Here is How Employers Determine a Newcomer’s Salary 

Did you just pass your first interview and now you are wondering what you should say on your salary negotiation?

First, congratulations on your smooth interview. Second, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, you’ll learn how employers offer salary to candidates they’d like to hire.

While most candidates expect a 10 percent to 20 percent salary increase during a job-switch, not every organisation is able to meet that expectation. Besides considering the candidate’s qualification; work experiences, current and expected salary, an organisation has to review their salary structure and internal equity to determine a salary offer.  These are usually not openly discussed, hence most candidates are not aware of such considerations at the back-end.

See also: Negotiating Your Salary The Wrong Ways

Salary Structure

Every established organisation has its own internal salary structure. Salary structure is created based on market data to ensure salary competitiveness within the same industry. This is also known as analyzing external equity.

Some companies might be more transparent than others on sharing their structures to candidates. Basically, each position in an organisation has its own grade or level and a salary range. The salary range will consist of a minimum pay rate and maximum pay rate. For a fully competent candidate, the most ideal and competitive rate will be at the median of the range.

A candidate who is new to a role typically receives a salary which is lower in the range while a very experienced candidate might receive an offer which is above the median.

Companies avoid offering salaries near the maximum pay rate since that would limit the salary growth of a candidate in subsequent years. Once an employee reaches the maximum within the salary range, they will enter the red circle and are no longer eligible for pay increase.

Internal Equity

An organisation also has to consider internal equity when determining the salary for a candidate.  Internal equity refers to reviewing current salaries of existing employees holding the same position and job responsibilities within an organisation. It ensures that employees are rewarded fairly across the organisation.

To illustrate the point of internal equity: there are two accountants – Sarah and Adam working in the organisation. Sarah earns $3000 a month and has a bachelor degree with 3 years of relevant experience; while Adam earns $5000 a month, has a bachelor degree with 5 years of relevant experience. After learning the gap of experience and pay, the hiring manager will likely offer $4000 per month salary for a candidate who has a Bachelor degree and 4 years of relevant experience in her/his previous organisation. This can be predicted based on internal equity where salary is calculated based on the candidate’s experience and education. 

As a job seeker, when receiving an offer whereby the salary is lower than your expectation, you should try to understand their pay philosophy. Companies might not be able to share all the information with you but you can obtain a better understanding of their pay structure if you pay close attention to what they offer during salary negotiation.

You should also consider the entire compensation package. Base salary is only one component so it is important to understand the other benefits or perks offered, such as additional allowances and bonus payout.

Most importantly, you should understand the growth opportunity within the organisation. If an organisation strongly believes in developing their employees, it will still be a worthy consideration over others that only offer a marginally higher salary.

Read also: Where Did All the Money Go? Smart Guide to Manage Your Salary

How to Turn The Tide When Interview Goes Wrong 

Here’s the situation. You’re sitting on your chair, feeling utterly and completely defeated. The interviewer sits across, his arms akimbo and gives you a gaze that clearly says he is not impressed with your performance so far. The last ten minutes that have passed since the start of the interview felt like an hour long.

Have you ever found yourself in such a situation during a job interview? Well, it is entirely understandable that you would start getting nervous or agitated, especially in this time of dwindling job vacancies and career opportunities. At a certain point in a job interview, maybe the interviewer lost you and even zoned out while you are busy rambling about your experience. Some tell-tale signs that interviewers might be bored include:

  • Fiddling with his/her iPhone or Blackberry;
  • Examining his/her fingernails or the surroundings;
  • Giving you a disapproving and uninterested stare;
  • Nodding vaguely but not giving you eye contact;
  • Not responding in appropriate fashion to your stories, or
  • Simply staring into space and not responding. 

See also: Remote Networking Strategies You Should Not Miss

This is bad news – it means that they have ascertained that whatever you have delivered so far, in response to the interview questions, are not a good fit to what they are looking for. In such a case, the best thing you can do is stop and take a breath. Smile and re-engage the interviewers again, so both of you can get back on track. Here are a few interview tips that will help you recover quickly and snatch the attention back. 

