Especially in a tight labor market, if you are a desirable candidate with a strong skill set, it may seem that you are holding all the cards. But until you get the offer letter, you are just another candidate.

Consider this scenario: you are interviewing, everything is going well, until a question comes up that may turn everything upside down. The question could be any of these, or many others, for that matter:

  • Are you willing to relocate?
  • Are you able to support sales before taking on the role of project manager?
  • Are you willing to work some Saturdays?
  • Are you able to train others while doing your job?
  • Are you willing to take less money?

Based on personal or professional reasons, your value system or financial situation, your first reaction to any of these questions would be to say NO. However, since you don’t have an offer letter in hand yet, we suggest you keep yourself in the running by avoiding the “NO.”

  • Put the question in perspective. Think of the big picture and how the position itself could be a life-changer for you (the company of your dreams, the responsibilities you always wanted, etc.).
  • Remember those sacrifices you have made in the past, and how this one weighs on your personal scale.
  • Consider the possibility that working on weekends may never materialize, or your support for another department may last just a few weeks.
  • Think of how some of these efforts may be looked upon or compensated by the organization.

That’s not to say that you should be willing to do something to which you are opposed, but there are answers that can keep you in the running and which will allow you to better negotiate down the road.

Therefore, before saying “NO” contemplate any of these answers:

  • I would be more than willing to consider that option!
  • Yes, if you could be so kind to further explain what it entails?
  • I will consider it; however, could you explain the position growth?
  • It is a possibility that I would be willing to explore, if you could provide more details…

Remember: don’t close doors; instead, keep the communication flowing, and you will be able to move forward in the candidacy process!

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