Mar 082013

It sounds counter intuitive when you first hear it, why turn down a job once you’ve received an offer? In this day in age, many people find themselves grateful for the opportunity to work after being unemployed for a span of time. Given not everyone has built up a pipeline of future employers or even set out to interview with many different companies. We all have our own needs and interests, so what would it take for you to turn down a job? Is there ever a bad reason? This article highlights why it’s okay to walk away from some offers and why you should continue to look even if it means going without a pay check for a little longer.

Jan 252013

What are some of the best answers to give to employers that show you are a worth while future hire? A great article that gives you a chance to add some value when employers ask, “what do you enjoy doing in your free time?”

Dec 212012

MoneybagThe time the employer wants you the most is at the end of the interview process. By this point the company has spent a few or many more hours in evaluation of your criteria, qualifications and fit for their organization and now they want you to join them. They are interested and excited by what they hear from you and if you play your cards right you will be able to get a premium for your services.

You should have already determined your value from your previous research and now have a realistic target compensation number in your mind. You are prepared with the knowledge of what is a realistic number for your services.

The employer also has a number in their mind, or better yet a range of numbers, that are acceptable for them to spend for an individual to work. You want to be as close to the high end of their range as possible.

The First Salary Question

You will most likely encounter a question about your compensation expectations early on in the interview process, quite often during “first contact” when you learn about an opportunity. Compensation is often a prescreening category for a candidate to be considered.

When you are asked about your salary expectations, avoid giving someone a range of numbers unless want to receive the bottom of that range. Think about it. If you offer me an apple and tell me it will cost from $1-3 dollars, how much do you think I will want to pay? (in case you are wondering…the answer is one dollar).

The recommendation of GigSpire is to use the “Market Range Response.”

The Market Range Response

“I would prefer to learn more about the opportunity as a whole before I commit any number. There are so many elements to an opportunity so let’s make sure this is a fit first. I can assure you that if I am the right fit for your organization and your opportunity is the right fit for me, I’m sure we will be able to come to an understanding as my expectations are within market range.”

That is your first effort of getting out of the salary question answer, using the Market Range Response. It should work with 30-50% of your interviewers over the phone. A savvy Screener, Headhunter or Hiring Manager may push for more information and ask again.

If they press you for a number see if you can get them to provide a range first by using a Reversal Question. Say something like:

“Let me ask you, what kind of expectations do you have? What type of range make sense for you?”

Reverse the question on them and see what they say… they may give you a salary range. This is a great way to get people to give you information.

The person on the phone may avoid providing a direct answer to a Reversal Question and since they have the job (and the leverage at this point) you don’t want to blow up the opportunity by standing firm on this question.

Should they ask you to provide them a number a third time you can now demonstrate that you have done your homework by helping them understand you know your value. For this, GigSpire recommends the Detailed Market Range Response.

NegotiationsThe Detailed Market Range Response

“Again, I don’t want to commit to a number now. I would rather evaluate the entirety of the opportunity first but if we must discuss some numbers I can accommodate to make sure we aren’t wasting anyone’s time. As I am sure you know the average compensation for this type of work and my experience level is between XX and XX dollars. And although I am on the front end of the bell curve, as long as I am the right fit for you and your opportunity matches my goals I am sure we can come to an understanding. Does that meet your expectations?”

Set the interviewer’s expectations that you are on the front end of the salary range for your profession and then ask if it meets the requirements for the position. Provided your range is based on the market research you have done, you will most likely move on with the rest of the discussion.

Don’t Discuss Dollars In The Face-To-Face

Avoid mentioning compensation during the face-to-face interview until the employer brings up the subject. Should the interview end without a discussion of the dollars, that’s ok. If asked your response should follow the format of the Detailed Market Range Response. You want the employer to provide an offer before beginning negotiations. Information is everything in negotiation and getting someone to offer a deal first allows the base-point for negotiations to begin.

Dec 042012

So you are about to go into an interview, here are a few things to check before you walk in the door. Be certain to arrive 15 minutes early so you can cover these basics.

Visit the Restroom

First of all, step into a restroom either in the building or at a restaurant before going into the interview. Visit the facilities so you don’t have the urge to go during the interview conversations.

