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Kevin Roy
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Kevin Roy
After a successful career in the corporate and non-profit worlds hunting for and hiring great candidates for my and others' teams, I spend my time writing on the subjects I love and know most about.
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Career Growth
How To Write A Farewell Email To Colleagues (Plus 4 Examples)

Is your last day at work coming up? Whether you’ve been there for months or years, and whether you’re changing careers or you’re retiring, it's important to say goodbye to your colleagues. Sending a well-crafted farewell email to coworkers lets you say goodbye, shows your appreciation, and will help maintain positive work relationships. It's a chance to show gratitude for your time together, wish your colleagues well, and leave on a positive note. But not all farewell emails are right for everyone, and to hit the right note, there are a few things to consider. Let's dive in and make your goodbye one for the books! In this article, we: Talk about why writing a farewell email to coworkers matters, Share tips on how to write one that hits all the right notes, And provide you with 4 handy templates for different colleagues Leaving a workplace you’ve been at for a while is one of the most emotional parts of anyone’s career. Use our career counselling service to help smooth the way, whether it’s to another job or if you’re exiting your career permanently. We’ve helped thousands of people succeed in their job search, prep for interviews, negotiate the details of their contracts, and otherwise hit their career targets. Get in touch with us to start navigating your career path with ease. Why you’d want to write a farewell email to colleagues? Writing a farewell email to your colleagues before heading out the door is a good idea. Here are a few reasons why you should consider writing one. Because you’re a professional A goodbye email is a thoughtful and considerate way to bid farewell to the colleagues you’ve worked and shared time with over the past months or years. Leave a positive and professional impression as you move on to the next chapter in your career by dropping them a line that lets them know about your plans. To keep your connections strong Keep your professional network strong by sharing your decision to leave, demonstrating interest in future opportunities, and leaving the door open for future collaborations. A farewell email lets you share important contact information, shows an active interest in staying connected, and sets the stage for future contact, for example, if you need a recommendation letter. So everyone’s in the loop Lastly, good communication is a crucial skill, and a farewell email allows you to outline the steps to take during this transition period clearly. Including an explanation letting team members know who’s taking over your work, who to report to, and any other administrative details will make you a workplace superstar! How to write a goodbye email to your coworkers Follow these six steps to write a memorable farewell email to your colleagues. Work the subject line A strong subject line lets the recipient know at a glance what the email is about. A really effective subject line can even prompt someone to open and read the email right away, ensuring your message gets through. Try something like: Address it personally This isn’t the time to open with “To whom it may concern”. Use a professional salutation, like Dear or Hello, and include your colleagues’ names in each email you send. By this point, there should t be no confusion about who does what, so there’s no need to include their title. A simple message saying goodbye doesn’t have to be overly formal. Something like this is perfect: orSet the date In the first paragraph, let the reader know you’ve decided to leave the company and your intended departure date. Being clear and concise is a hallmark of professional correspondence. If you have a close working relationship with the recipient, you could also discuss your reason for leaving but avoid saying anything negative about the company. This is a professional message, not a gossip column. Shine a light on them Share some of your fond memories of working there, and if you can, highlight some ways that the recipient helped or a success you shared. This will make your message more personal, engaging, and memorable. But ensure sure you’re being genuine. Don’t offer empty flattery; people often see through it, and it falls flat when they do. Map the transition This is only necessary – and appropriate – if you’re in a senior position; otherwise, your supervisor or manager will take care of it. Just before the last paragraph, take the opportunity to clarify details about the transition process. Build your network As part of your final goodbye, let the person you’ve sent the email know that you look forward to interacting with them again. If you’re not already connected on a professional social networking platform like LinkedIn, suggest to them you’d like to so you can keep in touch. Sign-off A handful of standbys are always useful to close a professional email, like Sincerely, Regards, or Thank you. Just below that, on separate lines, include your name (in case they don’t know you as well as you think), your email address, telephone number, and a link to your professional networking platform profile. Farewell email templates You wouldn’t send the same farewell email to your boss that you would send your direct report. I’ve put together four examples that you could use depending on who you’re sending the goodbye to. Example 1 This is a great template for a farewell email to your close colleagues. Example 2 A farewell email like this would fit colleagues you don’t know well. Example 3 Saying goodbye to the people above you is a good idea even though you’ve already sent them a resignation letter. Send this farewell email to connect with upper management. Example 4 If you’re in a senior position, consider a farewell email like this, which lays out a transition plan. Add subject lines A good subject line informs the recipient of what the email is about. Less is more in this case; include only a few well-chosen words. Saying Farewell and Best Wishes, [Your Name] Moving On to New Adventures - A Farewell Message from [Your Name] Goodbye and Thank You - [Your Name]'s Farewell Email Time to Say Goodbye - [Your Name]'s Departure Message Farewell to My Amazing Colleagues - [Your Name]'s Farewell Email Leaving with Gratitude - A Farewell Message from [Your Name] Email writing/sending tips Consider these tips before you send any professional email: Keep it concise and to the point. Use a clear and professional tone. Check for grammar and spelling errors. Include a relevant subject line that accurately reflects the email's content. Use a professional email signature with your contact information. Review for clarity and ensure that the message is easy to understand. Takeaways A well-crafted farewell email is a good way to leave a positive, professional impression. Personalize the email with positive feedback and good memories. Different emails are appropriate for different colleagues. You can also use it as a platform to smooth the transition. Farewell emails are a great place to grow your network as well. We’ve helped 1000+ people like you find success in the hiring process through our career counselling service. Whether you need help in the job search stage, prepping for interviews, or while you’re trying to negotiate the details of the job or compensation, we’ve got experts that are ready to give you advice and help you strategize your next move.

