Knowing what not to say in a job interview is just as important as knowing how you will answer old-faithful questions like, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Of course, you want to cast yourself in the best light possible, while still being honest and true to yourself—but you don’t want to shoot yourself in the foot, either.

Here are 7 things you should never say in a job interview:

1. I was captain of my high school football team (or anything else related to high school)

Despite what your parents and teaches might have said, high school does not prepare you for the job market. No one in the corporate world will care about your high school achievements, even if you captained the football team, lead the cheerleading squad, creamed five districts on debate team, and was voted prom queen, all in the same year.

Fifty years ago, having a high school diploma was meaningful in the workplace—not everyone made it through high school. Today, though, most workplaces expect you to have adult experiences to talk about in interviews. Talking about high school makes you seem immature. Let it go.

Instead, talk about your volunteer work, or the startup that you rocked while finishing high school or college. Talk about internship experiences, or transferable skills you gained from your first job.

If you don’t have anything at all other than high school to talk about, it’s time to think about strengthening your experience by taking an internship or volunteering somewhere. Get out into the world, make connections, and frame your experiences in terms the employer will want to hear.

2. I’m 25 years old (or any other age)

Your age is none of your potential employers’ business—at least not at the interview stage. By law employers cannot discriminate based on age, but what’s to prevent them forming an opinion of you when you come right out and tell them in an interview? And why would you be talking about this anyway?

Again, focus on talking about your experiences that will make you the perfect employee. Leave age out of it!

3. I’m Gay/Straight/Bi

Like your age, employers aren’t allowed to discriminate based on sexual orientation. However, don’t give them the chance. Be proud of who you are, but don’t reveal your sexual orientation in an interview.

5. I’m pregnant

If you are pregnant, you know you will need some time off in the relatively near future. It may seem honest to just tell your employer up front that you’re pregnant, but you really shouldn’t. Again, employers can’t discriminate based on your pregnancy, but they may be tempted to hire a less-qualified candidate just because they know they won’t have to cover that candidate’s workload while they’re on maternity leave.

After you’re hired you can have a conversation with your boss about your pregnancy and anticipated maternity leave. 

6. I vote Democrat/Republican/Libertarian/Whatever

Don’t talk about politics at work, especially not in an interview. Unless you’re joining a candidate on the campaign trail, your political leanings are not your employer’s business. You’re sure to offend someone with your political views regardless of which party you claim as your own.

7. I will need Sundays off for Church

Your religion isn’t your employer’s business either, and could lead to discrimination if you reveal it. If you are going to need a day off to worship, just let your employer know you’re unavailable that day. They don’t need to know the reason.

Exceptions to the Rule

For every one of these rules, there is an exception. For example, if you are applying for a job as an assistant football coach at your local high school, your employer will be interested to know that you were captain of your high school football team. If you are applying for a job at a religious institution (that specifically follows your chosen religion), you can reveal your religion without fear.

The point is, focus your job interview responses on your experiences that make you a great hire. You only have a few minutes to impress the hiring committee—make the best of them by staying on topic, making eye contact, and showing them you’re the best person for the job!

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7 things to never say in a job interview

You’ve found a job that you like on the market and now, you’re ready to pursue it. Don’t let that counter at the bottom of the page put you off which shows how many people have already replied. You have what it takes to succeed here. There are just a few key details that you need to be aware of before you start this journey.

These pieces of information will help ensure that you are not caught off guard during the recruitment process and give you some idea of what to expect. Bear in mind that while these facts will not hold true for every position, they will be relevant to most on the market today. So, let’s get started.

The Interview is Only One Part of the Process

You might think that if your interview goes beautifully, then you don’t need to worry about taking things any further. After all, you have it in the bag! Not so fast, recruitment processes these days are often multilayered. So, they might begin with a phone interview. This will be a short process and a follow up after receiving your CV. One of the recruitment officers will explore what you can offer, what you might be able to bring to the table and why you should be put forward for a follow-up interview. They will also tell you a little more about the position that you are applying for. If this goes well, an interview will usually be set up and dated while you are on the phone.

