Author Topic: Long time since I've interviewed for a job and I've lost my touch.  (Read 1447 times)

BlueHouse

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I've been self-employed for 10+ years now, but my lucrative contract may be coming to an end very shortly.  There's one company out there that would be an easy transition for me, so when they reached out to me recently, I answered.  Unfortunately, my FU stash may have made me a bit more forthright than most people are comfortable with. 

The contact acknowledged that there was no way they could be competitive with my current billing rate and I said something to the effect of:  "yeah, I know...I'm really just looking for good insurance at this point". 

Would that be off-putting to you as an employer?  If someone explained that they no longer need much money but that the uncertainty surrounding the ACA is what keeps them up at night...would that feel like a safe hire to you?

big_owl

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Re: Long time since I've interviewed for a job and I've lost my touch.
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2019, 02:53:48 PM »
That would definitely be a deal-breaker for me if prospective employee said that.  IDK, maybe you have a relationship with the contact so things are different.  But if it was just a random candidate applying for a job then their resume would be in the no-pile for me.  I guess it could also help that they reached out to you, maybe they're willing to overlook the faux pas. 

BlueHouse

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Re: Long time since I've interviewed for a job and I've lost my touch.
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2019, 09:38:44 AM »
Thanks big_owl.  I seem to have forgotten the basics.  How would you address the fact that no company can pay me anywhere near to what my hourly billing rate was?  The difference is in overhead and benefits.  I suppose I can say something to the effect of "I'd just want you to come close to my end pay rate, not my fully loaded rate"  ??? 

Honestly, the only reason I would consider going back to W-2 employment would be because of uncertainty with ACA and the need to have availability to group health insurance.  I know I can say that a bit nicer, but is it the fact or the delivery that makes the difference to you?

Malcat

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Re: Long time since I've interviewed for a job and I've lost my touch.
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2019, 09:44:32 AM »
It's not the fact or the delivery.
It all depends on what your competition is like.

If someone equally qualified is more motivated and excited for the role, I'm obviously going to rule you out and hire them instead. It's not about you, it's about hiring the best person for the job.

If you are trying to compete with other candidates and you want the job, you are going to have to be competitive. It's that simple.

ETA:
In some cases, that kind of attitude will make you more competitive. If you are by far the most qualified person for the role, indicating why you aren't chasing a bigger paycheque can make the employer trust that you won't just bail the moment someone pulls out their chequebook.

Again, it comes down to the competition.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2019, 09:49:08 AM by Malkynn »

Freedom2016

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Re: Long time since I've interviewed for a job and I've lost my touch.
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2019, 10:41:34 AM »
It's not the fact or the delivery.
It all depends on what your competition is like.

If someone equally qualified is more motivated and excited for the role, I'm obviously going to rule you out and hire them instead. It's not about you, it's about hiring the best person for the job.

If you are trying to compete with other candidates and you want the job, you are going to have to be competitive. It's that simple.

ETA:
In some cases, that kind of attitude will make you more competitive. If you are by far the most qualified person for the role, indicating why you aren't chasing a bigger paycheque can make the employer trust that you won't just bail the moment someone pulls out their chequebook.

Again, it comes down to the competition.

+1

Also you shouldn't be engaging in money conversations before they've made you an offer. How do they know your current billing rate so early in the interviewing process?

nereo

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Re: Long time since I've interviewed for a job and I've lost my touch.
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2019, 12:13:44 PM »

Also you shouldn't be engaging in money conversations before they've made you an offer. How do they know your current billing rate so early in the interviewing process?

BlueHouse I'm a bit like you in that I'm not applying for jobs after not needing to do a single interview for over a decade.  And I've made mistakes and learned some things.

One thing I learned the hard way is that you shouldn't discuss compensation or benefits until after they have extended you an offer and you enter the negotiation phase.  If they happen to bring up money early on (e.g. "we probably can't be competitive with your current billing rates") your response should be something along the lines of "I'd like to talk about about how we can both benefit from working together".

Only discuss compensation once they've offered you the job.  If you aren't sure, ask directly ("is this an offer of employment?").

I basically torpedoed a job I really wanted by asking about a particular benefit that the job announcement said was 'negotiable'.  Found out later that it came down to me and another individual, and they figured this other person wouldn't need that resource (she didn't).  But I lost the chance to even negotiate for what I really wanted, and they probably would have given me.  c'est la vie.