Check Yourself Out in the Mirror

Do a quick check on your hair and your clothing. Make certain your hair is in place and pick any visible lint or hair from your outfit. If wearing a tie, be sure to straighten it and tighten the knot so it looks sharp. If wearing a coat, look at the lapels and collar so it isn’t flipped up by accident. Evaluate the coat pockets because sometimes the flaps may be tucked in, be certain to have the pocket flaps out.

Wash Your Hands & Check Your Breath

Everyone should wash their hands leaving the restroom but having clean hands when walking into an interview is important, especially if you are a smoker. Also chew a piece of gum or eat a few breath mints to avoid any bad breath issues during your conversation. Be sure to spit out the gum before walking into the interview though, just chew it for a few minutes.

Look at Your Shoes

Many times we can have water spots or a bit of dirt on our shoes that can be noticed. Look at your shoes and wipe any spots or dirt off.

Have Your Resume & Company Research With You

Bring a brief that contains a few copies of your resume (at least 3) as well as any research you did on the company and people who are interviewing you. This will ensure that you project the image you are professional and prepared to your potential employer.

Silence Your Phone

Nothing more unprofessional than a phone that goes off during an interview. Take a conscious moment and put it on vibrate or turn it off all together.


Nov 272012

We have often seen job seekers show up to an interview and one of the most common mistakes people can make is not having enough copies of their resume for the interview. Here are a few suggestions about how to properly prepare for this all important step in getting a job.

Bring 3-5 copies of your resume.

Be sure to have enough copies of your resume. Many job seekers assume that since they have emailed their resume, the employer will have it for the interview. Although this is often the case, don’t leave anything to chance.

We recommend bringing at least 3 copies of your resume. Here is why:

  • You want a copy for the interviewer
  • You want a copy for yourself so you can easily reference any points the interviewer may ask about
  • You want at least one other copy in case additional person is brought in to interview you (meaning the interview is going well!)

The Paper Illusion

Use a decent paper but don’t spend big dollars on special paper. Many people are under the assumption that high dollar, linen paper is needed for resumes. Consider it a “nice to have” but certainly not a must. The answers you provide during the interview will be the difference maker in the experience, not the paper.

Also be certain to spellcheck the resume, especially if you have made edits to the document prior to the interview.

Good luck, go get that job!

Nov 262012

Ever notice that when you are waiting for an interview, your hands may get cold? If not, the interviewer might

Whether it is a result of nerves or just the fact it is cold outside or in the location you are interviewing, your hands might get cold. Best to not have cold hands when you shake the hand of the interviewer. While you wait to meet him or her take a couple of minutes to warm up your right hand. Easy enough to do, just cross your legs and put your right hand in between them to get the temperature up.

One of the little things people don’t think about that can make you memorable in the wrong way in an interview. Remember part of the description of a handshake is warmth…a cold, clammy hand is not in your best interests.

Sep 132012

We were recently asked:

“What do most people mess up in an elevator pitch?”

GigSpire’s response:

Delivering an effective message is important whether you are making a sales presentation or trying to get an interview. Most people fail to do two things:

  1. Form a strategic thought or message to communicate
  2. Practice their elevator pitch

Strategy is important in almost anything we do and most people would agree that planning is a good thing. When it comes to a person’s elevator pitch most times they don’t plan it however, they “wing it” when asked what they do or are presented with a chance to introduce themselves.

The problem with this approach is we can easily be distracted and may not deliver a focused message that accurately relates our capabilities and wants/needs.

A format used in the GigSpire Program is the S.T.A.R. format:

  • Situation – Explain the problem in 15 seconds or less
  • Task – Identify a task or two tasks needed to solve the problem
  • Action – Identify the action you take to resolve the problem and address those tasks
  • Result – Explain the results of the actions you take to solve the problem


The entire pitch should be 90 seconds or less and the person should practice it so that it flows smoothly. We recommend practicing in front of a mirror or with another person to be sure and individual is comfortable delivering his or her elevator pitch.

Be sure to be prepared when asked about what you are looking for, that’s our advice!