You need to be as flexible as possible here. While it’s good to show that you are quite busy and in high demand if you make it too difficult, an employer may simply pursue other possibilities. This is a rookie mistake. Don’t let it drag any longer than three different possible interview times and days before settling on one that suits you and them. Making sure that you accommodate the needs of others is a good trait to show off at an early stage.

After that first interview, it’s possible that you will be given a task to complete. Alternatively, you might be brought in for a workday. Here, you will be given a feel for the type of role you will be completing and what you can expect from the position. The employer will note how you perform in a working environment and if you can complete certain daily tasks related to the role.

Once you have completed and passed this level, you may then be asked to a further interview with some of the higher-ups present. This will usually depend on the role that you are pursuing and how high up the management chain it is.

60 Seconds

That’s all you have. That’s as long as an employee or recruitment specialist will usually take to browse over your CV. Supposedly, this is all they need to get a good idea of who you are and what you can offer. At least, that will be the case if your CV is laid out and written the right way. This means that it should be easy to skim, provide clear and informative and offer concise facts about who you are and what you can offer. The general rule of thumb here is that you shouldn’t be stretching your CV more than two pages. It’s worth modifying it to only include relevant information to each individual position that you pursue.

There are exceptions. For instance, you might have a massive record of experience. Pay attention to the job ad as well. It might mention that a wealth of experience is highly sought after for the person who will fill the position. If that’s the case it makes sense to include two pages of roles that you have filled, if they are relevant.

Employers must Follow the Rules

It’s important to understand that there are rules that employers must follow when they hire you. They need to make sure that they are dotting the is and crossing the Ts. Employment law firms like Ogletree Deakins will often make sure that they hire the best members of their team to ensure that this is the case. So, what does this mean for you? Well, firstly, employers are not allowed to ask you certain personal questions such as your sexuality or religion. Or rather, they are not allowed to base whether they chose to hire you on these types of traits.

More relevant is the fact that an employer can not provide you with a hint or clue that you have successfully gained the position. They have to be fair to each individual candidate that interviews. So, if you’re hoping for a wink or a nod to the fact that you’ve been selected, you’ll be out of luck. Particularly, if you’re only at stage one.

Harassment and Bullying are Never Acceptable

There have been reports where employers have used intimidation tactics during an interview to see whether the person can handle the role in question. Accounts of employees being broken down to the point where they burst into tears have gained media attention.

Be aware, it doesn’t matter if this is an act that the employer breaks at the end of the interview. It doesn’t matter whether they apologize or whether they cite sources claiming this to be a recognized interview technique. It is not acceptable for you to be treated this way. If you are worried about issues like this check resources like Glass Door. This will provide you with accounts of real employees of the company and former candidates.

Look for Positive Signs

Finally, you might be interested in learning some of the signs that you are definitely being considered as a potential candidate for the position. Well, there are a few possibilities to look out for here. You might be immediately introduced to some of the people working at the company. Alternatively, you may find that you are shown where you could potentially be working. Even the grip of a handshake could be a sign that you are on the right track.

We hope this helps you navigate the recruitment process next time you pursue a position on the market.

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5 Things to think about when Applying for a New job - #career

Top Tips For Acing Your Next Job Interview - #career #careeradvice

If you want to get hired at the next interview, then here are some tips to follow. To help you to ace your next interview, you’ll want to stand out from the crowd. It isn’t as difficult a process as you might imagine; you just want to focus on making a great first impression.

Research The Company

Unless you are going out on a blind date, you should know a little about the person that you are going to be meeting up with. If you’d do that for a date, then it is a huge mistake to not go to a job interview without any knowledge of the company. You could even look up the company on a site like LinkedIn to see the individuals that are likely to be interviewing you. You can easily ace a job interview when you have shown that you have taken time to research the company. If you know what has been going on recently in the company, then it can be a good idea to have some questions ready for them too. When you are prepared, it looks good; the interviewer will know that this job means a lot to you and that you have an interest in the company that is genuine.

Use Your Resume Well

As someone that is applying for a job, you should know your resume practically off by heart. It isn’t the interviewer’s job to know these kinds of things about you. They will want to hear about them all. Plus, through the application process, they are likely to have a copy that they can read from and ask you anything about. If you’ve forgotten that you did some express training a year ago, or forgotten that you wrote about a position of responsibility that you may have embellished, and they ask you to explain but you’re unable to, then it isn’t going to look good. If you are able to implement this kind of strategy, then it will definitely help you to be on the way to ace your job interview. The interview is the time that you use to convince the interviewer that you are able to do the advertised job. Have something intelligent to say about each aspect of your previous work and roles. It is one of the best things that you can be doing in an interview.

