Monday, August 31, 2015

Warning Signs Your Job Is Becoming Obsolete (

Learn How to Tell Whether or Not Your Job Is on the Verge of Extinction
 In our unstable economic times, there are few employees who feel absolutely sure their job will still be here tomorrow.

But it's not productive to be distracted by needless worry every day. So how do we know when to relax and when to worry (and start polishing up that resume?)

Pay attention to true warning signals, but don't get too caught up in office gossip. It can lead to low morale. Just keep your eyes open for these signs that your job may be on its way to the downsize dump.

There are rumors of layoffs

Here's an obvious one. Generally, when there are rumblings about layoffs, it is going to happen. Who, what, when and how are the only questions. Ask trustworthy people around the office. Although if they are trustworthy, they probably won't be spilling secrets!

Google your company. You may find related news articles, editorials or blogs written by business experts or even former employees airing some dirty laundry!

Company stock continues to plummet

A quarter or two of weak earnings is to be expected here and there. Listen closely at company meetings to hear the explanations for the earnings drop. Some drops are actually anticipated and written into the overall financial picture.

And companies frequently recover after their stock has taken a nosedive. Look at the stock history and read what the analysts are projecting for a truer picture of what to expect in the future.

Your workload has decreased

If your boss is reassigning your projects or giving you less to do, be concerned. It’s even worse if he tells you he is shifting your responsibilities to tasks more suited to you, and these tasks end up being very minor.

If you are being asked to train others (especially lower-paid employees) to do what you do, either someone else will have your job soon or your responsibilities are being parceled out to several people and your position is becoming obsolete.

 Your last review contained nary a rave

If there was nothing positive in your recent performance review, hopefully at the time you immediately worked on remedying the situation by asking for specific suggestions to improve and taking on more work or training to show the boss you mean business.

If you received no merit increase and no words of praise... and you did nothing about it...well, consider this a warning.

Decreased benefits and other cost-cutting measures

If you’ve noticed a general decline in benefits like medical insurance, 401K plans, and even company picnics and holiday parties, chances are there are other, bigger changes afoot.

Similarly, if general cuts are being made across the company, to things like travel budgets, expense accounts, even office supplies, be prepared for much larger cuts.


New boss, shuffled management

Although it doesn't necessarily indicate anything bad, a shuffling of management positions or getting a new boss are definitely things that could point to a layoff down the line.

Pay attention to the reasons behind the reorganization and figure out where your position fits in the scheme of things. On the other hand...

Are you getting the cold shoulder?

If you are suddenly out of the loop -- either not invited to meetings or ignored when you are present -- you, or at least your job, could be headed for obsolescence.

Similarly, if co-workers suddenly avoid you or stop talking to you about future projects, they may know something is up and feel too uncomfortable to be around you.


Moving trucks are lurking around the corner

You would hope that by the time moving trucks show up, employees are already aware of impending layoffs.

If not, now's the time to worry. Piles of moving boxes or an increased presence of security guards are also good signs change is in the air.

HR employees are suddenly busy or nervous

The human resources department tends to be more busy than usual during reorganizations and downsizing. And it's not the usual, happy tempo.

Planning to let go the same people you hired is not a welcomed task. And the work that goes into it is time-consuming and delicate. Good rule of thumb, secretive, unhappy HR is a bad omen.

Company starts outsourcing and "offshoring"

If you notice your company is starting to "dabble" in hiring overseas workers, especially if the employees do what you do, it could be time to worry.

Companies rarely will commit to hiring an entire department off shore, but once they start the process, if it goes well and saves them money, there's not much to keep the expensive employees stateside.


Heed the warning signals but don’t panic

You don't need to be driven to distraction worrying that you'll be getting the ax any minute. Just be sure you continue to network, even when you are happily employed.

Stay up to date with current trends and training and keep your resume polished and current. If you do that, and pay attention to these warning signals, you won't be caught off guard and without options should your job become obsolete.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

5 Unconventional Tips for Negotiating Your Salary (

Being Out of Your Element Isn't Necessarily a Bad Thing

Have you ever felt a little bit out of your element? Of course you have. Maybe it was traveling to a foreign country, eating an exotic meal that you’ve never experienced, or pursuing a new hobby outside your comfort zone.