Jul 212012

Do we really need a checklist of things to have and do prior to an interview?


For some, Interviews are the most challenging part of the job search and as a result the in-person interview proves to be a focal point of anxiety and stress. Many highly technical jobs like surgeons and pilots require them to complete a thorough checklists prior to starting their work. Professionals operate with systems to ensure the best possible outcome. So can you!

The best way to combat some of these insecurities and nerves is to make sure you’re as prepared as you can possibly be prior to going in. As simple as it may seem, you can’t just “wing it” at the last minute. Overlooking interview preparation can be the difference between getting a job and remaining unemployed.

The following is a list of things that you should have ready 24 hours before your interview so don’t find yourself scrambling at the last second.

Copies of Your Resume and References in a Professional Folder:

Now more than ever it seems like a growing number of people, especially younger people don’t own their own printers. If you don’t have a printer then you need to be aware of places that you can go to print out copies of your resume and list of references to present to the employer. Check out places like Staples, Office Depot, Fedex-Kinkos, the UPS store, etc.

If you have difficulty finding any of those places near you, consider asking a friend, neighbor, or family member who might have access to a printer.

Once you have three copies of your resume and three copies of your professional references put them in a nice folder. You don’t need to buy anything too snazzy but presentation of using a professional binder goes a long way. By doing this, you’ll demonstrate many intangible qualities like, you’ve got your act together, you’re serious about the job, and you’re organized.

Pen and Pad of Paper:

Even if you think you know the job up and down it’s still important to bring a pen and paper just in case you need to take notes. When you take notes while someone is speaking it appears that you’re listening intently and value the information enough to put it down to be looked at later.

Also, you never know what kinds of forms you may be asked to fill out so it’s always good to have a working pen handy.

Application and Forms:

This is only a request of an employer about a third of the time. Some employers may ask you to print out an application and fill it out prior to your arrival. This application would also sit in that folder you brought with you.

Your Interviewing Clothes:

What to wear to an interview can be a lengthy discussion on its own and we do cover that class in the Gigspire Program but you should set aside the clothes you plan on wearing. You want to inspect all the garments up and down and be sure the clothes fit prior to you heading off to your interview. There shouldn’t be any wrinkles, stains, odors, tears, etc. on the attire you’re interviewing in.

Most jobs for men: Dark Suit, ironed shirt, tie, dark socks, dress shoes.

Most jobs for women: Formal attire, conservative dress, nothing too low cut or short.

If you don’t own any of the above items check out thrift stores or discount stores for great deals. A simple google search should answer any further questions about this one.


If you’re taking the train or the bus make sure you know well in advance which stops you need to take and how long on average the commute will take. Give yourself plenty of time and bring a little extra cash in case time is tight and you need to grab a cab or you’ve run out of money on your quick pass for the bus or train.

If you’re driving and/or using GPS or your phone to get to the interview, make sure you also have a tangible or easily accessible copy of the directions in case your phone or GPS stops working at the worst time. We’ve all been there.

Give yourself plenty of time! Even if you know the area well and especially if you don’t; you want to arrive at least 15 minutes early to be sure you’re not stressing yourself out and racing through traffic just to be on time. You can’t plan on traffic jams, accidents, road work, etc, it’s just better to be early.

Information and Research:

Be sure to write down the names, job titles, and phone numbers of the people you’ve already talked to and who you’ll be interviewing with well in advance so you don’t have to scramble in case you’re asked who you’ve spoke to and which person(s) you’ll be seeing that day. It’s also good to have the phone number in case the “impossible” happens and you’re running behind.

We go over how to research the company and people within it prior to the interview extensively in the GigSpire Program but it’s a no brainer that you need to do some quality research before setting foot in front of anyone representing a company you want to work for.


You need to practice answers for some of the most basic questions and also have a list of your own questions for the interviewer about themselves or the company. There’s nothing wrong with having a cheat sheet with a few bullets but make sure it’s nothing more than an aide and not a full on crutch.

The Little Things:

  • Phone
  • Wallet
  • Identification (ID)
  • Gas in the car
  • Deodorant
  • Drink enough water
  • Eat breakfast
  • Brush your teeth