Understand the Job Description in Detail

After getting the offer of an interview, you need to go back and make sure that you have a copy of the job description that you have applied for. Just the role’s title isn’t going to be enough to help you through. Study what the role description is. It can really help you to understand what the interviewer is looking for in a candidate. There will be specific words that the job description uses, such as attention to detail. When you know this kind of thing, it can help you to make specific examples based on your resume. These can be used at the interview to demonstrate how you fit this role. If you can do this for all of the main qualities or traits that are listed in the job description, then you will be well on your way to acing the interview.

Be Friendly; Build Rapport

There is an old saying that there is no second chance to make a first impression. That is something that holds very true for jobs and job interviews. You need to know how to be friendly and build a rapport with your interviewer right from the start. If you get their back up, then they won’t be able to imagine you working there. Simple things like starting off by greeting the interviewer with a firm handshake and a smile is a good place to start. Making small talk before you get into things is also another step to showing some of your personality and that you are a friendly person that would fit into the office environment.

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Make Eye Contact

Along similar lines, building a rapport with someone is all about things like eye contact. Using it well is important as it is one of the biggest forms of nonverbal communication; a must for acing a job interview. Having eye contact also helps to show whether you are someone that is strong or weak. It is through that direct eye contact shows two qualities that employers will want; confidence and self-esteem. Even if you don’t think you fit into that category, fake it until you make it. Make sure you use eye contact. Look the interviewer in the eye as they greet you and when shaking hands. Having eye contact when you’re telling stories or answering questions will also help you to really exude confidence.

Follow Up After An Interview

Immediately after an interview, it is a good idea to send a note or an email to thank them for their time. By simply thanking the interviewer for their time and letting them know that it was great to meet them can be a wonderful thing for them to receive. The team may deliberate over who to get the job too, and something like that can help you to stand out in their memory. It can be a simple thing, but something that can help you to do well in a job interview, nonetheless. If you understand and take on board these strategies, then you can be well on your way to getting the job that you have been dreaming of.

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Top Tips For Acing Your Next Job Interview - #career #careeradvice

If you have managed to bag yourself an interview for a job, you may be feeling a little bit nervous, especially if this is your first interview or you have not had one for quite some time. However, there is no need to panic, it is all about being prepared. One of the ways you can do this is by avoiding some of the common mistakes that people before you have made. 

Not Practicing

There is only one place to begin, and this is with failing to practice. There really is no excuse for this. If you take a look online, you will see that there are so many articles and resources regarding the most common interview questions. You should also be able to find questions for the specific role you are going for, be it a vet, accountant, or something else. Practice makes perfect, so they say. Take the time to try and answer as many practice questions at possible. However, make sure you rehearse them in a natural manner – you don’t want it to come across as if you are reading from a script.

Lying

Lies catch up with you in the end. Let’s say you tell a lie, you bag the job, and then you don’t actually have the experience to carry out the tasks required of you. It’s going to be worse in the end. Being truthful is always the best approach, irrespective of the situation. Let’s say you’ve been caught drink driving in the past. The interviewer wants to know why you don’t drive. You lie, and then they do a background check and find that you’re suspended. Again, it doesn’t look good does it? You can read up on how DWI affects a nursing license and other professions online. If you’re honest and explain that you have learnt from the situation and you’re trying to move forward, your potential employer will respect you for it.

Not Preparing

Not only do you need to practice for the job interview, but you need to be prepared. What’s the difference? Well, preparation covers everything from having your suit ready the evening before to arriving at the interview 15 minutes early. If you do not know where the building is, you should try out the route in advance so that you can see how long it takes you and ensure there are no mishaps on the day.

As you can see, there are a number of mistakes that people commonly make when taking a job interview. If you can avoid the blunders mentioned above, you will give yourself a great shot at succeeding and securing the job you want.