There are two other areas where people often find themselves out of their element: Negotiating their salary and starting their first business. And yet, they have a lot in common. And so it was that I found myself a bit out of my element on a bustling night in New York. I spent the afternoon at a co-working space called Impact Hub, and on my way out they were setting up for an event called the “Women Motivating Women Power Panel.”

I stopped to chat with 3-4 early arriving attendees, and had a great conversation around the topic of changing careers, the future of work, and starting an inspiring business. I decided to stick around and set up shop in the far back of the room, as 50-60 women filled the event space. I later spoke with Lisa O'Donoghue-Lindy of Career 2.0, a labor of love for five women based in Washington DC. Their goal is sharing stories of women who have started over in new professions or launched companies, with the hope of inspiring others to follow their passion.

 Do Your Homework

This tip was provided by Marlo Scott, the founder and CEO of Sweet Revenge, an amazing establishment in Manhattan’s West Village combining decadent cupcakes paired with beer and wine in a bistro ambiance. A former media and marketing pro “working for the man,” Scott watched as the cupcake craze exploded in the early 2000s when Magnolia Bakery was featured on Sex and the City.

Scott said she spent countless hours researching the market, analyzing the industry, running the numbers, trying out recipes with a chef and her friends, and knew that when she was laid off for the third time, it was time to take action and start her own venture (and get “sweet revenge” on her corporate world bosses).

When preparing for a salary negotiation, homework is also the critical first step. Preparation breeds confidence, and it’s only by running the numbers, analyzing the industry, scoping the competition, and knowing what you’re worth that you’ll be ready to negotiate properly when the opportunity presents itself.


Never Underestimate Yourself

The second tip was from Deborah Hernan of Ottilie & Lulu, a natural skin care company catering to the “tween” market. Hernan talked about her fascinating career, including managing the schedule and communications for Elizabeth Taylor. My favorite part of her story was finding out that the typical drugstore shelves were divided between baby items, and products for teenagers, neither of which fit her tween demographic. Undaunted, she ended up finding a fit with an unlikely retailer: Toy store FAO Schwartz.

This type of ingenuity can work in negotiations as well. First, you must always have faith in yourself, and never underestimate the true skills you have for a job. Second, it’s important to look for creative ways to solve a problem, even if you’re told, “it’s just always been done this way.”

Jump Right In

The third tip was from Sumeera Rasul of Madesmith. As a veteran of some of the world’s best companies (Google, Apple, R/GA, BBDO), she was able to bring valuable insight from the corporate world into her small business. However, no matter how much experience you have or how much you try and prepare, there comes a point where you just have to jump in with both feet and make it happen.

The same goes for salary negotiation. You can prepare for months, work until 8pm every night to show your determination and drive, and hope that you get recognized by your boss for that big raise and promotion, but the fact is that you need to take control of your career and ask for what you want. I continually help clients role-play and practice scenarios for their salary discussion, but in the end they can never be 100% fully prepared, because you never know how a conversation is going to unfold. You just have to jump 

Use All Available Resources

Mary Molina of Lola Granola provided this tip to the audience. Her company makes gluten-free snack bars sourced from ingredients such as Massachusetts cranberries, New Jersey blueberries, and New York honey and oats.

As you can imagine, there are a thousand things an entrepreneur needs to learn when taking a company that started in a kitchen and is now featured in stores such as Whole Foods: ingredients, sourcing, packaging, distribution, hiring, marketing, legal, technology, and so on. However, there are also thousands of resources to tap into for knowledge, so don’t do it alone.

You also don’t need to go it alone in your negotiation. From’s free salary info to their personal salary report, as well as advice from friends, mentors, and coaches, seek out resources that have done it before.


Identify What You Don't Know, Then Learn It

Barbara Werner of Musical Pairing provided the final piece of advice, which builds on Tip #4. Barbara is a fascinating lifelong learner (she has a culinary degree, manicuring license, tattoo license, and is certified in reflexology and canine massage), and was intrigued at the way music can influence how you feel about eating. So as always, she dove into the research to learn more. In the process, she discovered a formula around it, which led to a book, an app, and a business.

