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Posted on: Sunday, 17 July 2011 by Rajiv Popat

"I am looking forward to join a Multinational with a larger employee strength and more structured process".

When 'R' says this in an interview, she hasn't even bothered to glean through our website to know that we don't believe in large teams and our process is lighter than most BDUF shops.

That makes our organization a misfit for her.

Since interview is a two way process where candidates should reject the organizations that don't fit their needs, would she like to end the interview immediately and reject our organization?

When asked this question, she reacts as if we just dropped a dead rat on the table and asked her to clean up the stinking carcass. Clearly, the interview isn't going well for her.

After some more probing a switch turns somewhere and she flips into a totally honest mode.

You can feel it. She stops lying and getting stuck. Now she describes her real reason for looking for a job.

A higher paycheck.

During the course of the interview we figure out that she is in fact underpaid and her reasons for an expectation for a higher salary are absolutely valid.

I am guessing that what had happened here was that she was 'mentored' and told to stay away from mentioning salary as a reason for quitting because that is a cliché.

When interviewing the only two rules that often work are honesty and openness.

In situations like the one 'R' was in, staying away from Cliché's is also a cliché.

If you genuinely believe that you are underpaid and if that is your sole reason for changing jobs, having the ability to stand up for it with honesty and openness doesn't make you sound bad. Lying or trying to make up reasons does.

When you are honest and open, you showcase yourself in an as-is condition.

If you can carry your true self without being ashamed or trying to hide who you are and what moves you, your chances of getting selected in a mature organization are that much higher. If you get rejected for who you are or something that you truly believe in, your chances of finding another organization where your core values are aligned with the organization's core values are that much higher.

Don't bitch in an interview. Don't whine. Don't cry. Don't keep constantly complaining.

At the same time If you are genuinely underpaid and you truly and deeply believe that you deserve a respectable salary, don't try to sugar coat the situation with random made up reasons for quitting which people tell you will 'sound good' during an interview.

Salary being the only reason for leaving is a scar on your face, but then depending on how you carry yourself, scars can also look good.