Ask relevant questions: 

One good way to re-engage interviewers is to ask them relevant questions about the position offered or the company. Ask them how the company culture looks, or how it feels to work there. By doing so, you will re-emphasize your interest in the company and also prompt the interviewers to give you more information that you can use to demonstrate your suitability with the company.

Change the topic: 

Stop whatever you’re currently talking about, then change to another subject and keep your new story short. If it is evident that what you are talking about is boring, switching to something else might work in capturing the interviewers back. Bear in mind not to get lost in another long narrative, though – try to be as concise as possible, and ask for their input as much as you can.

Take a short break to recover: 

The worst thing you could possibly do is freaking out and rambling and going off on wild tangents. If you’re getting a huge case of the jitters, you might even want to request for a brief toilet break – politely. This might or might not work, depending on the interviewer’s patience. If it does work, head straight to the toilet and splash your face with cold water. Take long, slow breaths, and gather your thoughts again. Run through what you want to tell the interviewer in your head, and make sure you return looking and feeling more confident. It is far better to take a break and re-group than to push forward in a losing battle.

Demonstrate your interest in the job strongly – even if you are under or over qualified: 

If you chose to interview for a job that you are either under or over qualified for, you must have a very good reason for taking that chance. Make sure you prove it to the potential employer. Demonstrate your interest in the job strongly by displaying knowledge in the related areas, or by matching the skills you have to the skills that are required for the job. Do not expect the interviewers to connect the dots for you – show that you mean business by taking the initiative.

In sum, never throw in the towel, even when all seems lost. By taking the steps above, you will be able to take the reins and steer the interview back to a more positive direction that would increase your chances of getting hired.

Read also: Had a Bad Job Interview? Here’s How to Recover 

Remote Networking Strategies You Should Not Miss

Not only changes in work, we also need to rethink our networking strategy.

Networking is an essential part of a job search process as it gives job seekers more opportunities to advance your career. Attending meetings and social events are generally the most preferred method to do networking. However, prior to COVID-19, job seekers need to rethink their networking strategy from offline to online and remote networking. 

How do you conduct remote networking? Read on…

1- Get familiar with social media, especially LinkedIn 

You can find potential partners on all social media you use, but LinkedIn is by far the greatest way to keep up with industry trends and catch up with professional networks. Most importantly, connections you make on LinkedIn could someday prove vital to your career. 

To maximise your LinkedIn usage for networking, you can start by adding more mutual friends and introduce yourself. Have a conversation at which point you could easily make the connection and see if this person would be interested in talking with you about industries you are aiming for.

If the person does not respond to your request or message, do not take it personally. People are busy and there are some people who might be trying to control the size of their network. 

See also: Had a Bad Job Interview? Here’s How to Recover

2- Attend virtual networking regularly 

Remote networking starts to leverage large-scale and there are plenty of opportunities to seize, from attending online seminars to remote conferences. While the means of connection of this remote networking are different, the same networking rules apply, such as: 

  • Dress for success
  • Have conversation and not one sided discussion
  • Offer just as much advice as you get 
  • Have positive energy and language choices 

Beyond typical networking events, try to think outside of the box. For instance, you could host your own virtual meet-up with your fellow colleagues to talk about industry trends, projects, or just to maintain the connection. 

3- Stay active and relevant 

Last but not least, you should remember that people are more eager to talk to those with good personal branding. This means that not only you should consume, but you should also create to make yourself known to the public. Create your own content and share them to your networking or social media. Comment on some posts and get the discussion going. Share other colleagues’ content with positivity and respect. All of these steps seem simple but it might add up in the end. 

Read also: 3 Ways a Job Interview is Just Like Your FIRST DATE 

Had a Bad Job Interview? Here’s How to Recover 

As you end up with this article, you’ve probably gone through an awful experience – and it is likely about a job interview. Well, we know that job interviews can be tough at times, especially for a good role within an industry. Self-doubt can creep in as soon as you walk out the door seeing other competitors walk out with you from the room. This feeling can also keep you day and night whether you’ve done your best to get selected and accepted for the role you have applied for.