I’ve seen that one of the top reasons people fail to negotiate is simply that they didn’t know that they could, or didn’t know what to say when the situation arose. By “knowing what you don’t know,” you can pick up the skills you need to make sure you earn what you deserve now, and throughout your career.

Everything You Need to Negotiate Salary in One Place

Whether you're in or out of your element when it comes to negotiating salary, you need to be prepared. But are you ready to negotiate?

The first thing you should do is research, so you're able to come to the table armed with the knowledge of what your job is worth. Use our free Salary Wizard below to find out what's a fair salary for your position. You can enter your location, education level, years of experience and more to find out an appropriate salary range before you negotiate.

Good luck.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

5 tech questions a CEO should ask on their first day in office

CEOs shouldn't leave all the technology decisions to the CTO or CIO. Here are five questions CEOs should consider on day one.


As CEO, your role is chief vision-caster within the organization. And, increasingly, part of a CEO's vision for his or her company will have to take into account the technology that empowers and enables employees to get work done.

Even if the company you are leading is not a "tech" company, per se, it is nearly impossible to avoid making decisions based on the impact technology will have in your workplace. When you take the reins at a company it is critical that you develop a plan on how you will approach technology.

When you first land in the office of CEO, here are five tech questions you can ask to help determine the path of your company.

1.- How well is the current strategy working?

Any time you step into something new, you have to establish the lay of the land. This is especially true for company leaders. As you're beginning to see how things work, pay special attention to the existing tech strategy.

"On day one, it's important to take a pulse of the business you're inheriting," said MongoDB President and CEO Dev Ittycheria. "Set up meetings with leadership to understand the technology investments the company is making to drive the company's overall strategy."

In addition to meeting with leaders, meet with department employees to determine what seems to be working and what challenges exist, Ittycheria said. As you have these conversations, take note of points that are made that seem contradictory to the tech goals you have for the company and react accordingly.

2.- Are we enabling efficiency?

Technology, by definition, helps users to more easily get work done. Whether that's through automation or an increase in power, a good technology strategy should be enabling your employees and leaders to be as efficient as possible in their daily work.

In determining operational efficiency, Carbonite CEO Mohamad Ali recommends asking questions such as:

Are we selling in the most efficient way?
Are our data centers the most efficient?
Are our support centers the most efficient?
Are our IT systems enabling efficiency?

"Running an efficient company creates profits that allow investment back into the core of the business - products, and ultimately allows one to win in the marketplace delivering greater value to investors, employees, partners and most of all, customers," Ali said.

3.- Do our customers have the tools they need?

Customers drive business, so it makes sense that one of the key decisions you need to make early on is whether or not you are providing the proper tools and services to your customers.

Take a look at some of your relevant customer data to determine if your website, for example, meets the needs of your customers. If you can, create a survey that asks customers how they feel about your company's technology. For example, do they like your email customer service form, or do they prefer a chat system?

Christy Wyatt, CEO of Good Technology, said another important question to ask is whether or not customers can interact with you as the CEO and the brand? Whether you are consumer or enterprise focused, she said, technology should assist that interaction, not hinder it.

"Too often user experience projects get prioritized behind other business systems," Wyatt said. "Very few investments could be worth more than building a great customer experience."

4.- How should we approach new projects?

A big decision that needs to be addressed with your CTO and CIO is how you will approach technology projects in your tenure.

Enterprise IT, especially, used to be an all-custom affair. Now, there are a plethora of off the shelf and out of the box solutions that perform just as well in certain situations. So, you must decide what aspects of your technology need to be custom-coded, and what can be taken care of with an existing market solution.

"You need to think pretty hard about this, because a lot of capital can be consumed in specialized projects, and you may not even fully know what outcome you need to achieve until after you have completed the project," said Steve Sadler, CEO of Allegiancy.

This decision also affects what software model you will go after for your organization, Sadler said. SaaS and local solutions both offer their benefits, but you have to make the final say.

5.- What parameters should I set?