Kevin Roy
Jun 2, 2023 6 min read
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Career Growth
Take It or Leave It: Whether to Take a Contract Job and How to Quit One

Are you confused about whether you can quit your contract job? The good news is, in most cases, you can. Even under the best circumstances, resigning from a job can be anxiety-inducing. That stress can be even worse if you leave a temporary or contract position. If you have to leave your contract job before the duration of your service is up, there are a few things you need to consider. You want to come across as professional to secure a reference and don’t need to leave a gap in your resume. In this article, we: Discuss what a contract job is. Answer the most common questions about contract jobs. Look at whether you can quit your contract job. Cover the best steps to resign from a contract job. Sometimes leaving a job is the best way to advance your career. If you’re considering a job transition, use our career counselling service to prepare for your next interview or any other career choices. We’ve helped thousands of people succeed in their job search, prep for interviews, negotiate the details of their contracts, and otherwise hit their career targets. Get in touch with us to do a deep dive on how to succeed in interviews or if you're curious about other ways to navigate your career path better. What is a contract job? There are two main types of contract jobs. You may get hired through a staffing company or as a self-employed or independent contractor. In either case, you’re employed for a specified time or for a project decided in advance. Contract employees usually sign paperwork – their contract - that lays out what they’ll be paid, their duties, and of course, the expected date or project goal that ends the contract. Contract jobs can include almost every type of job. Generally, staffing agencies supply workers with basic transferable skills, while independent contractors have specific skills. The top 10 US industries that employ the most contract workers are: Computer & IT Administrative Accounting & Finance Customer Service Software Development Medical & Health Project Management Research Analyst Writing Education & Training Can you quit a contract job? Yes, of course, you can. Technically, no one can force you to work against your will, and you have the right to quit your job anytime for any reason. But, your contract probably specifies whether you have to give your employer notice and any penalties there may be for resigning early. And it’s probably legally binding, so if you’re unsure, ask a legal professional to look at your contract and explain the terms to you. If you haven’t signed yet and you’re reading this to learn about contract work in advance, you have more flexibility. If your written contract doesn't allow for early termination, consider renegotiating the terms to keep your options open. Is contract work right for you? If you are here because you’re considering contract work, look over our answers to the contract job questions we get most often. Are contract jobs better? Only you can answer this for yourself, but there are some benefits to consider with a contract position. These options will vary from job to job and based on your skills and experience. Immediate job placement or minimal interviews compared to a traditional interview process Some contracts offer higher base pay instead of health or other benefits More flexible scheduling options Option to shift from temporary to permanent if there is a good fit Try out a variety of jobs to find your best fit without a long-term commitment Great opportunity to quickly learn a wide range of skills Build your resume experience and skills sections quickly The chance to grow your professional network What are the time commitments for a contract job? This is two questions in one. First, day to day, you may need to work full-time or part-time hours, or the hours may be entirely flexible. Second, in the longer term, contracts may be by the project or for a specific time - usually between three months and a year. If things work out during a time-based contract, an employer will often offer a permanent position or extend the contract. At the same time, if things aren’t working out, most contracts allow the employer to end the contract early. Specific reasons for termination and grace periods should be included too. Will my contract include benefits? In most cases, no, it will not. Short-term contract jobs typically have higher initial pay rates and don’t include benefits. Some longer-term contracts may include them. What about when the contract ends? If it was a contract for a one-time project, that might be the end of interaction with the employer. But, if it was a well-done job, you may have made a connection for continued work. You and the employer may just part ways when the agreed period is up for a time-based contract. Often though, if you did a decent job, the employer will want to keep you on. You’d be fully trained and part of the team by now, so you’re a perfect candidate. If they keep you on, it might be a permanent position with steadier hours, more responsibility, and benefits. If you’re still unsure whether a contract job is a good choice for you, or need help looking over the details of one you have, use our career counselling service. We’ll help you weigh your options and find the best fit flor your career goals.. How to quit a contract job If you plan to leave a contract job early, take these steps to resign from your position professionally and leave in good standing. Review your contract Again, you can quit any job, but there may be details in the contract about how to do this or penalties you may face. Before you do anything, review the details of your contract. Take account of who helped you If you secured your contract on your own, you’re good, but if you got it through someone in your network, giving them a heads-up about your plans