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Samantha Greenfield

Good comeback lines

How many times has somebody said something to you or asked you a question and your mouth blurts out something before your brain has had a chance to engage? You walk away saying to yourself, " I shoulda said..." Today, I am going to address some of those questions employers can ask that leave you kicking yourself or with your foot in your mouth!

Employer: "Mary, I'll be honest with you; you seem a bit over qualified for this job. Tell me, why you are interested in this position?"

Mary: " Well, my unemployment insurance is about to run out and I need to pay some bills and I am getting really tired of eating Ramen Noodles, so I am willing to take anything until the right opportunity comes along." WRONG ANSWER!!!

Instead, consider one of the following comebacks:

  • "I'm interested in this position for reasons other than compensation."

  • "While I have skills and talents that will transfer, I am new to your industry."

  • "I'm targeting companies that prefer to promote talent internally."

  • "The shorter commute will greatly reduce my expenses."

  • "The schedule fits my home life."

  • "Your comprehensive benefits will offset some of the disparity in pay."

How about this scenario:

Employer: "Ed, it looks like you definitely have the experience we are looking for, but tell me before we schedule an interview, what are your salary requirements?"

Ed: " In my previous position, I was making $XYZ ." WRONG ANSWER!!!

Instead, consider one of the following comebacks:

  • "My priority is to make sure I am a good fit for your company, I do have some flexibility, and I assume you would be paying market wages."
  • "I respectfully request to discuss that with you one-on-one once you've deemed me a viable candidate for the position."
  • "Please know that I evaluate positions based on the overall opportunity, from the scope of responsibility and accountabilities and my ability to drive the desired results to the environment, long-term career potential and benefits package."
  • "While salary is certainly an important factor, I'm most interested in finding a position that is well-suited to my skills and qualifications."

I hope some of these comebacks make it a little a easier for you to navigate your way through these tricky questions! If you have any comments regarding this topic, please do not hesitate to share your responses!

Workshop schedule for August 16-19:

  • Tuesday Aug. 17: Networking Job Club 8:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday Aug. 17: Mastering the Electronic Job Search 9:30 a.m.
  • Thursday Aug. 19: Marketing Yourself in a Highly Competitive Job Market 1:30 p.m.

Schedule your free resume consultation by calling or e-mailing Sam at 540-722-3415 or Samantha.Greenfield@vec.virginia.gov

Thank you!


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