Category Archives: Promotion

14 Questions You Should Never Ask at a Job Interview

Scored a job interview? Congratulations! Want to stay in the running and make it past the first interview? Then avoid asking these alarmingly common deal-breaker questions. We all know how important it is not only to intelligently answer the hiring manager’s questions, but also to ask our own questions (so we seem engaged and interested). Some questions, though, should never be asked in a job interview:

How much does the job pay?
This is by far the top pet-peeve question for hirers. They want to think that you’re so in love with the job that money isn’t such a big issue for you. “Raising the subject of money during the interview stage may give the impression, rightly or wrongly, that all you care about is money, as opposed to working as part of a team and giving your heart, soul, and first-born child to the corporation,” says Todd Moster, a Los Angeles legal recruiter.

Salary is the elephant in the room that no one acknowledges during the interview phase, says Moster. You’ll get a chance to discuss pay once you get an offer, but you may not get an offer if you discuss pay first.

What is the benefits package?
Ditto. If you don’t love your career, it will show in your interview. Take a few minutes to take a free career interest test if you want to know your best career fit.

What are the hours? “This is the question that makes me cringe more than any other,” says financial-industry executive recruiter Paul Solomon. “Try 24-7, like every other position these days. Wall Street managers don’t want a clock watcher, so when I hear that question, I know the candidate won’t be the right fit.”

How much vacation time will I get? If you want to give the impression that you’re more interested in time off than working, ask this question. Otherwise, save it until after an offer has been extended, recommends Cathleen Faerber, managing director of The Wellesley Group, an executive search company.

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WOW Videos on iTunes

I’m happy to announce my WOW video series is now LIVE on iTunes. Subscribe to my video podcast series direct from iTunes!

Position Yourself for a Promotion

BNET: The Useful Commute by Carmine Gallo

Join host Carmine Gallo and business professionals discuss management insights and advice for seasoned executives as well as aspiring employees looking to take charge of their leadership and career development. Make the most of your travel time as you voyage to and from work. is the go-to place for managers, providing actionable insights on management, strategy, work-life balance, sales, marketing, human resources (HR), public relations (PR), and other business management and marketing topics.

Listen to my episode >> Position Yourself for a Promotion

How To Negotiate A Raise In Tough Times

Don’t let fear and complacency keep you from asking for a raise.

I was recently quoted in a Forbes Women article on negotiating a raise in tough times.  Journalist Emma Thompson writes:

You know you deserve a raise, but do unemployment reports have you frozen in fear? Ask for a pay hike anyway, experts say.

“If your performance is where it should be or exceeds expectations, you should absolutely ask for a raise,” says Dustin Dumas Weeks, a Jersey City, N.J.-based career strategist and author of Lessons from a Recovering Worker Bee.

You may be bombarded with messages from management that you should be thankful to have a job, but there is often money available for deserving employees. A report from Culpepper and Associates, a global compensation and benefits consulting firm, estimates that base salaries in the U.S., including companies with salary freezes, will increase by an average of 1.66 % in 2009 and 2.68% in 2010. Excluding those companies with freezes, salary increases are projected to rise slightly from 3.05% in 2009 to 3.08% in 2010.

Keep in mind that layoffs usually save companies lots of money–and they generate plenty of extra work for the remaining workers. A good manager knows that it pays not to ignore those facts, says Frances Cole Jones, author of The Wow Factor: The 33 Things You Must (and Must Not) Do to Guarantee Your Edge in Today’s Business World.

“Asking for a raise reminds both you and your boss of all you have been doing to contribute to the company’s performance,” says Jones. “Downplaying that for fear of upsetting the financial apple cart increases the possibility you’ll continue to do your work with a chip on your shoulder, which will likely cause your future performance to suffer.”

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