is a good idea. Getting in touch to let them know shows you respect them and their reputation, and they may be able to give you tips on how best to approach the situation. If you got the job through an employment agency, contact your rep in person or by phone (use email as a last resort) to let them know you intend to resign. Maintaining a good relationship with them is important if you want their help again. Set a professional tone You catch more flys with honey than with vinegar. Meaning, “It’s not what you say but how you say it”. Approach your employer using a respectful and professional attitude and language. They’ll be more likely to respond positively and make your exit easy rather than set up speed bumps. Give them notice The standard in most jobs is to give two weeks’ notice, but if you can give more, they’ll appreciate it. Do not just walk out. Consider giving more notice if: You've been working at the company for a long time, for example, if it’s your second contract with them If the schedule is busy or your project is in a critical stage or near completion. If there’s been a lot of people coming and going. They’ve come to depend on you, or you’ve received specialized training from them. Write a resignation letter A resignation letter is necessary if you’re aiming for a professional resignation. In most cases, it’s also a requirement for documentation purposes. It doesn’t have to be long but should include your intended day of departure as a minimum. You might also include your reason for leaving and thanks for any experience you gained there. Talk to your boss or supervisor It’s a good idea to try setting up one-on-one face time with the senior employee you’ve worked under most. They may have put time into training you, know you better than people above them, and could smooth any ruffled feathers your early exit might cause. Take some time to think about positive things you can say about them, your time working there, and the company in general. Being gracious and courteous goes a long way toward gaining someone’s support, and you may get it in return if you ask for a reference someday. Keep working hard Once you’re in your notice period, keep doing the same good job you’ve done the whole while. Don’t think you can start slacking off and shirking responsibility because you’re leaving. In a very real way, this is the period that people will most remember you for. If you want to leave on good terms, tie up any loose ends, offer to help train your replacement and keep your standards high. Pro tips for resigning from a contract position Consider these tips if you intend to leave a contract position before the planned end date. Firm up your plans: Don’t jump ship before you’re sure you want to quit and everything is settled in your new position. It’s great to be hopeful, but don’t lose your job today only to find out something fell through where you plan to go. Double-check your contract penalties: You may have no penalties if you give notice, but they also may be hidden in the fine print. You’re better off double- or even triple-checking to avoid a penalty that puts you behind in your goals. Keep in touch: Part of being a professional is being able to stay, well… professional. This means staying available, getting feedback, and communicating throughout the notice period. Leave the red stapler: If you didn’t buy it and they didn’t give it to you, you must bring it back or leave it there. Ensure any tools and materials - and especially any intellectual property - you were issued are returned safely, in good condition and promptly. Takeaways Yes, you can always quit, but your contract might stipulate how. Always review your contract to see what steps to take to quit your contract job. Giving notice is a must. Aim for at least two weeks. Write a resignation letter and set a meeting to talk face-to-face with your supervisor about your exit. Keep providing the same professional service you did right through your last day. We’ve helped 1000+ people like you find success in the hiring process through our career counselling service. Whether you need help in the job search stage, prepping for interviews, or negotiating compensation, we’ve got experts ready to help you strategize your next move.

Kevin Roy
Jun 2, 2023 8 min read
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Ace the Interview
How To Answer The “What Do You Think This Company Could Do Better?” Interview Question

Do you enjoy being put on the spot and asked uncomfortable questions? Great, then you’ll love when the interviewer asks, “What could this company do better?” But, if you’re like most people, when the interviewer asks this question, you’ll be sweating bullets trying to think of a good answer. Let’s face it, they’re basically asking you to point out their company’s shortcomings. Some other ways they might ask the same question include: What do you think we could do better? What would you do differently if this were your company? How do you think you could improve our company if we hired you? Luckily, with some simple preparation, you can show you’ve done your homework on their business, understand the industry, and highlight your skills. Let’s see how you can plan a delicate and professional answer to hits those marks. In this article, we: Discuss why recruiters ask you, “What could this company do better?” Show you step-by-step how to answer this question. Include 5 examples of great answers to the " What could this company improve?” interview question. Preparing for your job interview is one of the most critical steps in reaching your career goals. Use our career counseling service to prepare for your next interview or any other career steps you’re thinking about. We’ve helped thousands of people succeed in their job search, prep for interviews, negotiate the details of their contracts, and otherwise hit their career targets. Get in touch with us to start navigating your career path with ease. Why do recruiters