trying to talk you down, you're trying to talk yourself up, but you have no sense of the value proposition either. You can offer one another, right? So often affirm particularly a screener is they're trying to get you for as little as possible, right? So, they're gonna say, so how much are you looking for? And you're gonna tell them and they're gonna wince, right? And you're gonna phewww! that seems like a lot for what you do, you want to be a little flexible.

And your goal is not to negotiate against yourself. Your goal is to push off and say, it's hard for me to really answer that question, honestly, because I haven't met my future boss, don't really know about the job other than what our recruiter told me or what I saw on an ad and I have no sense of the team, the environment. So, for me to answer that question, now, in theory, I can say yes, but in practice, if I meet with everyone, I can really say yes, or I can really say, No, I gotta stick with my guns. Because frankly this doesn't seem as expansive, as I've been led to believe. So, the idea is to dance off of the question.

And in terms of at the first interview, which is what this question is about, how you negotiate your job is not to be talked down. As things progress, as they become more interested, then using the metaphor from olden days, we can talk about negotiating the dowry up. How many more goats can you get? How many more sheep Can they cough up? And that's the idea here is you have to make them fall in love, there's no love, and they're not going to offer you much money, right? So, your job is not to make them talk you down and to dance off of that and your job from that point on, is to impress the heck out of them. So, that way when you're starting to negotiate up, they're very willing to do that.

Next question, is there any reason why I shouldn't apply all the jobs I'm interested in now as soon as possible?

So, I know the response either way, not a greatly formed question, but let me just try and answer it as best as I can. Should you apply to all the jobs that you're interested in now? Yeah. But if you're gonna send the same resume, every job that you see there, it's like the broken watch that's right twice a day, you're not going to get results, you are a spammer at that point. Because the same resume is not right for every job. It's missing things or has too much of one thing, you want to tailor it for each submission. So, what I normally encourage people to do is to have one long resume, and that's the one that you put online that's designed to draw people to you.

I'm not a big fan of going through the applicant tracking system, although I suspect that's what this person is going to do. But as you apply the things, you want to provide a customized resume that demonstrates you are fit for the role and it's really that simple. Everything should be tailored for a specific job to emphasize things that they care about, so that you're not distracting them with extraneous things, and you're focused in on what matters. So, can you do that? Yeah, you can send that same resume over and over again, but you'll get the results that you deserve.

Next question, I am applying for multiple jobs, If I get an offer how do I tell the employer I want to wait and see the results from my other applications?

So, you're at the end of the process and when you're talking about other applications, you're talking about the beginning of the process, right? So, they're not going to sit around waiting for weeks, I want to be clear about that. Maybe get a week out of them. But waiting for everything else that you have out there. No, they're not gonna do that. What they want to do is to close out a need that they have and if you say, I've got 24 resumes out, there, four resumes out there I want to hear from, they get a pretty clear idea that they're your last choice, that you want us. It's like on Shark Tank where someone makes an offer and is it okay, if I talk to these other people see what they�re gonna offer. No, they gave you what you want and why would you pick mine? Again, it's something better.

Well, they get that message on Shark Tank off who's got polls, right? And if they're really anxious, sometimes they get improved upon, but that's not going to happen with you. That's the reality. They're not going to sit around waiting for you to decide, okay, I will take this job. They want to close it out. So how can you slow them? I'm very close to this completing with a couple of others and frankly, I'd like to think about this for a few days and circle back to you, and you tell them when you'll have a decision for and that's the best that you can do. Now, I got two questions that were kind of in tandem. Actually, let me do this one first.

How long should one search for an ideal job until it's time to pick one and move on?

So, let me start off with the premise that you wealthy? Or do you have a lot of money set aside? If you do, no problem, you can turn things down without any problem whatsoever and say not quite right for me, I'm going to continue to look, or you can negotiate something better. But searching for the ideal job, no such thing. They all have problems. Most of these jobs exist because someone left it because it was not an ideal job for them. So, what you want to be doing is finding something appropriate and talking with people in the group to understand what it's really like to work there. So that there are no surprises. Surprises are really (inaudible) right? So, when you think about how long should you search for the ideal job? Well, in theory as long as it takes, but since you probably don't have independent means, thicker terms of the good enough job and I say the good enough job, not because it should be a bad job with bad people, completely dead end. But you want to take something that's good where you feel you can succeed with a compensation level; it makes sense for you.

If you have the financial wherewithal to stay out for a while and conditions are good. Well, frankly turn it down. But if you think the pandemic times was a miracle to get a job offer during April or May 2020, and it was a miracle even getting an interview, I was telling people take whatever you get right out the hurricane and then from there, you can make another move, smart decision that these folks made, because they got the work and now, they're looking because things have cleared up, they're vaccinated. So, from your standpoint, how long should you search? I don't think there's an ideal job out there. So, you've got to be a big girl or a big boy and bite the bullet and make a choice and that can be the choice to turn it down or the choice to say yes. These are the two questions that are paired with one another.

Why are job interview so difficult for me? How can I improve my interview skills?

These are the same question phrased a little bit differently. So, let me start with the premise of why interview skills are difficult for me. The skills needed to find the job, including interviewing are different than those to do a job and as such, the reason you don't interview well is you've never learned how to interview, I have a great course on Udemy, that you can find that�s The Big Game Take the course, it is extremely good. It'll help you very much. You can also get it as a paperback on Amazon. It's called the ultimate job interview framework. That's the name of the course. That's the name of the paperback and Kindle book, I have a companion book, the right answers to tough interview questions. It's available again, as a paperback and on Kindle. It has about 170, 180 pages of answers to questions that can help you become better at interview.

The two together work very well, because one teaches you the framework for interviewing that I believe in very strongly and the other one teaches you answers to questions that are designed to trip you up. Now, I'm not talking about questions in your field. These are not engineering questions, if you're an engineer, or software development questions, if you're a developer, what it is, are the questions that trip you up. You have to be able to demonstrate your knowledge and if you can't do that, you are in trouble. One of the things my framework does is help you express your ideas in ways that the audience gets you, that the interviewer understands what you're capable of, and allows you to stand out from others.

So, that's premise number one. So, why are they so difficult for me? you're probably an amateur in interviewing and as a result, you don't show up well on interviews and that's why you're getting turned down. These will correct it quite a bit. So again, the ultimate job interview framework is available on Udemy, U-D-E-M-Y, you can get to that at The Big Game and take the course and then there's mock interviews where I have an inexpensive mock interview programme, available at The Big Game, that gives you a place to practice and I review the videos that you record there to help you get better. Last question for today.

Why do companies like to use incompetent interviewers when interviewing a candidate?

So, let me start with a premise. How did you decide they were incompetent? Because they gave you a rough time on the interview. It was a tough interview. Is that what makes them in competence? Probably, you're getting turned down from jobs. So, as a result, you're lashing out at them, rather than you taking ownership of the fact that you need to learn how to interview better. So, again, it's not about them. It's about you. They're not incompetent. I'm Jeff Altman. Hope you enjoy this. I'll be back next Friday morning with more.

If you've got a question for me, email it to me at In the subject line put office hours or career coach office hours or something that lets me know that at a minimum, you want me to do it for the show. I'd be very happy to help. Visit my website, The Big Game There's a ton in the blog. Plus, you can schedule time for a free discovery call, scheduled time for coaching or my courses or my books. There's a lot there to help you. Lastly, connect with me on LinkedIn at Hope you have a terrific day and most importantly, be great. Take care.


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, 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 2100 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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Career Coach Office Hours May 21 2021 | No BS Job Search Advice Radio

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