Possibly the biggest part of being a good leader is knowing how to trust and delegate to the people around you. If your organization has a CTO and a CIO, you must be able to trust those people to take the helm on the business's technology.

That trust must go beyond your executive team. On your first day, Ali said, you must begin analyzing your senior team to determine if they can polish and execute on the company's vision with technology.

"This is probably the most important decision during those first days: Who stays, who goes, who is on the watch-list, and what new skills need to join the team?," Ali said.

Once you know the proper team is in place, you must make the decision of how you'll set boundaries and parameters in place. Wyatt said this starts with understanding your organization's risk profile, and making sure that is communicated properly to the right people.

Set hard parameters around IP and assets that pose high risk first so you and your executive team have strong lines that you know cannot be crossed. Then, set the expectations and parameters for the less vulnerable aspects of your IT, because if your team knows how much room they have to move and experiment, they will be encouraged to make decisions independently of your input.

Monday, August 24, 2015

GE’s Death Perk for Immelt Is a $22 Million Life Insurance Benefit (BusinessWeek)

GE Paid $314,511 for CEO’s Life Insurance Policies

General Electric Co. has helped Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt amass $22 million of life insurance coverage that one day could help his heirs cover the tax bill for his estate
GE paid $314,511 last year for Immelt’s two life insurance plans, the most for a CEO in the Standard & Poor’s 100 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It’s one of a shrinking number of companies offering coverage designed exclusively for top managers. 

On the lower end, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Apple Inc. spent $101 and $2,520, respectively, on policies for CEOs Jamie Dimon and Tim Cook.

Companies in the S&P 100 Index that spent the most on CEO life insurance in 2014

While many boards have scaled back executive perquisites after increased disclosure requirements and heightened scrutiny of pay practices, life insurance benefits -- a ubiquitous part of estate planning for high-earning Americans because of the tax advantages -- have received little attention.

Life insurance expenses are often lumped together with “an array of deferred compensation-related items, making it hard for investors to parse the details,” said Michael Pryce-Jones, director of corporate governance at CtW Investment Group, which advocates for pension funds that collectively manage $250 billion. “I don’t think it’s on the radar for shareholders in the way it should be.”

Universal Life

Executive insurance policies are reserved for a limited group of top leaders, a review of proxy filings shows. Last year, at least 10 companies in the S&P 100 Index offered their CEOs universal, or permanent, policies typically designed to last the insured’s lifetime. Some of the annual premiums go into investment accounts that can grow tax-free.

Immelt’s coverage includes two universal life insurance policies. One will pay two times his annual salary and bonus, which totaled $9.2 million last year, and the other provides a $3 million death benefit that’s grown 4 percent annually since he first enrolled, according to Fairfield, Connecticut-based GE’s most-recent proxy filing. GE, the world’s largest maker of jet engines and gas turbines, has spent more than $1.43 million on premiums for Immelt since he became CEO in 2001, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

3M Co. paid $286,115 in premiums last year for CEO Inge Thulin’s executive life insurance, which has a death benefit of about $10.4 million, according to a proxy filing. Exxon Mobil Corp.’s Rex Tillerson and Honeywell International Inc.’s David Cote have accumulated benefits worth $11.5 million and $10 million in their executive life insurance plans, respectively

“We provide our named executives with additional benefits that we believe are reasonable, competitive and consistent with the company’s overall executive compensation program,” Dominic McMullan, a spokesman for GE, said in an e-mailed statement.
Spokesmen for 3M, Exxon and Honeywell declined to comment.

Dimon’s Plan

Of the 51 companies in the S&P 100 that disclosed expenses for CEO life insurance premiums last year, JPMorgan spent the least. Dimon’s plan, which provides a maximum coverage of $100,000, is available to all benefit-eligible employees, according to a filing.

“Our compensation philosophy is to have a transparent and fair compensation program for senior executives with no special insurance, health or medical benefits,” Joseph Evangelisti, a spokesman for the largest U.S. bank, wrote in an e-mail. “The board thought this was the most fair way to do it.”