ask, "what do you think this company could do better?” There are two main reasons hiring managers ask this question. Both offer you an opportunity to impress them. First, they want to know more about you. They’re reading between your answer's lines to see what you’re like and how you might fit into their company culture. Depending on your answer, they may decide you have tact and excellent communication skills or that you’re condescending and full of yourself. Worded correctly, you can show genuine interest in their business instead of coming across as a know-it-all they don’t want on their team. Second, they want to know what you think of the company. After all, they’re considering hiring you because they believe you understand something about their business, so they stand to gain from your insights. What is the best approach to answer "what do you think this company could do better?” Because you’re being asked to point out flaws in the company you’re interviewing for, this question can be uncomfortable and a minefield. No sweat, right? Follow these simple steps to plan an answer that impresses the recruiter: 1. Do your research The only way you’re going to be able to put together a good answer is if you research the company in advance. You’ll need an idea of how they operate and fit into the industry to give an answer that impresses the recruiter. Look online or reach out to your network to gather information about the business’s products, revenue, image, goals, market, employees, competition and reputation. These areas will give you an idea of where they might come up short. 2. Be specific Use what you learned about the company to identify specific aspects about it you admire and others you’d suggest changing. If the recruiter asks you this question, they want you to give them a concrete answer, not beat around the bush with a vague one. 3. Consider the company values Companies operate differently from one another, and you want your answer to align with their values and goals. Because your personal mission statement will differ from their corporate mission, look into the company’s values to suggest improvements they’d actually be interested in. The reverse of this is also true, which is another reason to research the company. It would be best if you don’t make suggestions that go against the company values since that would be a red flag that you won't fit in there. 4. Start with a positive Lead with a relevant complement to frame your answer in a positive light. This shows the recruiter that you know your stuff and can give constructive criticism without coming across as one-sided and negative. 5. Be critical (to a point) Based on what you learned about the company, describe one specific thing about them you would do differently. But remember, you’re being judged on how you approach this answer, not just the content, so offer your insights without going on about them. 6. Bring it back to you Once you’ve answered their question, shift to how you could help make those changes. Moving the focus to you ensures you aren’t too negative about the company. It also puts you ahead of the competition by letting you pinpoint some of your strengths. Use this opportunity to tell the recruiter precisely what sets you apart. Answering this question is one piece of the puzzle. If you’re unsure about another aspect of your job interview, look over the best of our expert advice on the most common questions we get to ace your interview. Example answers to, "what do you think this company could do better?” These examples follow our steps of starting with something positive, moving on to moderate criticism, and then highlighting how your skills could help. Adapt these answers or craft one yourself that follows these basic rules. Example 1 – Updating outreach This answer is perfect if you’re interviewing for a role in marketing, HR, or any management level. It shows you’ve done your homework on the company and points the recruiter toward a valuable skill that makes you a unique candidate. Example 2 – Transition period There’s always a transition period when a company goes through changes. That’s a perfect time to show potential employers you have the soft skills they need to help them build a strong workforce. Example 3 – Sales Recruiters love to hear that you’ve used their products because it shows that the company is more to you than just a paycheck. This answer also demonstrates how your insights as a customer and employee offer them a unique opportunity. Example 4 - New to the industry Sometimes you don’t have years of experience to fall back on, but that shouldn’t limit how much you can impress a recruiter. This answer shows that despite being new to the industry, you’ve done your due diligence in looking into them. Even more, it shows you have the humility and confidence to admit when you don’t have the answer. Example 5 – Social motivation This answer demonstrates so many levels a recruiter will love to see. It shows your interest and knowledge in the company, your motivation to support its values and your interest in being with it for long-term growth. Takeaways Lean into specific opportunities to improve the company; the recruiter doesn’t want you to avoid this question with a vague answer. Research the company’s products, revenue, image, goals, market, employees, competition and reputation to craft an informed answer. Start with something positive, present a shortcoming, and then offer to use your skills to solve it. The recruiter is judging how you’ll fit into their team, so the goal is to sound knowledgeable without coming across as a know-it-all. Moderate your answer by moving quickly from constructive criticism to offering a solution. We’ve helped 1000+ people like you find success in the hiring process through our career counseling service. Whether you need help in the job search stage, prepping for interviews, or negotiating compensation, we’ve got experts ready to help you strategize your next move.

