Not every interview runs smoothly. Now, we definitely want it too, and many career guides exist on how to actually make the process a little more straightforward and free-flowing. However, not all guides cover something known as the “objection”. Let’s back up a minute.
Ever had a telemarketer call you? Yes, we know — it can be a pretty frustrating experience. The salesperson is trained to deal with your objections — simply put, all of the reasons why you don’t think that you will want or need the product or service that they’re offering. This is not the only arena where objections are going to come up — job interviews have them too. You could put on a great presentation, only to find that the interviewer still has some concerns. Let’s go over the five classic concerns and objections, and give you some solutions on how to overcome them. Keep in mind that this is still general advice; you will most likely need to customize their answers to fit your own speaking style for best results. You definitely don’t want to sound canned!
1. Too long of a gap between positions
If you’ve taken time away from your career, you will need to make sure that you position it properly. Even if you took time off to start a family, you need to make sure that you have something that you did in the interim aside from raising your children. This could be something like volunteering, or supporting your spouse’s career or business. If you took time off to run a company, you can say this and have references that can vouch for the activities that you did. Being self employed and going back to the corporate world isn’t a crime, but bad positioning can cost you the job interview.
2. Difference in Salary (higher than last, lower than last)
There are some positions that require you on the application to list how much you made. If you’re coming from the same industry, you don’t want to try to lie about how much you made. This will be obvious to the interviewer, and they may even call you out for it. “Why were you paid so far below the average for this position?” is a very common question that usually follows this type of incorrect information, so be careful.
If there is a severe difference between the money you made previously and the fact that you’re applying for a less lucrative position, you might want to be honest about your desire to seek out new opportunities. You can just say that your income requirements are not as high, but your desire to be part of an organization is. It’s a matter of selling sincerity more than anything else. You don’t want to just say something that isn’t true — that will only make your life harder, not easier.
3. Overqualified / Underqualified
The dreaded “overqualified” tag is one that tends to get a lot of candidates, but you can overcome it. You need to outline the tasks expected in your upcoming position, and state your desire to do those tasks within the confines of the new organization. Pull from your experience if you have to. The interviewer is concerned with you being overqualified because they don’t want to turn around and try to get this position filled in another 3 months — getting people in the door is very difficult, and it costs a lot of money to get someone to replace you. So they want to make sure that you will be able to handle things in the new position without wanting to run off because you might not be getting the challenge they would expect from you.
If relocation is part of the position, you can bet that the interviewer is going to ask you about your feelings on it. You will need to simply state that you definitely are interested in the position, without looking too desperate. If it’s a matter of money, then you will need to indicate that you already have the costs of relocation calculated into your personal expenses. The less problem you indicate, the more they’ll accept that it’s not going to be a big issue.
5. 5 Year Plan
Even though a lot of people really don’t know where they’re going to be in five years, that doesn’t mean that interviewers aren’t going to ask you. They want to make sure that they can retain you as long as possible. Even if you have no intention of staying in the position that you’re applying for over that length of time, you definitely want to make sure that you have an appropriate answer. You want to let them know that you would like to move up in the company, or to move laterally and take on new skills along the same lines of your position. These are two approaches that can help you avoid making a direct commitment, but still letting the interviewer know that if there was an opportunity to stay, you definitely would.
Overall, these tips should get you the advice you need to handle positioning quite well in any job interview. As mentioned before, you will definitely need to make sure that your answers sound natural. If it doesn’t sound natural, then your interviewer will know that you’re not being very sincere, and that’s the last thing you want. Good luck with your job search!