Apple offers Cook the same insurance that’s available to all employees. Fred Sainz, an Apple spokesman, declined to comment beyond its proxy filing.

Companies must report perks given to any named executive officer if the annual aggregate value exceeds $10,000. Specific dollar amounts must be disclosed for all benefits that make up more than 10 percent of that sum or are worth more than $25,000.

Estate Taxes

While most Americans who buy policies do so to replace lost income after the death of a household breadwinner, the nation’s affluent often beef up their coverage to help heirs avoid fire-sales of assets to pay estate taxes.

The federal tax on estates worth more than $5.43 million is 40 percent. Including state levies, the government’s total share can approach 50 percent, an amount that can be difficult to pay for estates with significant assets tied up in illiquid holdings such as real estate, said Ivan Taback, a trusts and estates partner at law firm Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.

“Oftentimes, they do not realize that their beneficiaries will have to come up with a massive check nine months after they die,” Taback said.

Death Benefits

Beneficiaries of company-owned plans can collect death benefits tax-free as long as the insured doesn’t have a controlling stake in the company. To avoid having the death benefit included in the taxable estate, many people assign ownership of their privately purchased plans to irrevocable trusts, according to Parker Beauchamp, CEO of Inguard, a Wabash, Indiana-based insurance firm.

“Creating the liquidity to pay estate taxes can literally save the beneficiaries millions” if it can help preserve income-generating assets, said Beauchamp, who specializes in plans for clients with complex needs such as billionaires and professional athletes.

The share of Fortune 500 companies offering supplemental policies to their CEOs fell to fewer than 25 percent in 2013, down from 52 percent in 2008, according to a study by Towers Watson & Co., a human resource consulting firm. Bolstered compensation-disclosure rules and the implementation of advisory say-on-pay votes at annual meetings have fueled a retrenchment of company-provided perks, said Keir Gumbs, a partner at law firm Covington & Burling LLP.

Exxon, Pepsi

Johnson & Johnson closed its executive life insurance program to new participants in January “in response to feedback and market data,” according to a March 11 filing. Exxon stopped giving the benefit to new executives in 2007. Firms including PepsiCo Inc. and Schlumberger Ltd. highlight in proxy filings that they don’t offer company-paid supplemental insurance policies to executives.

Spokesmen for the companies declined to comment.

Term policies, such as those provided to JPMorgan’s Dimon and Apple’s Cook, usually lapse when the covered employee leaves. GE’s Immelt and 3M’s Thulin are both covered by universal, or permanent, policies, which are more expensive.

While the premiums for term plans cover only the insurance, part of the annual cost for a permanent plan goes into an investment account. The balance grows and can be withdrawn free of taxes, making such policies attractive to some clients, Inguard’s Beauchamp said.

Investment Opportunities

Both General Motors Co. CEO Mary Barra and Caterpillar Inc.’s Douglas Oberhelman have company-paid variable life insurance policies, permanent plans that can give owners control over how the cash value is invested, proxy filings show. Spokesmen for GM and Caterpillar declined to comment beyond the filings.

Variable plans that offer investment opportunities in hedge funds or private-equity funds have grown in popularity among affluent clients in recent years, said Joshua Husbands, a partner at Holland & Knight LLP.

“These are the types of investments high-income folks would be making anyway -- and now they’re available on a tax-preferential basis through an insurance policy,” Husbands said. “Life insurance isn’t just about the death benefit anymore.”

Monday, August 17, 2015

French American Chamber of Commerce : Candidate Center - August 2015

Our Employment Service
   Candidate Center - August 2015

It will save you time, money and energy in your hiring process.

As a Chamber of Commerce, we receive a large number of job applications throughout the year. 
Every month, we will share with you the applications that will allow us to help you find the right people for the right positions.  

In our process, all the candidates fill out a form online and provide relevant information such as type of visa, type of position desired, field of activity, professional and educational background, etc. Based on these forms, we create a monthly document, assigning a reference number to identify each candidate.  
When you are interested by a candidate, you can send us an email at mentioning the reference number.  

Thus, we will be able to send you the contact and the resume of the candidate.   