Kevin Roy
Apr 7, 2023 6 min read
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Ace the Interview
How To Answer The “Why Were You Fired From Your Previous Job?” Interview Question

Were you let go from your last job? Not sure what to say in your next job interview when the interviewer asks you about it? You’re not alone. We get this question a lot, so we’ll take you step-by-step through the best way to answer it. If you’ve ever been laid off or fired, you’ll probably need to explain that situation to a potential employer in the future. Because this can be such an uncomfortable question, and, let’s be honest, a deal-breaker, you need to prepare your answer. In this article, we: Explain why recruiters ask you about having been fired. Show you the best approach to answering when you’re asked, “why were you fired from your previous job?” Include 5 examples of great answers to tackle this tricky interview question. Preparing for your job interview is one of the most critical steps in reaching your career goals. Use our career counseling service to get ready for your next interview or any other career steps you’re thinking about. We’ve helped thousands of people succeed in their job search, prep for interviews, negotiate the details of their contracts, and otherwise hit their career targets. Get in touch with us if you want to do a deep dive on how to succeed in interviews or if you're curious about other ways to navigate your career path better. Why do recruiters ask "why were you fired from your previous job”? There’s no mystery here. There are two straightforward reasons why recruiters ask this question. First, to learn what happened Naturally, the employer wants to get the basic facts about what led to your termination. A good recruiter will want to get at least your side of the story before deciding whether you’d be a good fit for their team. In many cases, people are let go for internal company issues beyond their control, and almost as often because it’s a poor fit or some other valid reason. Recruiters are on the lookout for cases when a person was fired for something that reflects poorly on their character or work habits. Second, to see how you dealt with it A recruiter also wants to see how you reacted when faced with one of the most challenging situations anyone will ever face on the job. Some people handle it with poise and grow from it; others freak out, make a ton of noise, and point fingers. Taking responsibility for the situation, looking at ways to improve yourself in light of it, or doing other work to learn from it all demonstrate professionalism and personal growth. These are great qualities that a recruiter will be impressed to find in you! If you need to do a deep dive with an outsider who can be objective (but kind) about why you were fired and how you can learn from it, connect with one of our career counselors. We’ll work one-on-one with you to find the best path forward from a termination, no matter why or when it happened. The best approach to answering "why were you fired from your previous job?” There’s no way to sugarcoat it; of all the tricky questions that tend to come up in job interviews, this might be the toughest one. Use the following steps to plan your explanation for why you were fired from your last job. 1. Be honest The recruiter knows there are two sides to the story, and they really do want to hear yours; you wouldn’t be in the interview otherwise. This is your chance to show them your soft skills including integrity and honesty. Always be honest about why you were let go. There are so many reasons this might have happened, so give the recruiter the most objective explanation you can for it, and the rest of your answer will come naturally. And remember, just like you should research the company you’re interviewing with, they will look into you. There’s a good chance they may contact your previous employer to verify your story, so be sure you’re not making anything up or hiding any major details. 2. K.I.S.S. Maybe you’ve heard this before: Keep It Simple, Silly (or maybe something meaner!) While the recruiter wants to know what happened, and you want to tell the truth, nobody wants you rambling on, making excuses and explaining everything away. Present the basic facts and keep your answer as short and sweet as you can while still making sense. Don’t think you need to include every detail. And remember, there’s a difference between being honest and shooting yourself in the foot. Don’t offer information the recruiter didn’t ask for or doesn’t need - that extra detail might lose you the job. 3. Stay professional The word integrity keeps coming up. You want to show the recruiter you have the integrity to speak respectfully about your former employer. When you’re explaining what happened, staying calm and positive is important. Don’t say anything negative about your previous employer. Remember, the person interviewing you is reading into your explanation. They’re seeing whether and how you’ll fit on their team, and you definitely won’t if they hear you bashing your last one. 4. Emphasize the positive Showing the recruiter what you learn from past experiences is critical to turning this potential pitfall question into a goldmine for you. The interviewer will love seeing how you took responsibility for your part in the situation and used it to improve professionally. Start by accepting responsibility for any mistakes and explaining how you might have done things differently in retrospect. If it applies, either emphasize steps you've taken to keep it from happening again or work you’ve put in to overcome shortcomings in your training or experience. Showing the potential employer that you’ve turned a bad situation into a growth opportunity presents you as a valuable addition instead of a liability. And if you can build your answer using the STAR method, you can completely turn this question around and make it a win for yourself. 