BlueHouse

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Re: Long time since I've interviewed for a job and I've lost my touch.
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2019, 01:59:48 PM »
Also you shouldn't be engaging in money conversations before they've made you an offer. How do they know your current billing rate so early in the interviewing process?
They just know generalities, like a W-2 salary wouldn't come close to meeting a fully-loaded billing rate.  Although, I have in the past started negotiations for contract positions by stating my billing rate, simply to weed out the people who don't need my particular expertise.  This is actually exactly how I got to my current billing rate...I didn't want or need any additional work, so I quoted what I thought was a really high billing rate, but the customer didn't blink.  So I took on a small job with that company and I've been billing this same rate with other customers for over 10 years now. 


BlueHouse I'm a bit like you in that I'm not applying for jobs after not needing to do a single interview for over a decade.  And I've made mistakes and learned some things.

One thing I learned the hard way is that you shouldn't discuss compensation or benefits until after they have extended you an offer and you enter the negotiation phase.  If they happen to bring up money early on (e.g. "we probably can't be competitive with your current billing rates") your response should be something along the lines of "I'd like to talk about about how we can both benefit from working together".

Only discuss compensation once they've offered you the job.  If you aren't sure, ask directly ("is this an offer of employment?").

I basically torpedoed a job I really wanted by asking about a particular benefit that the job announcement said was 'negotiable'.  Found out later that it came down to me and another individual, and they figured this other person wouldn't need that resource (she didn't).  But I lost the chance to even negotiate for what I really wanted, and they probably would have given me.  c'est la vie.

Thanks nereo.  It's hard to get into the mindset of having to work for someone else again.  But I may not need to after all.  We shall see.

msbutterbean

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Re: Long time since I've interviewed for a job and I've lost my touch.
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2019, 02:48:58 PM »
How would you address the fact that no company can pay me anywhere near to what my hourly billing rate was?  The difference is in overhead and benefits.  I suppose I can say something to the effect of "I'd just want you to come close to my end pay rate, not my fully loaded rate"  ??? 

Do you already know the ballpark salary they could offer? I would respond with something like: "Of course salary is an important part of the equation, but there's so much more that goes into ensuring a good fit for both of us. Can you tell me more the role itself and the office culture?" That keeps the conversation moving forward in a positive direction, and you should get to the compensation portion soon enough.

MilesTeg

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Re: Long time since I've interviewed for a job and I've lost my touch.
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2019, 04:06:00 PM »
I've been self-employed for 10+ years now, but my lucrative contract may be coming to an end very shortly.  There's one company out there that would be an easy transition for me, so when they reached out to me recently, I answered.  Unfortunately, my FU stash may have made me a bit more forthright than most people are comfortable with. 

The contact acknowledged that there was no way they could be competitive with my current billing rate and I said something to the effect of:  "yeah, I know...I'm really just looking for good insurance at this point". 

Would that be off-putting to you as an employer?  If someone explained that they no longer need much money but that the uncertainty surrounding the ACA is what keeps them up at night...would that feel like a safe hire to you?

Candidate describes that their only interest in the position I am hiring for is financial (salary, benefits or whatnot)? Directly into the 'nope' bin.

Kepler

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Re: Long time since I've interviewed for a job and I've lost my touch.
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2019, 04:18:16 PM »
For various reasons, I wanted (and got) a position that paid significantly less, and entailed a "demotion" in title, compared to what I was making with another employer - I expected it to be puzzling to the prospective employer why I would make the move, and it was.  Compounding the issue, I'm in a field where people often fake-apply for positions, just to get offers they can use in negotiations with their existing employer...  And the position was located in a place that is generally regarded as less appealing than where I was living at the time...  All up, from their point of view, there was a huge risk that I was making a fake application, or that there was some invisible thing wrong with me to lead me to consider the move - or maybe that I was using them to relocate to the region, and would promptly leave for better pay once I had clocked a bit of local experience...

I used a combination of strategies to persuade them, but mainly I leaned heavily on substantive elements of the position that I couldn't do in my current role - whatever was new about the position, that was what I was keen to do.  I /did/ say that money wasn't the most important thing to me (even ended up having a conversation somewhere along the way about being frugal in order to explain why...), and I cited family reasons for being interested in moving to the location where the new position was based.

I got the job.  And, as it happens, I failed at the "downsizing" aspect of it - I'm a couple months in, and just got promoted back into a more senior role with a nice boost in pay (still a bit less than what I was making in my old job, but I'm in a lower cost of living environment here)...  So, in the end, the trade-off wasn't as drastic as they were afraid it would need to be - I think if they had offered, upfront, what they've just offered, they would have been much less anxious about whether I was serious about the position... 

I agree with others that you probably need to find positive reasons for actively wanting the role.  While there are some employers who might not mind, most will want to feel wanted...  They will take that as a proxy for "fit" and your likely commitment to the role. 

BlueHouse

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Re: Long time since I've interviewed for a job and I've lost my touch.
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2019, 10:50:34 AM »
thanks for the advice everyone