Review the profiles on our website: 



100 Biscayne Boulevard I Suite 1105 I Miami, FL 33132

Please feel free to contact us for an appointment

Friday, August 14, 2015

Smart Answers to the Toughest Job Interview Questions (

Be Smart, Be Prepared

Your resume gets you in the door, but your performance in the job interview ultimately gets you the position. That is, if you don't botch it.

The questions you face at every job interview is different because the companies and people asking the questions vary so widely. However, there are a few questions that seem to have universal appeal to hiring managers doing the asking, and those are the questions for which you can and should prepare. They are questions meant to either throw you off your game, make you think on your feet, and/or determine how you handle yourself under pressure. Sometimes it's not even your answer that matters, it's how you compose yourself while answering.

So while you can't be prepared for every curveball, you should definitely think about how you're going to answer these nine questions that pop up in most job interviews. Good luck.

"Can you tell me about a time you've clashed with a supervisor?"

Don't take the bait on this one. It's not an opportunity for you to unload on your idiot manager and convince your potentially soon-to-be new manager how right you are. This is a test, so make sure you pass.

Your interviewer wants to see how you handle disagreements with higher-ups. So please don't call your former boss a huge a-hole and talk about how much of an idiot he was. It doesn't matter one bit whether or not you were right, what they're looking for is whether or not you were able to work things out, move forward, and stay productive. So whatever story you tell here, make sure it has a happy ending. Even if you have to admit you were wrong, that's not such a bad thing because it shows an ability to take responsibility and, better yet, learn from it.

"Can you tell me about a time something didn't go to plan?"

Again, your interviewer wants more assurances that know how to handle yourself when things go south. This is especially important if your job deals with public relations, team environments, or any kind of crisis management situation.

While you have to give an example of the you-know-what hitting the fan, be careful not to sink your own ship. If you have a major league screw-up on your record, now isn't the best time to disclose it. Instead, pick a minor incident in which something went wrong. But most importantly, pick an example of a problem which you fixed and successfully turned around. Spend a lot more time talking about the solution and how you implemented it than the problem, because that's really what they want to hear

 "Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?"

This is not an invitation to recount your life story and all your hopes and dreams.

In fact, it's just the opposite. People use ask this question not because they desperately want to learn about your life, but because they want to see how adept you are summarizing a lot of information in a short amount of time. Do your best to keep your answer to a minute, two at the most. This is your elevator pitch you should have memorized to sell yourself, and most of it should be about professional accomplishments instead of personal details. Throw in a few of the latter for good measure, but in the end they care about what you will bring to the company, so focus on results and recent experience.

"Can you explain this gap in your work history?"

Having a noticeable gap in your employment history isn't ideal, and it's probably going to count against you. But you still have a chance as long as you minimize the damage.

Did you leave the workforce because you were raising kids or taking care of a sick relative? 

The good news is many employers see value in that. However, that can't be the end of your explanation. You need to be sure to talk extensively about any volunteer work you did in that time, and spin it so it's positive and relevant to the position. For instance, if you're going for an accounting job and you spent a year as the treasurer of your child's PTA group, hit that hard. It tells the person interviewing you that even though you weren't employed, you were still keeping your skills fresh and remaining active.

"Why do you want to work here?"

Don't bother with the canned answers about what a wonderful company it is, because it's uninspired at best and brownnosing at worst.

The reason they're asking you this question is to see if you've done your homework. This is your chance to prove that you're engaged and proactive because you researched the company before the interview. You should have read the annual report to see how the company is doing financially. You should've Googled the company to see if they're in the news, what they're in the news for, and to find out if there are any big programs or initiatives either recently launched or on the horizon. Even if the news about the company isn't overly positive, you should still know about it so you can nod to it and then talk about solutions and how you can help.

Knowing as much information about the company as possible shows them you're already invested and engaged.


"Why should we hire you?"

This is where far too many people who fear self-promotion start to stumble and mumble and blow their chances. Don't be that person.

The trick here is to go back to the job listing and study the exact attributes they're looking for. For example, perhaps they're stressing 10 years experience but you only have 5-7. However, they also want someone with a track record of securing high profile media placements and you just had a client on the TODAY Show. That's what you need to focus on to make them care less that you're lacking a few years of experience. Identify what they value most and then talk solely about your qualifications and achievements that directly relate to those attributes.