5. Promote yourself Turning this question around to highlight your positives is where we’ve been directing ourselves the whole time. Once you’ve gone over the basic details and presented yourself as self-aware and motivated to improve yourself, it’s time to take control. Practice pivoting the conversation to the value you present for the company. And to clarify, I mean literally practice this out loud in front of a mirror or to your bestie over and over again. On the one hand, pivoting the conversation keeps the focus on your past problems or shortcomings as brief as possible. On the other hand, it refocuses the conversation to how you’ll help the company because your skills and experience suit the role they need filled. We know this is a sticky question, but there’s no way around it: if you were fired, you’ll have to explain why. If you’re not sure about your answer to this question, contact us for one-on-one help planning and practicing your answer, it’s too important to leave it to chance. And if you have any other questions, we’ve put together the best of our expert advice on the most common interview questions to help you ace your interview. Example answers to "this question?” Example 1 - Taking accountability This answer tells the employer that you’ve acknowledged your role in the termination, reflected on why it happened, and learned how to improve your work habits from it. By taking responsibility instead of being defensive, you prove your professionalism and come across as a model employee. Example 2 - Promoting yourself Like we said, once you briefly explain why you were let go, turn the conversion toward the ways you’re a good fit for the current opportunity. This takes a bit of research on the company and role in advance, which you should be doing anyhow, but it will pay dividends if you can shift the focus to your positives instead of your previous shortcomings. Example 3 - Being positive This response heaps praise on your former workplace and shoulders the responsibility for the events that led to you being let go. You take accountability, but also show you were a committed employee, all while staying positive about your former employer. This level of respect for what turned into a bad situation shows that you’re the kind of employee they can trust to make positive contributions in the workplace and who’ll work toward positive interactions with them going forward. Example 4 - Show how you learned from it Offering concrete examples of how you’ve worked to improve the problems you encountered in your last role proves that you’re a motivated and ambitious employee. These are desirable but not-so-common characteristics that the recruiter will love seeing in you. Example 5 - Being the bigger person The reality is that not every work environment is a good fit for every employee. Recruiters know this, and they’re always looking to make sure there’s a good fit between their company culture and the people they hire. Showing the recruiter you accept responsibility for your part in a situation that was caused by something out of your control demonstrates strength of character. Takeaways If you were fired from a recent job, chances are you’ll be asked about it in your next interview. This can be a very uncomfortable question, and it’s critical you prepare and practice your answer in advance. Recruiters want to see that you’ve taken responsibility for your part in the termination and learned from it. Always be respectful and positive where you can about your past employer - never be negative or disrespectful about them. Keep your answers short and to the point, and explain what you learned from the situation. Turn the conversation to your selling points as quickly as you can once you’ve explained what happened. We’ve helped 1000+ people just like you find success in the hiring process through our career counseling service. Whether you need help on the job search stage, prepping for interviews, or while you’re trying to negotiate your compensation, we’ve got experts who are ready to give you advice and help you strategize your next move.

Kevin Roy
Apr 7, 2023 8 min read
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Ace the Interview
How To Answer The “What Are Your Compensation Expectations?” Interview Question

Do you know what your skills are worth on the open job market today? If you’re not 100% sure, keep reading to learn why you need to. During the interview process, employers often ask one or more pretty common questions you can and absolutely should prepare for. The least comfortable one for many people is “what are your compensation expectations?” Some other ways they might ask the same question include: What are your salary requirements? What do you expect to be paid? This is one of the most sensitive parts of the interview process since it’s a make-or-break question for both sides. The best strategy is to do your research in advance, know the minimum you’ll accept, and have your answer ready. In this article, we: Discuss why recruiters ask you what your compensation expectations are. Show you the best approach to answering the question. Include 5 examples of great answers to the "what are your compensation expectations?” interview question. Preparing for your job interview is one of the most critical steps in reaching your career goals. Use our career counseling service to prepare for your next interview or any other career steps you’re thinking about. We’ve helped thousands of people succeed in their job search, prep for interviews, negotiate the details of their contracts, and otherwise hit their career targets. Get in touch with us If you want to do a deep dive on how to succeed in interviews or if you're curious about other ways to navigate your career path better. Why do recruiters ask "what are your compensation expectations?” There are a few different reasons why companies ask about salary expectations. To make sure you’re in the same ballpark Before the recruiter gets too far into the process, they want to make sure your compensation expectations are within a range they can meet. If you throw out a hard number that’s far outside the range they can offer, they’ll be able to tactfully conclude the interview process, saving everyone time and energy. That’s why a range is usually your best option. Set a top and bottom dollar salary amount you’d be willing to work for to introduce the potential for negotiation and keep the conversation going. To see what type of candidate you are It’s key that you suggest a realistic wage range. Giving them a ballpark figure or a salary range that’s standard for the area shows you’re knowledgeable about the job market and hints at the value you’ll bring to the company. On the