Be it a feeling of resentfulness or embarrassment because you think you haven’t done your best in an interview, you should not drown yourself into negative emotion. Instead, let’s turn these negative experiences into positive one and become better for next interviews, because every setback in life is an opportunity to learn. 

See also: The Right Way to Accept Job Offer 

Here is what you need to do to put yourself in a position to ace your next job interviews: 

Thank interviewers for the opportunity 

The interview might not go well but it should not affect how grateful you are for being invited. When sending thank you notes, whether via email or messaging app, don’t just say “thank you”, you should also send a brief note after receiving the opportunity. 

When you get rejected, saying thank you is also advisable. It does not only give a good image to the interviewer, it could also build bridges with the interviewer for when they have another job opening. Make sure to also include a note that saying thank you, your disappointment for not getting the job, and what you’ll do to improve yourself for future opportunities. This way, interviewers might give you free feedback and show you what’s wrong and right during your interview, but do not be too pushy in this matter. 

Reflect 

After going through an unpleasant experience, you might want to forget it soon and move on. However, this should not be the case with a job interview. After the interview is over, take a step back and think about the interview. Putting your thoughts on paper after the interview gives it the most validity. This could also help with your emotion and thoughts. 

After a couple of days, revisit what you wrote. Look at your entries completed in the heat of the moment. Reflecting on these thoughts with a clear head can help you focus on how to develop your interviewing skills in the future. 

Learn and strengthen your strength 

Although you might only remember the bad endings or wrong answer to your interviews, always remember that there is always ying in yang, and good in bad. Thus, think about what you did that went well. For example, you messed up the question about “your past experience”, but you are good at representing yourself as the best accountant. Or, you were so comfortable in demonstrating the answer by giving a story, but it was ineffective as you took so much of the interviewer’s time. This way, you can develop a better interview strategy and build a foundation that is your typical. 

Getting a job is about selling your value, just like how you would sell a product to customers. 

Read also: 3 Ways a Job Interview is Just Like Your FIRST DATE 

6 Practical Ways to Find Hidden Job Opportunities

Recruiters admitted that an estimated 70 percent of job openings are not advertised online, meaning the majority of opportunities would never make it to the job boards. Based on this statistic, the more senior the position, the less likely the job is to be advertised. So, how do all these jobs come about? 

While you can find plenty of job opportunities out there, the best one should be dug a little deeper. How to do that? Do find the below tips useful. Let’s Go for the Hidden Gem!

Friends, family and networking

It’s quite common to ask people how they got their job and receive the response, ‘I got it through someone I knew’. Though this might seem unfair on the surface, you’d be surprised by just how many contacts you and your friends and family actually have.

So, ask around! Talk about your job hunting to people and you’ll see that people are friendly and forthcoming. Family members especially won’t hesitate to help you out, and good friends will too. Try and find the ones that are well connected.

See also: Networking: How to Make Yourself Memorable

Volunteer work and shadowing

The idea of an unpaid job sounds quite unappealing, but the reality is far different. Volunteer work in your community can be very rewarding, give you important experience and teach you valuable skills. Even better, you can connect with new people and gain more contacts who could get you a paid job. 

Try and choose work that is either related to the field or industry you wish to be involved in or can give you relevant skills and experience. This could make quite a big difference when going to job interviews, and it also looks great on your CV.

Work at your university

Most graduates don’t think about going back to work at the place where they studied, but if you dig just a little you’ll find an array of jobs that are open for both students and graduates alike. They could be in a variety of fields including telemarketing, hospitality, IT services and teaching.

These jobs are also quite popular, so apply early and always be on the lookout for job advertisements around campus and within your university email account. If you’re not sure what jobs your university has on offer, then get in touch with the careers service.

Scour the newspaper

Searching the job listing sections on local paper is something that you’re doing already, but there’s more to be gained from the newspaper than that. Read about companies and businesses in your area that are expanding or investing and contact them directly. This will give you the upper-hand when it comes to getting a job from them in the first place, as you’ve already demonstrated your eagerness to work as well as your personal initiative.

Similarly, if you notice a new manager or director has just been hired by a company then you can assume that they will be recruiting a team. It takes a little confidence but why not call up and throw your hat in the ring. What’s the worst that can happen? 

