There are three things my clients worry most about in an interview: • being asked a question they don’t know the answer to • being asked about a skill set they don’t have/a gap in their resume • being asked what their current salary is, when they think they should be making more than they currently are Here are your answers—snap! You’re back in the driver’s seat: 1. You’re asked a question you don’t immediately have the answer to: The most common instinct here is to ‘wing it’. Don’t do that. Alternatively, don’t say, “Good question,” we know that’s filler. Say, “I hadn’t considered that. Give me a moment to think about it—because I want to be sure to give you the best answer possible.” Note: you’ve remained confident by not apologizing. Requesting time to think about it will help you calm down. And who gets cranky because you’re trying to give the best answer possible? 2. You’re worried they are going to bring up a skill set you don’t have, or a gap in your resume. Regarding the skill set, you can say, “I know your job description asks for X, and that’s not on my resume. Here is how I plan to get up to speed by the time I begin at your firm.” Note: have a plan. Regarding a gap in your resume, you can say, “I spent that time doing X, which has given me Y skills that will transfer well to this new position.” Note: think through how these skills will transfer. 3. You’re asked what your most recent salary was, but your last job was at the local diner, so that’s not relevant. What do you say? "Well, I'm looking for a position that offers compensation in the range of $X - more than I made at my last job, but also more in line with what I think I have to offer." If they keep pushing: "My current compensation is lower than I'd like, which is part of why I'm looking for a new role." And if they still keep pushing, tell the truth. Lying is unacceptable, and continued evasiveness will make you seem untrustworthy.
Frances Cole Jones founded Cole Media Management in 1997 to help clients identify and cultivate their inherent strengths and, through these, develop the powerful communication skills that enhance personal and professional performance. Writing The Wow Factor and How to Wow has been her way of reaching a wider audience, “My goal is to have every person who picks these up, put them down feel more confident in their ability to present their best self --in any situation.” Prior to founding Cole Media Management, Frances worked at St. Martin’s Press, Viking Penguin, Doubleday, and Broadway Books as an editor of commercial nonfiction, working on popular psychology, parenting, self-help and how-to books. The experience of helping authors translate their ideas into books that retained their unique voice is what makes her valuable to her clients. “There’s no point in my writing a perfectly crafted sound bite that you have to strain to remember,” Frances says. “You have to sound like you—authenticity is integral to trust.” As President of Cole Media Management, Frances’ clients have appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America, Oprah, C-SPAN, CNN, Squawkbox, The Charlie Rose Show, Larry King Live, The Discovery Channel, The BBC News, E! Entertainment, Access Hollywood, Project Runway, Top Chef, ESPN, Extra! Fox and Friends, The View, Cashin’ In, QVC and others. Clients' print interviews have appeared in publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Forbes, Newsweek, Vogue, W, O Magazine, Town & Country, Harper's Bazaar, Tatler, etc. The scope of their work includes preparation for television and print interviews, IPO road shows, meetings with potential investors, and internal meetings with partners, sales staff, and in-house personnel. They also provide presentation skills seminars and speechwriting for clients. Frances also writes for WomenOnBusiness.com, Intent.com, DivineCaroline.com, and Executive Travel. Her first book, HOW TO WOW, was published by Ballantine in 2008.