Job Interviews Should Support a Higher Starting Salary

iStock_000018829752XSmallYou arrive 15 minutes early with resume in hand and looking like a million bucks.  You have answers to the classic job interview questions and the craziest job interview questions ready.  You are set to nail this interview and get the job.

Or are you?  Do you have ready concrete examples of how you have earned or saved your previous employers money? Can you quantify the amount of money earned or saved?  Being able to seamlessly use these specifics throughout your interview will make you stand out from the crowd to get the job.  Also, it will support your argument for a higher starting salary when the time comes to actively negotiate your job offer.

Q: “Tell me about a recent accomplishment.”

A1: I improved customer satisfaction by reducing call wait time by approximately 20% through implementing new procedures.

A2:  I decreased cost of customer support phone lines by $1,000,000 per year through implementing new customer support procedures.

A3:  I increased incremental sales from current customers by $1,000,000 a year through implementing new customer support procedures.

All answers are good but which will have the most impact on your interviewer?  Which will have the most impact on your salary negotiation?

A1 is from an actual resume but customer satisfaction is not the end goal of any company.   The reason companies care about customer satisfaction is that it has a direct tie to customer retention and referrals.  A1 is good but it does not take the accomplishment to the absolute end.

Answer A2 is a stronger answer. It ties the improvement to money saved.  One can guess that some money was saved since the call waiting time was decreased due to procedural changes and not new hires.  Savings are good.

Answer A3 is the strongest answer.  It connects the improved customer satisfaction to revenue gains.  That shows an understanding of why a company cares about customer satisfaction.  It also shows that companies much prefer to be in growth mode than cost savings mode.  Companies much prefer to improve their net profits because sales grew instead of costs decreased. Show your future employer that you understand that sales keep a company afloat.  Then show them in hard numbers how you contributed to it whenever possible.

Ultimately, showing the amount you have minimized costs or generated revenue for your employers illustrates the value you will bring to the company like no other examples.  Highlighting this value during the interviews will be the perfect set up to your salary negotiation.  You will not need to introduce new information during the salary negotiation.  You will simply refer back to your interview and the $1,000,000 revenue example.  Is it worth an additional $15,000 to your potential new employer to have you do the same for them?  Most likely you will hear the answer YES!