one hand, coming in too low can send up red flags since it suggests you don’t know what’s going on in the industry or that you're underqualified or not confident in yourself. On the other, giving a top figure that’s too high can make you seem overconfident or overqualified. To understand your longer-term expectations Interviewers may also ask this question to gauge your medium- and long-term expectations for the company. What you say about your expectations for the role you’re applying for today suggests what you’ll expect down the road when you ask for a raise or through promotion and other compensation benefits. Learning about your expectations at the interview stage helps the interviewer compare whether their long-term plan for a person in your career trajectory aligns with their rates and plans. There’s a lot more room for flexibility in this case, but keep in mind that the recruiter is considering things far down the road when they ask this question. Best approach to answer "what are your compensation expectations?” Before you go into your next interview, get ready for all of the tricky questions interviewers tend to ask. Use the following steps to plan your answer for “what are your compensation expectations?”. 1. Research the position (and location) Research the company and job title in the company’s city where you're applying before you interview. Using a tool like Glassdoor’s Salary Calculator to get an idea of compensation by location before your interview can help ensure your expectation is within the current local salary range. If the rate you want is significantly higher or lower than the standard there, it’s best to adjust your answer. If you’re set on asking for a higher-than-standard wage, you have time to prepare a valid justification for your reasoning. 2. Know what you need to get When deciding on your salary range, it’s critical that you factor in all the expenses you’ll have. You don’t want to ask for a low rate that won’t cover your bills, credit payments, and other costs - otherwise, you’ll have set yourself up for failure. Think through the amount you need to be comfortable so you’re sure the low rate is the least you’ll accept. Being sure of this will boost your confidence and sincerity in the interview, which will come across to the recruiter. 3. Give them a range The best and simplest tactic for answering this question is to offer a salary range you’d be willing to accept rather than a set amount. A range is much more likely to fit into their budget for the role, and it lets the employer compare you better against other candidates. A salary range tells the HR manager more about your experience and knowledge than a fixed rate. It also communicates to them that you’re flexible, which is a great thing. 4. Emphasize your flexibility Show off your best soft skills when answering this question by emphasizing your flexibility for compensation. Offering the employer room to maneuver will gain you more interest during your interview giving them more reasons to consider you as a candidate for the position. Being flexible about the rate you get paid shows you’re interested in the work and the company, not just the money. It also suggests you might be relaxed about other things, like your workload or responsibilities. 5. But ask a bit high… I know we just said don’t start too high, but remember, this is a bit of a song and dance. If you know the standard local compensation rate, it’s safe and smart to set the high side of your range just a bit above that. The higher amount will show the recruiter you know the market, that you think your work is valuable, and that you’re ambitious. Asking for a below-market rate out of modesty could give your interviewer the impression that you either don't understand the industry or aren’t confident you can do the job as well as someone else. 6. Be honest When answering this question, being honest about your experience and skills, and asking for a wage that reflects those, will come across to the interviewer. If you know you’re asking for a fair price, that integrity and self-assurance will improve your chances of getting the job. 7. Understand why you deserve it When thinking about the answer you’ll give to “what are your compensation expectations?”, prepare an explanation as to why you chose that amount. Be ready to describe what sets you apart with specific past education, experiences, and successes to show why your offer is realistic. Being able to explain your answer will win you points for being well-prepared and knowledgeable. It will also encourage the recruiter to work with you because it shows you’re reasonable. 8. Be ready to negotiate Whether the rate you ask for is within or outside the range the company can offer you, the option for negotiation may come up. You’ll want to get yourself ready for this because it can be nerve-wracking and gives some people anxiety. Luckily, you’ve researched the market, figured out how much you really need, and identified the strengths you’re bringing to the table. Having these prepared sets you up for success, so stay calm; you have everything you need for a smooth compensation negotiation. We have your back if you’re not sure about any other part of the interview process. We’ve put together the best of our expert advice on the most common questions we get (and some of the not-so-common ones!) to help you ace your interview. Example answers to "what are your compensation expectations?” Example 1Example 2Example 3Example 4Example 5Takeaways Asking for a salary range is always better than presenting a fixed amount. Start by researching the standard salary for the role in the location where you’re applying. Add up all your fixed costs and identify the lowest number you could accept. Be as flexible as you can in the interview and be ready to negotiate based on the specifics of the role. Have an outline ready to explain what you’ve accomplished and what you bring with you that you deserve what you’re asking for. Be ready to negotiate. We’ve helped 1000+ people just like you find success in the hiring process through our career counseling service. Whether you need help on the job search stage, prepping for interviews, or while you’re trying to negotiate your compensation, we’ve got experts who are ready to give you advice and help you strategize your next move.

