June 16, 2020 | Online
On June 16, 2020, Executive Director of the Public Leadership Education Network Sarah Bruno, Cybersecurity/Technology Business Development Lead for Jaros, Baum & Bolles Min Kyriannis, and JNA Associates President Nancy Lubin joined Women In International Security President Chantal de Jonge Oudraat for a conversation on how to put your best foot forward when searching for a new job and interviewing. The panelist shared tips on how to shine in an interview, negotiate salary, and ease into a new work environment. This conversation was the second webinar in our Professional Development Series co-hosted by Women In International Security. Members can watch a recording on our Member Career Resources Platform.

Advice from our Panelists

Ace your interview

  • Be confident. Think of an interview as a conversation and ask honest questions

  • Prepare: do your research! Know who is interviewing you, learn all you can about the company

  • Be yourself--an interview is not just about your qualifications, it's about whether you're a good fit for each other

  • Dress for the part--be professional, but be yourself

  • To connect over Zoom, smile and move occasionally to seem more engaged

  • Keep your answers concise (about 90 seconds) and use examples from your experience 

  • Be ready to answer standard questions: "tell us about yourself and your experience", “what are your weaknesses”, etc. When addressing “weaknesses”, show that you’re willing to learn and looking to grow

  • Know your resume backward and forwards--and be prepared to elaborate

  • Emphasize your soft skills

  • Practice, practice, practice! Have a strong awareness of yourself and how you come across

Negotiate your salary

  • Always negotiate and never be the first one to offer a number 

  • Do your research and know your worth by identifying a range. Don’t just research job titles, look at job responsibilities

  • Practice, don’t panic

  • Keep three numbers in mind: your goal, your absolute minimum, and what you expect

  • Don’t negotiate over email, use the phone--and make sure you’re talking to the right person

  • A good rule of thumb is to keep your counter offer within in $5-10k of the company’s offer

  • Keep in mind that salary is only one part of your compensation--look at all your benefits

  • If they ask for your previous salary, try to push it off: “I can discuss that once I understand this position better”

  • If your previous salary is public, don’t get discouraged--that could be why you are making a transition

  • Don’t be afraid to ask, but be ready to compromise. Know your worth, but also know what’s practical--it’s possible the negotiation won’t end with the salary you wanted, and it’s up to you if you want to move forward

Getting started in your new position

  • Start any new job by listening. Offices have different cultures and there is a lot to learn

  • Take initiative, be ready to pitch in, and be patient. Have a good attitude and don’t act like tasks are beneath you

  • Make sure you ALWAYS show integrity. Your professional reputation will follow you

  • Have a growth mindset and keep an open mind 

  • Not getting to your number? See if you can renegotiate in 6 months once you've proven yourself

Renegotiate your salary

  • Get clarity on when your next review is, so you know when you can ask for a raise or promotion

  • Keep a running list of your accomplishments to be prepared for your next negotiation

If you didn't get the job, now what?

  • Be gracious and thank them--you never know when another position might open up

  • Go back to networking--leverage your contacts and membership networks. Use your connections to get your resume to the top of the pile--personal recommendations go a long way

  • Connect with peers and those one step ahead of you, not necessarily the CEO

  • When you have an informational interview, ask them to introduce you to someone else