Finally, sometimes in the paper they mention people who have moved on to another job. This is your chance to try and poach that job before they start recruiting and advertise the position. 

Career fairs

When you attend a career fair you need to realise that this is your chance to make yourself known among those who are looking to hire. It’s not just about picking up one application form after another, but instead you should converse, ask questions, and try to make yourself memorable so that when choices need to be made about who gets the job, your name will come up.

If you get pally with someone who turns out to be the HR manager, then you could be working your way into your dream job. It’s also a great place to generally gain more information about sectors you might want to enter. 

Travel

A common way to get a job abroad is to simply make friends with the right people – this means people who have contacts and have been in the area longer than you have.

You could work at a bar, restaurant or even at the hostel you are staying in. Hostel jobs are quite popular since guests and workers are usually changing frequently as people come and go over months and years. Once you’ve got a basic job, you might consider looking at building a career in another country.

Read also: 10 Hidden Perks Job Seekers Should Ask Their Recruiters

Informational Interview (Part 2): How to Interview Professionally? 

Think about it: you are putting yourself “face-to-face” with someone in the same career field of interest as you. This person might have the power to hire you, or at least put you in touch with someone in the company with the authority to do so. Your ability to impress them with your qualifications and professionalism is key that will grant you a job offer. Keen to master this ability? Make sure you understand the right way to do an informational interview.

This article is a part of our previous Informational Interview Tips: Why and who to interview.  

How to do an informational interview 

Informational interviews can be scheduled by email, letter or a phone call. It can also be scheduled in person, when the opportunity presents itself. When contacting a professional about an informational interview, you should be concise and professional. The following can serve as a guide in making the contact:

  • Briefly introduce yourself. “My name is (insert name). I’m an MBA candidate at Clarkson University, and I’ve been conducting a great deal of research about marketing careers. You’re working in a career that, based on my research, I’ve chosen to explore further.”  
  • State why you are contacting them. “A professor of mine, (insert name), thought you’d be a great person to talk to and he/she strongly encouraged me to reach out to you.” 
  • Touch briefly upon your interest in this field. “I’ve done some serious research and reflection on the things I like to do, and those things that I do well. Based on this, as well as on some initial career exploration, this career intrigues me. But I could really benefit from information, advice and suggestions from somebody like you to help clarify my career goals.”  
  • Ask for action. “I would welcome the opportunity to conduct an informational interview to find out more about what you do. I would only need about 20 to 30 minutes of your time, and am willing to schedule this at your convenience. When would be a good time for you?”  
  • Close the conversation. “So we’ll be meeting on (insert day and time) at (insert location). Thanks so much for your time and consideration.” 
  • Remember to exchange contact information, just in case you need to reach one another in an emergency.

Remember, just like a job interview, preparation is absolutely essential. To adequately prepare, consider the following:  

  • Research the company or organization. At a minimum, go to their website and company profile on LinkedIn. Request a copy of their most recent annual report and any other relevant company literature. 
  • Research the professional. Bios on the company website and LinkedIn profiles can be great sources of information. Also, “Google” the professional’s name on the Internet to see what other information you can find out about them.  
  • Prepare a list of questions you’d like to ask during the interview. 
  • Plan your attire and “dress for success.” Dress for the informational interview as you would for a job interview. 
  • Pack emergency-repair items, such as a small sewing kit, spot-remover wipes, tissues, comb and brush, hairspray, makeup for touch ups, breath mints and an umbrella in case you need it.  
  • Make sure you have the contact information of the person you’re interviewing – including name, title, phone number and email address. 
  • Know who you’re interviewing and how to contact them in case of an emergency.  
  • Print two or more copies of your professional and critiqued resume on a heavier stock resume paper. You want to have one for yourself and one for the person you’re interviewing. Although this is not a job interview, the informational interview is a great venue for a professional to provide feedback about your qualifications. 
  • Have a professional padfolio (with a fresh pad of paper) and several pens for taking notes. Remember, you are a “reporter” seeking relevant information and you want to capture it accurately.  
  • Take a practice run to the location of the interview. Know how to get there and how long it takes, and be familiar with alternate routes in case of accidents or detours. Get a good night’s sleep the night before the interview. It will help you be at your best.  Remember the power of your non-verbal cues, including eye contact, posture, and nervous habits. 

