More Interview Questions and Answers
Why aren't you earning more?
Alternative and related questions:
Why aren't you earning more at your age?
Do you think you are being paid enough?
The meaning behind the question:
This is a two-pronged attack. The interviewer is putting you under stress with what is obviously a rather awkward and aggressive question and, secondly, they're looking to see how you justify yourself and the career path you have taken.
As with other 'tough' questions, it's important to remain calm and not to become defensive.
The best approach is to justify the career decisions you have taken because they have led you to where you are today and put you in a position where, indeed, you do now expect to earn more than you have done previously.
Turn the question around on them. Go from a question which implies a weakness to an answer which demonstrates your strengths.
Rather than focus on short-term earnings, I have been more focussed during my career to date on gaining a broad variety of marketable skills and experience. I've been focussed on developing within my line of work and have consequently deliberately chosen certain jobs, not because of the financial package but because of what I would learn from them. I've certainly never changed jobs just because of financial incentives. Training and development opportunities have, to date, always been more important to me. However, I'm not saying that I'm not now very keen to realize my worth. I fully recognize my current market value and achieving a respectable market value has been my long-term goal. This is why I have taken the career path I have.
Word of warning:
Without being overly defensive, you should definitely justify your career decisions. Don't let the interviewer trick you into admitting you've made mistakes along the way.
The Interview Question & Answer Book
More interview questions and answers
Talking about your current employment
- Can you tell me what you enjoy about your current job?
- What will you remember most about your last job?
- Is this the first time you have made an effort to move away from your current employers?
- How do you feel about the possibility of leaving your current job?
- How would you describe your current employer?
Talking about this vacancy
- Wouldn’t you be better suited to working in a larger/smaller organization?
- How do you feel this vacancy differs from your current role?
- What reservations do you have about your ability to undertake this job?
- Can you describe your ideal working environment to me?
- How do you feel we compare to our competitors?
- What would you say is our Unique Selling Point?
- What would be your analysis of the current trends in our industry/sector?
Understanding your career path, plans and ambitions
- What aspects of your career path would you like to have been different?
- What are your greatest regrets about the path your career has taken?
- What has been the greatest challenge you have faced in your career to date?
- What do you think are your main career options for the next five years?
- What exactly does the word ‘success’ mean to you?
Addressing problems in your career history
- Why did you only stay with this organization for such a short time?
- Why did you stay with this organization for such a long time?
Coping with stress and pressure
- Are you able to multitask?
- Can you juggle a number of different projects simultaneously?
- How do you handle rejection/disappointment/failure?
- How do you deal with interpersonal conflict?
- What does tact and diplomacy mean to you?
- What makes for a successful team?
Management and leadership
- Would you describe yourself as a good manager?
- Do you really think you’re management material?
- What is your attitude to delegation?
- Can you give me an example of a time when you had to lead from the front?
- Have you ever had to fire or lay off a member of your staff?
- How would you describe your ideal team member?
Personal and professional development
- In what ways do you intend to improve upon your performance?
- How has your current job prepared you for greater challenges/responsibility?
Interests and activities
- What book are you reading at the moment?
- What newspaper do you take?
- Are you interested in current affairs?
The amateur psychiatrist
- If you won the lottery what would you do?
- Can you tell me about the best teacher you ever had?
- If you could meet any historical figure, who would it be and why?
- What are you most afraid of?
Money, money, money
- Why aren’t you earning more?
- How much do you think you are really worth?
- How much does money matter to you?
- Would you still be interested in this job if you current employer offered a pay rise?
- Have you ever had to take a pay cut to keep your job?
- Have you ever asked for but been refused a pay rise?
Author: James Innes