"What are your salary requirements?"

This is a tough one and there are lots of people with lots of different advice on how to handle it. Here's our take.

Do your best not to throw out a number first. If asked about salary in the interview, say something along the lines of "Well salary is important and hopefully we will get to that later, but I'm a big believer in seeing if we're a good fit for one another first and getting to the financials a little farther down the road." Hopefully that shows them 1) you're a good negotiator, and 2) you're interested in more than just the paycheck.

Unfortunately that doesn't always work, and some employers will press you right then and there to give a number of the spot. You need to be prepared in advance for that inevitability, so before the interview you should go to our free Salary Wizard to see what your job pays and determine how much you want to make. When pressed, be sure to give a range instead of one solitary figure. Make the bottom of your range your absolute drop-dead, walk away number for which you won't go less than.

The first number thrown out there generally serves as the anchor, from which the final salary is negotiated. Do everything possible to make those numbers work in your favor.

"Why do you want to leave your current job?"

Again, the temptation here is to trash your current boss/employer and go on a rant about how terrible it is there and how much you want to leave. Avoid that temptation.

This is not a question designed to find out what's wrong with your workplace, it's a question asked to see if there's anything wrong with you. If you go off on a tirade it shows a lack of maturity and a willingness to trash your boss. Your interviewer will likely be thinking you'll do the same thing to him/her if you're unhappy. The best course of action is to be respectful and say something along the lines of "I learned a lot and I'm appreciative of my time there, but I've reached a point where I'm hitting the ceiling on promotions and I'd really like to find a job that presents new challenges."

As always, avoid personal attacks and keep it professional.

 "What is your biggest weakness?"

This is, by far, the most notorious question in the job interview process.

There's a lot of risk here because you want to be as honest as possible, but you don't want to say something that will get you eliminated as a candidate. In addition to that, you don't want to set off your interviewer's BS detector either. That's why saying something like "Sometimes I just work too hard and too much," because you'll likely be met with an eyeroll. So pick something that's already obvious to your interviewer and address it, but then be sure to follow it up by talking about your strengths and how they make up for that weakness.

For example, if the job description says graphic design experience is a plus and you don't have it but you meet all the other requirements, say something like this. "My graphic design experience is minimal, however that is easily taught and I'm a quick learner. The bulk of this job is writing and I have years of experience which can't be taught. I'd love to have an employer who cares about employee development and invests in them to learn new skills." This way you're admitting a weakness but not a glaring one, and you're also reiterating your strengths in the same sentence.

And then it's time to negotiate salary

Once you get through the interview process and you're made an offer, it'll be time to talk salary. But are you ready to negotiate?

The first thing you should do is research, so you're able to come to the table armed with the knowledge of what your job is worth. Use our free Salary Wizard below to find out what's a fair salary for your position. You can enter your location, education level, years of experience and more to find out an appropriate salary range before you negotiate.

Good luck.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Jobs: Sears recruitment for Telephone Sales Representative $10/hour. Ongoing

Free course: Learn basic Cisco networking

In partnership with tech training provider PluralSight, Network World offers a free online course on CCNA routing and VLANs

Free course

In partnership with Pluralsight, Network World presents a free course on CCNA routing and VLANs. In this course, the student will learn the fundamental concepts of networking, and then immediately apply this knowledge to the configuration of a router and switch.

By the end of the course, the student will have enough knowledge to set up a network environment that has multiple subnets over multiple virtual LANs (VLANs), use network address translation (NAT) to connect to the Internet, and hand out IP addresses automatically. Additionally, the student will take a deep dive into IP addressing, using binary, to really gain a fundamental understanding of how endpoints are addressed. All you need as a prerequisite is a willingness to learn and basic computer skills.

Click here to sign up  for the course.  You’ll need to provide your name and email address, with no obligation or fee. We think you’ll find this course a valuable introduction to networking.

This story, "Free course: Learn basic Cisco networking" was originally published by Network World.