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HR in Asia is a human resource online media publication, covering human resources news, trends, interviews, and events articles across Asia. The platform also talks about the latest developments in the domains of employer branding, recruitment, retention, employee relations, people development, HR technology, and outsourcing.

Does Success Always Mean Money?

Popular saying says, “Money is the root of all evil – and yet, it can also become the source of man to be powerful.” 

Earlier in history, people had a barter system to trade. They would barter their possessions such as grain, gold, meat, etc in exchange to other goods with equal value. When  money was invented around 700 B.C., people began to use it for mutual adjustment rather than sharing possessions with each other. Money is then adopted as a better system for trading, thus humans developed a process to measure the worth of something with money. Until today, money is part of human’s means to survive in life.

The concept of more or less

Since money is one of the important measurements for a man to live, many people believe that having more money equals being more successful. When people have more money, they can buy more possessions  – such that they will be regarded as “rich”. On the other hand, having less money would be regarded as poor, therefore being poor means having an unsuccessful life. In nature, humans develop the concept of “more and less” because our brain likes to decide and judge things without working much effort. In other words, people would easily judge whether someone is successful or not by looking at how much “materials” (money) one possesses. 

See also: Which One is More Important: Degree Certificate or Skill Certificate? 

Money + success = ? 

After understanding the concept of more and less, you should now understand why money is such an important part of a man regarded as a success. Yet, to some extent, this is just the surface of the concept. There is a simple detail that people often miss here which can be broken down into two: 

  • You can still be successful and not have the money.
  • You can have the money and still be not successful.

How? You might ask. 

To illustrate, a man works tirelessly for a multi-national company and he earns enough money to be called as successful by society. Little did people know, this man is often exhausted, gets burnout, and is simply not that happy as he gets little time for himself. 

Meanwhile, there is another man working at a local school. He earns enough to feed his family, but he loves his job and loves teaching his students. Whenever he goes home and finds that his son comes running from the inside to hug him, he feels happy and complete.

From the illustrations above, now you understand the concept of happiness. Happiness is not measured by numbers, by money. Happiness is the basic need, core element that helps human beings feel fulfilled with life. When you feel satisfied and happy, you will perceive your life as a success. 

The conclusion by far is that money gives you power but it might not result in a happy life which is basic human’s needs. 

The psychology behind money and happiness 

According to Christopher Peterson at Psychology Today, money and happiness are related to each other. When you have a lot of money and you spend it in a way that keeps you fulfilled, having more money means having a happier life. Peterson also mentioned that money does bring happiness if it is spent wisely and on someone else. 

To illustrate what Peterson meant, imagine you have a bunch of dollars that could be spent on anything you want. Your life becomes much more comfortable and you can provide more for your family because you do not need to worry about your finances. This feeling, psychologists said, is a feeling of pleasures and comforts. Pleasures and comforts are two things that keep you happy, for a period of time. They are temporary things. The same goes to when you spend the money to help those in need. 

The conclusion is that money is not the root of evil and it does give happiness if spent wisely. However, as mentioned, money is only temporary happiness. If you want to be a successful person by your own definition, what you need to seek is true happiness. A life that makes you full and this kind of happiness cannot be measured by anything. That’s the beauty of it – happiness is the true wealth. 

 So, which one will you choose? Living to fit in society or trying to please your own self?

Read also: 10 Hidden Perks Job Seekers Should Ask Their Recruiters 

6 Reasons Why Recruiters Avoid Hiring Candidates with Employment Gap 

Are you a dedicated job seeker but have an employment gap in your resume? Here’s what you need to know.

Job candidates with years of employment gap are often perceived as an inadequate candidate by recruiters. Difficulty of job placement is cited to be the number one reason why recruiters avoid employment gaps in resumes. Another reason is that individuals who work freelance or are out of work to pursue their own ventures are often seen as having a lack of responsibility. Here are some other reasons why employers avoid hiring candidates with years of employment gap in the resume. 

