The gender wage gap in America ranges between two percent and 21 percent, depending on which source you choose to believe. In simpler words, this means that women earn two to 21 percent lesser than men, though both are working full-time and at similar jobs.
Obviously, there’re several reasons for this gender wage gap. However, the most common is the wrong interview strategies that female job seekers use. The consequences can be disastrous. These include lower pay, lower designations, and sometimes, overwork and discrimination at the workplace.
In this article, I will discuss the best five successful interview strategies for women. These strategies can be utilized by women from all ethnicities while looking for jobs. They could ensure you get the best job and proper pay and other benefits while helping you overcome common workplace problems that female employees face.
5 Successful Interview Strategies for Women
While American labor laws explicitly prohibit discrimination between women and men jobseekers and the workplace, female employees are often disadvantaged. As I mentioned earlier, women are equally to blame for this due to faulty interview strategies. Therefore, if you’re a female jobseeker that expects to appear for an interview, use any of these top five successful strategies.
Never Leverage Your Gender
Never leverage your gender as a woman or female at an interview. This is the first and basic strategy to succeed at an interview, regardless of whether the interviewer is a woman or a man. Unfortunately, the misconception that women aren’t suited for certain roles or can’t execute their duties properly continues to persist worldwide, according to UN Women and other reliable sources. Always dress appropriately in formal attire. Because a woman job seeker is always judged on the way, she presented herself at an interview.
When you leverage your gender for the job, you’re indirectly hinting at an employer that you’re ready to settle for lower pay. And this doesn’t really work well for you and your career. This can also have a negative impact on your psychological health. You would end up feeling frustrated that your male counterparts with similar or even lesser educational qualifications and skills are earning more.
What Can You Bring to the Table?
The second most successful interview strategy for women to succeed at an interview is to speak avidly about what they can bring to the table. Meaning how the employer can benefit from your educational qualifications, skills, and work experience. And even if you’re a fresher applicant, highlight an employer that employing you would add value to their operations, even though you’re a woman.
Remember that employers are more interested in what you can bring to the table or deliver for the company. And when you do that at an interview, the focus shifts directly from your gender to your employer’s skills and interests. Obviously, an employer will hire you only when they find your qualifications, experience, and skills suitable for the role. The very fact that you’re at an interview is a clear indicator that an employer is interested in your services. Play this card well and speak about how an employer stands to benefit by hiring you over a male candidate.
Retain Your Bargaining Power
Throwing away bargaining power is the most common and perhaps the biggest blunder that women commit at an interview. This means they’ll not bargain for the salary. Instead, they will accept what an employer offers. In some cases, women do bargain but often settle for pay lower than their male counterparts.
As I mentioned earlier, the very fact that an employer is interviewing you shows they’re interested in hiring you because of educational qualifications, experience, and skills. And that’s all the more reasons you should retain your bargaining power.
To do so, find out from reputed job boards, the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, and LinkedIn, among other resources, the highest possible pay that a person with your qualifications, experience, and skills can get. And never hesitate to ask for the highest possible amount without settling for less merely because you’re a woman.
Highlight Long Term Career Goals
Whether it’s a small business or large corporation, every employer is interested in retaining employees for long. That’s because the average hiring costs in America, including training, range between $4,000 to $15,000 depending upon the role and position. Remember, that’s an investment the employer makes to hire a candidate, regardless of their gender. And they don’t wish to have recurrent hiring costs while preventing staff attrition.
Therefore, highlight your long-term career goals to interviewers as a woman. This adage holds good regardless of whether you’re a single, married, or single mom. Unfortunately, even in today’s most modern societies, women are expected to play multiple roles- from mother to wife and homemaker. When you highlight your long-term career goals, you’re directly implying to the interviewer that household tasks wouldn’t prove an obstacle to their work. That your performance would be at par with that of a male candidate.
Showcase Extracurricular Activities
Showcasing your extracurricular activities, hobbies, and interests help an employer get deeper insights into your overall personality as a woman. As a matter of fact, employers nowadays expect jobseekers to speak a bit about their extracurricular activities, regardless of whether they were at school, college or university and even if you’re pursuing them currently.
For example, if you were a member of your school sports team for girls, it signifies you’re a good team player and leader. Voluntary work indicates responsibility towards others. Being a part of writing and debate clubs shows you’ve excellent communication skills. Regardless of what extracurricular activities you followed or are presently practicing, showcase them to show you’ve got the skills that employers desire from any fresh recruit. This also helps you gain that winning edge over male competitors for the same job.
Before concluding, I’ll remind you that you didn’t choose your gender before birth because that’s not humanly possible. And being a woman isn’t a disadvantage at any job. This is proven by the fact that there’re several women at topmost positions at large corporations. Some women are also world leaders. These best five interview strategies could therefore help you land that dream job with superb pay.