Related: Why I’m not Hiring You – Confessions of a Hiring Manager

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Job Interview Mistakes to Avoid - #jobinterview #career #careeradvice

If you’ve been searching for a job for awhile, it’s easy to get discouraged when you can’t get an interview—or worse, when you land interviews, but never hear from the employer again. After countless applications and resume tweaks nothing is coming back positively for you. You wonder if you will ever manage to get a job and you’re starting to lose hope.

The first thing you should do is read our article on the 9 Reason I’m Not Hiring You. Katie talks about her experience as a hiring manager for our parent company, and the biggest mistakes that keep her from hiring applicants.

Then, there are three positive actions you can take right now to improve your chances of finding a job. Take a deep breath, then get started!

Spruce Up Your Resume

You will start to notice a much quicker and more positive response rate from your applications if you give your entire resume an overhaul. You need an excellent resume objective in order to land an interview. You might need to tweak your resume for each individual job you apply for, so that you can showcase and highlight your strengths. This will take time to refine but once you have got the hang of it, you will soon become a pro.

Our Top Resume Articles

We will makeover your resume for just $49!

Raise Your Interview Game

Landing the interview is one of the most difficult parts of obtaining your dream job. Once you have the interview in the bag, you will need to brush up your interview techniques. Don’t rest on your laurels or credentials in order to bag the role, you will need to be articulate and well informed during the interview. Making a good impression in the interview room is easier than it sounds. All you have to do is be yourself, tell the truth and tell stories about how your previous experience will help you in this job. Make sure you can explain exactly why you applied for this job too, otherwise the panel won’t feel invested in you.

Our Top Interview Articles

Strengthen Your Skill Set

In order to reach your career goals you need keep your skills on top form. The more you can talk about first-hand experience in an interview environment the more impressive it will be to your prospective employer. Go above and beyond to meet the criteria of the job description and you will be sure to impress your future bosses.

Our Top Articles about Strengthening Your Skill Set

Bonus Tip: Start a Side Hustle

If you’ve been out of work for awhile, you’re probably running low on funds. One way to make some money and strengthen your resume is to start a side hustle. There’s a million ideas, from teaching English to Chinese students online for VIPKid, to selling your freelance services on Fiverr.

Our Top Articles on Side Hustles and Saving Money

So get your resume together, gain the skills you need, and get some hands on experience. Employers will be jumping at the chance to hire you as long as you aren’t afraid to showcase your skills and talents. It can be a cut throat world, so there is no time to be shy and reserved. Know your worth and always be positive about your abilities.

Enter your email address to download our “What to Say in a Video Resume” Guide

Are you ready to record a video resume and start rocking your job search? If so, you need a script. Our “What to Say in a Video Resume Guide” will help you figure out what to say so you can start getting noticed in your job search right away. Enter your email address below to get your free guide!

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3 Things to Do if You Can't find a Job - #career #getajob #resume

 

Dear HR,

I hate going to job interviews. I always freeze when the interviewer asks me a question that I haven’t prepared for, then I feel like a dork for the rest of the interview. What do I do if I don’t know the answer to a question? Is there a way to keep from freezing during a job interview?

Thank you,

Awkward Interviewee

 


What do I do if I don’t know the answer to a question?

Dear Awkward Interviewee,

We’ve all been there; you stay up all night studying interview questions and how you’ll answer them, only to have the person conducting the interview not ask a single question you’ve studied. Instead, they start asking weird, curveball questions no one could have predicted.

Employers think they’re cleverly weeding out people who can’t think on their feet, but instead, they’re freaking out the people who can actually do the job. A lot of interviewees fall into an abyss of awkward self-loathing and completely bomb the interview. There’s a better way to handle it.

Breathe and Smile

First, take a breath and put on your best smile. Keep eye contact with the interviewer. Keep your shoulders relaxed. Do all of this consciously.

The idea is to remain composed and to not let the interviewer know you’re stressed. Remember, this is just a conversation. People ask weird questions in conversations all the time. It’s just another weird question. You can handle it. Keep your cool.

Restate the Question in Your Own Words if You’re Stumped

If you aren’t sure if you understood the question, start by saying something like, “I think you’re asking me…” or “Just to make sure I’m answering your question correctly, I think you’re wanting to hear about…” This method gives the interviewer a chance to clarify the question. It also gives you time to construct your answer.