  • More training – Recruiters often avoid hiring a person with a gap in resume for a senior-level position because they might require training which could add more work for HR and teams. Higher position needs professionals to do the job, so talents with a gap might have a lower chance of getting hired here. 
  • Employment gap means a hard time to verify employment background and it will be an extra task for a hiring manager. 
  • Recruiters often perceive that when you are out of work, your skills might not be good enough. 
  • If you quit the job to build your own business and fail, a recruiter might think that you are not good enough on your own and it could be a weak point because an organisation would prefer hiring a reliable person. 
  • Hiring qualified talents with a gap in their resume is more costly than hiring freshers. Fresh graduates can be paid less because they have no work experience, while qualified individuals with gaps might demand higher pay.  
  • Recruiters often fear low performance, instability, or unreliability at work if they hire someone with years of an employment gap. 

See also: What To Expect during a Job Interview?

Don’t be discouraged just yet – how to handle employment gap 

There is a way for job seekers to get employed even when they stop working for years. One way to hide employment gaps without lying is to use a Functional Resume. Concentrate on your skills and accomplishments and downplay when and where you did them. However, there are times when employers or headhunters ask you for a chronological resume or a separate work history. If this is the case, jump to trick number two. 

If employers or recruiters ask for work history, the chance for you to showcase your skills on paper might be low. But you can always showcase it in realtime. Thus, make sure you complete a project or certification before applying for the new job. This will help sell your skills again after years of no career advancement in the workplace. But remember, with those years of gap, applying for senior-level might be tricky even when you have completed some of certifications. It will be wiser to apply at a lower level and scale through time when you are employed. 

Once you have addressed the gap and explained what you did during that time but the conversation continues in a direction you are not comfortable with, you have the option of saying, “I’d prefer not to go into more detail. I am very interested in sharing details of my work experience, however.” From there, you can supply another anecdote from your work history that makes you qualified for the position. 

If the conversation continues to make you feel uncomfortable, you might want to consider ending the interview by saying, “I’m not comfortable with where our conversation is headed so this might not be the right fit. Thank you for your time.” This will not only show that you appreciate recruiter’s opportunity given to you for an interview but also show that you respect both of your time and recruiter’s. 

Ending a job interview unilaterally might decrease your chance to be hired. But it is better than explaining yourself in a way that the recruiter could not understand. If you are looking for a job that fits you best, check here and you might find a better employment opportunity than the one you are applying for now. 

Read also: 5 Things Recruiters Know that Job Seekers Don’t 

What To Expect during a Job Interview? 

If it is your first time to come to a job interview, it is normal if you think that interview is nerve-wracking. In such a case, knowing a few best practices can calm your nerves and keep you sharp. The first step is getting familiar with types of questions you’ll be asked, which include:

  • Background questions – These questions help hiring managers get an overview of your experience, goals and why you’re interested in the company. 
  • Behavioural questions – These are designed to uncover your past “behaviours” in different work situations. These questions also help employers decide whether you will fit company culture. 
  • Situational questions – Your answers to these questions should demonstrate your ability to overcome challenging workplace scenarios. 

See also: The Power of Informational Interviews

It will be all about you.

Besides the interview questions above, you can expect that a job interview will be all about you – as a job seeker. Therefore, set aside shyness or reticence and prepare to explain yourself thoroughly. First impressions always count, especially on particular occasions like job interviews. Practice and school yourself on what to do when employers ask illegal questions, such as queries about your marital status, children, or health issues. Understanding what you should disclose and what should be kept as secret will leave a good impression to recruiters. 

If you have an employment gap, explain it.

It is always a good policy to be honest about employment gaps, especially if it is lengthy. Having an employment gap will not decrease your employment chance if you know how to communicate it. Thus, be honest on why you take the gap, is it because you are working to find a new job, volunteering, becoming a parent or caregiver, or travelling? These reasons might be viewed in your favour. When explaining this, remember to emphasise the skills you’ve gained during employment gaps that will put value to the company if they hire you.

Be ready to discuss salary. 

