More Interview Questions and Answers
Have you ever had to take a pay cut to keep your job?
Alternative and related questions:
Have you ever had your pay reduced as an alternative to being made redundant?
Would you take a pay cut to keep your job?
Have you ever left a job because you refused to take a pay cut?
The meaning behind the question:
With so much economic turmoil over the past few years, an increasing number of people have indeed taken pay cuts in order to keep their jobs. The interviewer wants to know if this has happened to you and, if so, what the circumstances were and why you accepted. It will tell them a lot about your ability to weigh up options and take tough but necessary decisions for the benefit of long-term goals.
If the answer to the question is 'No' then simply say so. There's nothing worth adding.
If, however, the answer is 'Yes' then admit this freely. I say above that the interviewer wants to know if this "has happened to" you. Of course, it's not something that 'happens' to anyone; it's something that someone consciously decides. You have a choice. You either take the pay cut and keep your job or you refuse and you move on. Explain why you chose the former path, taking care to underline your commitment and loyalty to your employer.
As my company entered the last recession, it was particularly badly hit financially. It was clear that they couldn't – at least in the short-term – continue as they had been. They considered redundancies and, after consulting with the staff, we reached agreement that we would all take a 25% pay cut so as to stave off any redundancies, on condition of receiving a degree of equity in the company. I agreed to this because I could see that it was just a short-term situation, I had confidence in my employers and I felt that it was more important to concentrate on the long-term benefits. Staying with the company during the recession taught me a great deal about cost management and how to remain competitive in business even when under significant financial strain. I gained excellent experience as a result and also ended up with shares in the company which have now increased significantly in value.
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