Repeat the Question as Part of your Answer

Have you ever watched how Miss America candidates answer interview questions on stage? If not, watch thevideo from the 2016 interview segment.

A beauty contestant starts her answer to the question by restating the question as a statement and then leading into her answer. The first contestant is asked “if you could put a woman alongside Alexander Hamilton on the ten dollar bill, who would you choose?” the contestant thanks the interviewer for the question, and then begins her answer with, “the person that I would put on the ten dollar bill is…”

She starts her answer this way for a couple of reasons. First, it shows the interviewer that she was listening and ensures she’s answering the right questions. Second, it gives her a few extra seconds to think about her answer.

You have to have an answer by the end of the statement, though. There’s a trick Miss America knows about that, too: Your actual answer doesn’t matter as much as your poise and confidence do.

Beauty contestants are asked far dumber questions than most job interviewers will dream of asking. Seriously, watch how they handle those dumb questions. Pay attention to which contestants win. Their answers may not be the best, but they always look calm and collected as they answer the question.

Come up with an Answer—any Answer

I was once asked by an interviewer during a panel interview to tell him a story about a boy, a dog, and a ball. Without missing a beat, I told a story about how there was a boy named John who was the most special boy you will ever know because he was from outer space and carried his home planet with him everywhere, even though everyone thought it was just a ball.

In another interview, I was asked to tell a story with my hands. All I could think of was the nursery rhyme, “here is the church, here is the steeple, open the doors, and here’s all the people.” So, I smiled and rocked through it. Believe it or not, I worked for that employer for five years.

The point is, the delivery of your answer is more important than your actual answer. Stop stressing about what you’re going to say and work on saying something.

How to Prepare for Unexpected Interview Questions

Just like you study for “real” questions like “where do you see yourself in five years?” and “why should we hire you?” you can study for unexpected questions, too. In fact, practicing for this kind of question will help you improve your answers to the “real” questions.

Start by asking your friends to help you. Have them come up with the most outlandish interview questions they can think of, and then sit at your dinner table and have them ask you the questions. Practice breathing, smiling, and making eye contact as you answer the questions. Practice until it becomes second nature to you.

We’ve recently found a game that’s helping us and our students prepare for wild interview questions. The game is called Fun Employed. To play, each person is given a set of qualifications, and they have to use their qualifications to convince an employer they’re the right person for the job. Of course, the jobs and the qualifications are both unorthodox, meaning you have to learn to work with what you have, no matter how disconnected that is.

Another way to practice is to take an improv class at your local community college. Improv games and exercises help you learn to think quickly without worrying about what other people think. They’re invaluable practice for interviews and presentations, too.

It’s About Survival

Go into the interview knowing that you can handle whatever they throw at you. No matter what they ask, remain composed. Breathe. Smile. Have an Answer. Be as specific as you can in your answers, even if you think they sound wrong. Sell it with confidence. You’ve got this!

Best of luck,

HR

weird interview questions

Thank You letters are a lost art, but they’re a vital element to the job interview process that shows employers that you’re not only qualified, but a decent human being. If you want the job, write a Thank You note after the interview.

Since most people have been skipping this interview step, you may not know what to write in a Thank You letter. It’s simple, really. Here’s what to do:

Who Should I Thank?

Send a Thank You note to the person with whom you interviewed, and anyone who was especially helpful in the interview process. We always send thank you notes to recruiters if they went the extra mile to set up the interview and make sure we had all the information we needed to be successful at the interview, too.

Should I Send a Thank You Email?

In our modern world, where everyone communicates in text messages, you may think sending an email is the same thing as sending a proper thank you letter. It’s not. However, there are some times that a thank you email is perfectly appropriate.

Send a Thank You Email after a Phone Interview

If you’re interviewing with a big corporation, the first person you talk to at the company is likely an HR representative. Many times, HR representatives call you for a short, preliminary interview to make sure your qualifications indeed fit their needs, and to make sure you can put a sentence together before they send you on to the next interview stage. At the end of this phone interview, you should immediately send the HR representative a thank you email.