When it comes to salary discussion, don’t disclose exactly what you expected. What you need to do is to prepare yourself by knowing what you are worth based on your qualifications and your salary history. You can also consult authoritative sources, such as Payscale. Once again, don’t feel it is your role to bring up specific numbers, but if you are asked, be prepared with salary ranges, based on your research. 

You are also required to ask questions. 

As the interview is winding up, the hiring manager might turn the table and ask if you have questions for them. When the time comes, make sure you take the chance to dig the company deeper, such as understanding the work hours, company culture, etc. Check here to know what questions you should ask. Nonetheless, it can be totally okay to finish with a non-question grace note, such as expressing that you’ve enjoyed the discussion and look forward to the next step in the hiring process. 

Read also: 3 Reasons Why Showcasing Your Personality during Job Interview is Essential

5 Things Recruiters Know that Job Seekers Don’t 

Do you often find that recruiters and hiring managers are intimidating? Don’t worry, they are not. They simply want to give you the best hiring experience in their own way. What you should pay more attention to is the secret behind their actions, because there are certain things that hiring managers do not want to reveal in front of their candidates. According to Dandan Zhu, Founder and CEO at DG Recruit, here are a few things recruiters and hiring managers know that job seekers don’t. 

#1 – All basic qualifications having been met 

“The smartest people do not actually end up succeeding the most in real life, while the dumbest people also have just as good as a chance to survive, if not thrive.” 

It means that B or C level students might be as good as A+ students in real life.  In other words, when it comes to the workplace, this means that the most talented and technically savvy engineer doesn’t always become the CTO. Most of the time, it is usually the politically admired and personally connected talent who wins and progresses into the C-suite. Basic qualifications are important to be considered as a feasible candidate, but success is dedicated more by one’s ability to influence, actively listen and respond appropriately, level of social etiquette, and general accentedness by their peers and superiors than one’s technical scores. 

See also: Job vs. Career: Life-long Adventure after Graduation

#2 – HR people are not that important in the hiring hierarchy 

“As you become a serious professional, you can utilise LinkedIn to directly approach hiring managers.” 

Most graduates might think that HR people deserve the utmost respect as they were the gateway to their future career prospects. Yet, Zhu emphasised that it is the hiring manager that makes the utmost decision, while HR is the service and administrative function in the process. Hiring manager dictates everything, including who to interview, what price to pay them, who to hire, and which headhunters to utilise. 

#3 – Job applicants can negotiate and leverage other offers to great effect 

“In today’s world, it is all about the etiquette and manner in which you communicate.” 

As a job applicant, you might be scared of upsetting prospective employers about disclosing where else you are going for job interviews and how much money you actually want. Yet, if a high-demand labour market where the supply of jobs outstrips candidates available, you actually hold a lot more power than employers do. 

Therefore, it is vital for you to research your niche and whether the position you are applying for is currently in the high demand labour market or not. Only then, you know your worth to negotiate and be transparent about offers. If handled appropriately, this will increase employers’ desire for you, not penalise you for looking greedy or not interested. Communication is the mother of all success when it comes to negotiation, thus master it. 

#4 – Interview your interviewers harder 

“Don’t be scared to say what’s on your mind. If something important to you does not align with your future employer, things won’t work out anyways, so it is better to know before you take the job to begin with.” 

Commonly, candidates are so scared of losing job offers or being looked at as needy or demanding so they don’t actually say what’s on their mind. This, however, could hurt your success on the job even if you manage to get a great salary and offer. Chances are, you probably agreed to something that you did not fully understand or align with.

That’s why it’s your prerogative to be a strong communicator. Get the answers you truly need during interviews by asking tough questions that are detailed and specific. This is where you’ll be spending your next few years; you better be aggressive in how you get it out!

#5 – Interview even if you don’t need to 

“Go out and interview even if you don’t need to.” 

Due to loyalty, fear, laziness, and/or arrogance, most candidates refuse to proactively learn about what opportunities are available. Don’t be like these most candidates. No matter if you need to look or not, once you hit a certain amount of experience in your role, it is time to take your head out of the sand and start interviewing, even if just for your own education. 

Read also: What to Do When You Hear Nothing from a Job Application?