Preparing for the Final Interview – Logistical Fit

The final interview can be an exciting milestone to hit in your job search. At this point you know they’ve narrowed the search down to you and just a few other potential candidates. There are some simple ways to wow the hiring manager and ensure that you’re the candidate getting the job offer.

Logistical Fit

We’ve spent the last several months looking at how to prepare for a final interview based on Michael Pietrack’s “Game Plan to Win.” Pietrack believes that there are four core areas that hiring managers assess when conducting a final interview – Motivational Fit, Functional Fit, Cultural Fit, and Logistical Fit. We’ve covered the first three areas in previous blog posts.

Today we’re looking at the fourth component – Logistical Fit.

Logistical fit boils down to three basic questions –  what are you currently earning? What are you looking to earn? When can you start? They seem pretty simple and straightforward, but let’s break each of these down and look at what you need to know about these questions before your interview.

What are you currently earning?

In some states this question is legally not allowed to be asked. Always check your state laws surrounding this question before you go into your interview.

What are you currently earning is a simple fact-based question. There are no tricks or anything hidden here, just remember not to leave any of your compensation out. You’ll want to share your entire salary package – how much do you earn with your base salary, any bonuses and or commissions, vacation time, and what your benefits package includes.

What are you looking to earn?

What are you looking to earn is a trickier question to address and one that you have to be careful how you answer. You don’t want to put out a number that’s too high because you may lose your chance at getting hired completely if you ask for way more than they are planning to pay, but you also don’t want to shortchange yourself and give a figure lower than your worth. Pietrack recommends not giving a number for this answer. Instead, it’s best to give a more subjective response. You know that specific details will be ironed out, if and when you get an offer. An example of a good response to this question is “I’m flexible on my salary requirements and prefer to focus on being a good fit for the job.” Another good answer is “My salary expectations are in line with my experience and qualifications.”

Be prepared for the hiring manager to push for an answer on this question. We recommend that you practice how you will respond to this question in advance, so you don’t find yourself stumbling over an answer and end up accidentally throwing a figure out there. You do want to keep your recruiter in the loop as far as knowing what your absolute highest and lowest salary expectations are.

When can you start?

When you can start is generally the third question that is considered in logistical fit. The standard practice in the industry is to provide your current employer with two-weeks notice. If you have vacation time that you need to use or you will lose it, factor this in and let them know in the interview so that they can be prepared and have an accurate start date in mind. For most employers, flexibility concerning your start date is typically not an issue, especially if you’re up front about it.

Being prepared for these three questions and having answers already in place will ensure that you pass the logistical fit portion of the hiring managers assessment. Combine these with the other three areas that hiring managers look at – motivational, functional, and cultural – and you’re well on your way to being the candidate that stands head and shoulders above the rest.