Kevin Roy
Apr 7, 2023 7 min read
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Ace the Interview
How To Answer the “Why Are You Applying For This Position” Interview Question

Have you taken a second to ask yourself whether the job you’re applying for is right for you? You can be sure that the recruiter interviewing you wants to know that it is! You’ll likely go through one or more interviews along the road to landing your dream job. Interviewers have a handful of standard questions you can prepare for, and one of the most common ones is “why are you applying for this position?” Some other ways they might ask this question include: "Why did you choose this opportunity?" “Why are you interested in this position?” “What made you interested in applying for this role?” “Describe why you are interested in this opening.” These kinds of open-answer questions are trickier than the yes or no questions they might start with. They’re designed to separate the wheat from the chaff - to find the best candidates for the job. How you answer this question will help the recruiter gauge your motivations for applying and your excitement about the opportunity. The best answers to this question are tailored to the position and speak to your future in that role. With a bit of forethought and planning, you’ll be able to give them an answer that impresses and gets you in the door. In this article, we’ll: Explain why interviewers ask why you’re applying for this position Give you step-by-step the best approach to answer the question And we include a few sample answers to get you started on your best answer! Preparing for your job interview is one of the most critical steps in reaching your career goals. Use our career counseling service to prepare for your next interview or any other career steps you’re taking. We’ve helped thousands of people succeed in their job search, prep for interviews, negotiate the details of their contracts, and otherwise hit their career targets. Get in touch with us If you want to do a deep dive on how to succeed in interviews or if you're curious about other ways to navigate your career path better. Why do recruiters ask, “why are you applying for this position”? When an interviewer asks you why you’re interested in the job they’re offering, they’re going to compare your answer against four measures: Do you understand the position you’re applying for? Are you enthusiastic about the work? Do your goals and experience align with the role? Will you positively contribute to the company? The first three questions should come naturally to you since you’ve applied for the job. The fourth is where you’ll need to get across to the recruiter that you’re exactly the right candidate for the job. Remember, a lot of people applying for the job will have at least as much experience as you, and they might have a great resume too. They want to know what sets you apart. But remember: employers don’t just hire skills, they hire people. You need to show them how YOU will meaningfully and positively contribute to the company. Best approach to answer why are you applying for this position interview question? As we say time and again, there are no one-size-fits-all answers in a job search; you need to tailor your CV, cover letter, and interview prep to the specific job you're going for. But, there are a few general steps you should always take to tailor a good answer. 1. Research the position Getting a sense of what will be expected of you in the role will let you give the recruiter a quick, relevant answer to demonstrate your professionalism and grounding. To craft the best response, take some time to get a handle on the position’s responsibilities. Give the job description a once-over to get an idea of the high-level duties: Are you going to be customer-facing? Are you responsible for accounting, tracking stock, or bookkeeping? Those responsibilities could be part of two totally separate jobs, or they might be part of one retail or hotel manager's daily routine. Being familiar with these types of expectations is key to properly getting across your understanding of the role and by extension, your motivations and excitement for it. For example, if you’re applying for a Head Chef position, your responsibilities might include: Tracking food inventory Ordering restaurant supplies Inputting and reconciling invoices Communicating with vendors, kitchen and floor staff, or even customers Having this information in advance helps you know which of your hard and soft skills to highlight in your answer. Even better, answering with keywords from the job description drives home just how tuned in and prepared for the role you are. 2. Research the company After familiarizing yourself with the job description, research the company you’re interviewing with. If you can’t find out much about them specifically, look at similar companies in your area or the industry in general. The more you know about the company you’re applying for, what they do in the community, and their place in the industry, the more you’ll impress the interviewer. This background knowledge will demonstrate your interest in the specific position they’re offering. Here’s a few places you can start your research: The company website. Start with the “About Us” page, then look for any tabs or links they have to press releases, blogs, or social media. Google them for any news or media coverage. Look for recent news or press releases on them by using the ‘news’ and ‘tools’ buttons to narrow your google search. Your network. Reaching out to your connections to see whether anyone knows about the company and its culture. 3. Structure your answer Once you’ve gathered the job description info and done your sleuthing about the company, think about how it all relates to your background. You can start structuring your answer by comparing what they want and what you’ve done. Pro tip: don't write out a full answer, just jot down bullet points and practice how you’re going to say it in the interview. You won't have cue cards in the interview and you don't want to sound static, so just remember a few key points you want to bring up and the order you want to say them in. Consider these questions when you’re preparing your answer: How will this position help you advance in your career and goals? In what way is this job unique? What makes you an exceptional fit for this company or role? Your answer should show the recruiter that you’ve given some thought and decided the job is really a good fit for your current and future plans. You also want to convey that you’re interested in the specific opportunity they’re offering and don’t plan to jump ship for similar roles. 4. End your answer with a question You’ve probably noticed that this process is geared toward understanding the job so you can show the interviewer how you’re uniquely suited to the role. Not just that you have as much experience as the next person they interview, but that YOU are right because you understand and really want the role. A great way to stand out from the pack is to end with a great, related open-ended question for the interviewer. This will make the interview more of a friendly two-way conversation that will stick in the recruiter’s mind as having been a great experience, reinforcing that you’re the type of person they want on their team! To help further, we’ve put together the best of our expert advice on how you ace your interview if you have other questions. Example answers to why are you applying for this position interview question? Here’s a few examples we crafted following the above steps to help get you started: Example 1: Information Security AnalystExample 2: Financial ManagerExample 3: Software DeveloperExample 4: ArchitectExample 5: Interior DesignTakeaways Preparing strong answers for common interview questions is a great plan. Start by researching the position to get a solid idea of the role. Next, move on to looking for details about the company you’re applying to. Structure your answer to combine what the company is looking for and what you have to offer, and be sure to show something unique about YOU. End your answer with a question to start a conversation and build rapport. We’ve helped 1000+ people just like you find success in the hiring process through our career counseling service. Whether you need help on the job search stage, prepping for interviews, or while you’re trying to negotiate your compensation, we’ve got experts that are ready to give you advice and help you strategize your next move.

Kevin Roy
Apr 7, 2023 7 min read