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03/04/2013

Three career dilemma questions and how to answer them.

Interview questions come in all sorts of forms. Some are more conversational, and may even take place in a hotel over a cup of coffee. However, others are downright combative. No matter how the interview is conducted, here is how to answer the three most difficult interview questions.

1. How much salary you should be paid.
The basis for the employer asking you this question is to know whether they can afford you. So, at the very least, you should have researched the salary scales within your industry, commensurate with the skills and talents you bring to the table. Don’t just quote a figure, but back it up with why you think you should be paid such a salary. Of course, the question in itself puts you in a dilemma; quoting a salary too high will make you
miss the job, and quoting a salary too low will make you underpaid and possibly frustrated and envious of colleagues that earn more than you. Whatever the case, you should at all times be able to gauge the market value of your skills. As a rule of the thumb, most job seekers do not have a basis to estimate their salary for the first or second job but as their skills and experience increase, they can use their past jobs and experience to determine how much they should be paid.

2. Explaining the career gaps in your CV.
By all means, do not appear that you were idle, that your job was looking for a job. Even if you didn’t have a job, tell the employer something that you did while you were searching for a job, and hopefully, also explain what you learnt in the process. As it’s often said, employers like to hire people who are already busy, so, tell of experiences that got you busy; like volunteering, learning a new skill, running a small business or a side hustle.

3. Badmouthing your former boss.
No matter how cruel your former boss might have been, don’t outrightly bring it out to your interviewer. The employer might be tempted to think that you will treat them the same way once you leave the company. Be that happy employee who did his work up to the last day, and the recommendations will come in handy. This is not to say that you shouldn’t bring out bad past employers, but link the past employer to your need to look for opportunities, better compensation and recognition, and the need to grow.

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