I consider myself a bright person, generally. Tell me something once or twice, and I can remember and do it the way you asked. However, I recently found out that I have been doing something completely opposite of instructions for YEARS. I have listened to advice, taken notes, and… ignored it all.
If you work for someone else, whether you work in a company or work as a freelancer for clients, chances are you’ve had to negotiate either your salary or a raise. Did you know getting a raise is one of the best ways to make extra money without a huge time increase? While side hustling is a good way to earn money (and build a business!), getting a raise or negotiating a higher starting salary is a fast way to make more.
Unfortunately, I’ve been guilty of avoiding solid advice: interviewing like a boss. In other words, realizing your worth to a company or client and pricing yourself accordingly. I had no idea I was underselling myself until I was on the opposite end of hiring as a hiring manager. I watched people who were confident of their skills, knew we wanted them, and negotiated for higher starting salaries. I thought, what’s the difference between them and me? It turns out – it’s all in how you interview.
If you’re looking to get a raise or negotiate a higher starting salary, it’s time to think and interview like a boss. Interviewing “like a boss” is basically being confident on your interview, and here are several ways you can rock your next interview or performance review.
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Evaluate Your Skills
What do you bring to the table? What sets you apart from other people? If you’re trying to interview like a boss, you have to think like a boss. If you’re applying for a new job, the job description will tell you exactly what your company is looking for, so compare that to your resumse and see where you excel.
If you’re trying to get a raise in your current company, you have an advantage because you (should) know exactly what your company needs to improve – and that’s you and your skills! Take an honest review of your skills and get additional training if necessary to make sure you really stand out. Highlight your current skills, training classes you’ve taken, and any special awards or recognition you’ve earned for your efforts. Make yourself look invaluable – because you are!
Research Your Company or Client
What are they doing right now that they could do better? Even if you’re provided a job description, try to do a little research online using Glassdoor or LinkedIn to get a little better understanding of the company’s culture.
This isn’t to say you’re going to critique your company or client during the interview; far from it. This is for you – before negotiating anything, make sure this is a company or client you want to work for. You want to be confident on your interview: confident this is a good fit for you and you’re a good fit for them.
Highlight Your Accomplishments
Your interview is your time to shine: talk about your accomplishments! If you led a project that increased sales, trained a hundred people (or more!), or made such a great website, it drove additional business to your current or past company, say it!
Many interview questions will draw these highlights from you, but if you think there’s something really important or big you’ve done that you didn’t get to mention in the interview, the “recap” question at the end of the interview is where you want to mention it. This question is usually along the lines of “is there anything else we should know about you as a candidate?” Shine with that question (as you did for all the questions before)!
If you’re asking for a raise, make sure to mention your big accomplishments and completed projects even if your supervisor should already know them. If there’s one thing I’ve learned both being a manager and being managed, it’s that managers don’t remember all of your individual accomplishments. Even if they’ve attended meetings, given you recognition, and been briefed a dozen times. They just don’t. You need to sell yourself; no one else is going to do it for you.
Luckily, I’ve been taking my own advice more, and I’m a lot happier for it. I’ve been able to negotiate a more favorable work schedule because I showcased my value to my employer. While it’s not a raise (yet), it’s a good step in the right direction.
What are your recommendations for being confident in an interview, and do you have any advice for those looking to get a raise?