Everyone has goals, requirements, needs, and even wants when it comes to their career. How, and more importantly when, we allow those concerns to enter into the interview process is a critical issue. Of course the “reasonable man theory” does apply – we are assuming a degree of understanding in that we are talking about scenarios that are at least in the ballpark with respect to scope, responsibility, compensation, etc. However, if you want a guaranteed way to ensure you do not get an offer, allow yourself to enter into premature offer negotiation – no doubt you will be out of the process before you know what hit.
Companies love it when candidates insist upon bringing up concerns with compensation, expense accounts, benefits, vacation time, and a host of other topics early in the interview process. But what really excites them is when the candidate does it without prompting. Laying down your requirements upfront is something all companies treasure, for it makes their decision so much easier and it saves so much time. More often than not they can and do discount you right off – someone to pass on straight away.
Do all of those things matter in evaluating opportunities – of course they do – it is foolish and disingenuous to say they do not. However, there is a time and place for everything, and your “requirements”, however justified you feel they might be, are not of any concern to the company until they decide they want to hire you. Before they discover that you are the best candidate for their particular role, your “requirements” are nothing more than reasons not to move you forward. Harsh – yes. Reality – you better believe it.
Remember, every company is not out to say yes to every candidate. In fact, by the very nature of interviewing and searching, they are looking for reasons to say no – especially in the early stages. They are looking for that one right person and there will be casualties along the way. A lot of casualties. It is the nature of the game.
Your willingness to trust in the process, in the company, and in their culture is paramount. If you are so focused on yourself, how can they ever believe you will become a true teammate? The vast majority of the time when the role is right, the candidate is the right person, and the company is excited, the offers work themselves out. At a minimum, at least there is a clear expectation set once everyone knows that there is a match – offers can then be constructed accordingly.
In the end, you gain nothing by putting up hurdles in the interview process. You gain nothing and more than likely will find yourself out of the process before you ever have a chance. Unless you are open to learning and then evaluating, you have nothing. Who wants to hire anyone that comes into an organization or situations with preconceived notions?