Send a Thank You Email after an Interview, but Follow it with a Real Thank You Letter

Immediately after you leave the interview, you should send a thank you email to the interviewer. You want them to know that you’re grateful, and that you know your manners, but this email does not excuse you from sending a for-real thank you note.

Handwritten or Typed?

If you want to stand out from the crowd, send a handwritten thank you note. The point of the note is not only to show your gratitude, but to show that you are a decent human being. To make a human connection, use writing written by a human (that’s you).

You should keep a package of blank Thank You notes and a sheet of snail-mail stamps handy throughout your job search process. Thank You notes are available almost everywhere. We buy ours at the Dollar Tree, where they are 10 for $1. They should not be cute—skip the kittens and flowers. Instead, opt for a simple thank you note that just says “Thank You” on the outside.

How Do I Start my Thank You Letter?

Start your Thank You note with a simple “Dear Mr. XYZ.” Unless the person with whom you interviewed asked you to call him or her by his first name, use the formal “Mr.” or “Ms.” and their last name.

If your interview was with multiple people, send each of them a separate Thank You note. You want to make an individual connection with each of them, and you can start that by showing your gratitude to each of them, individually.

What do I Write in my Thank You Note?

Your Thank You note should be short—three to four sentences are all you need. Start with one sentence that gives an overall thank you statement, then 2-3 sentences that refer back to the interview. Here are a few examples:

Example 1

Thank you for meeting with me yesterday. I enjoyed learning about the fabrication process and Plastics-R-Us, and I appreciate the time you took to show me around the plant. I am fascinated by your work, and would be excited to join your company.

Example 2

Thank you for taking the time to meet with me yesterday. It was a pleasure to meet you, and I appreciate your kindness in introducing me to your colleagues and answering my questions about the executive assistant position at Telephones-R-Us. I can see how important your work is to maintaining the communication channels throughout the United States, and I would welcome the opportunity to work with you.

Example 3

Thank you for a wonderful meeting yesterday. I can see you work with inner-city orphans is essential to ensuring the children have the opportunity to go to college. I am grateful for the time you took to teach me about your work and how I might fit into your processes as a grant writer for Orphans2College. It would be a privilege to join your organization, if selected.

Mail Your Thank You Note Quickly

Don’t procrastinate writing and mailing your Thank You note. Address it and put it in the mail no later than the day after your interview.

Should I lie about my salary

Dear HR,

I have been in the same job with the same company for five years. I am ready to take the next step on my career path into a management position. Unfortunately, my current company does not have a position open, nor will it have a management position open for quite awhile.

I’ve started applying to management jobs with other companies, and one question they all seem to ask is, “What is your current salary?” In comparison with management jobs, my current salary is significantly less. I don’t want to ruin my chances of negotiating a salary that honors my experience and skills, so what should I say? Should I lie about my current salary in order to get a higher offer?

Sincerely,

Show Me the Money


One question they all seem to ask is, “What is your current salary?”

Dear Show Me the Money,

It’s admirable that you’ve recognized that you’re ready to make a step forward in your career. Good for you!

With a step up to a management position, you should expect to be paid a fair salary that reflects the duties of the position. Managers have more responsibility and are often expected to work more hours than worker-bee employees. For this reason, salaries are often lucrative. If you are applying for manager positions within your industry, you can expect a decent pay increase when you change jobs.

You ask if you should lie about your current salary, and the answer is no, you should not. If you are hired, and your new employer finds out you lied to them, your work environment will become quite awkward. You may even get fired. Besides, do you want to start a relationship with your new boss based on a lie?

That said, you don’t have to disclose your current salary. You can say it’s confidential. However, this may not help your salary negotiations. If you are being asked about salary in an interview, you can explain the factors you are considering when it comes to your salary requirements. Perhaps your current job only requires you to work 35 hours per week, but the new job requires 40. Maybe you have a longer commute that will cost you extra transportation costs.

You should also consider the new job’s benefits package in your negotiation process. Always ask about benefits before discussing salary. Some employers offer excellent health care coverage with low premiums, while others have bare-bones high deductible plans that will cost you thousands per year. We’ve seen job offers that included transportation reimbursements that save employees hundreds per year. So, salary alone isn’t the only thing you should consider. Gather all of your information before you start negotiating.

Happy Negotiating,

HR