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Interview Tips: What to Ask About Employee Awards

Just thinking about the process of an interview makes my palms sweat and awakens the butterflies and their flapping wings inside my gut. And that’s only just thinking about it. Mental preparation for tough interview questions such as: “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” and “Where do you see yourself in five years” may be the only thing on your mind. When it finally comes to the point in the interview when you’re asked, “Do you have any questions for me” don’t shy away from asking those questions about the company you really want to know: the perks. Here are some tips on what to ask about employee awards during an interview.

Similar to pay, employee awards, or perks, can be perceived as being taboo to address during an interview. And if you do mention it, how do you ask so you’re not coming off as greedy, or only in it for the money. I have consolidated most awards given out to employees into four categories: compensation, benefits, recognition and appreciation. Although all employee awards could fall under employee compensation, for the sake of this article, I’m referring to compensation only as pay.

Despite some people’s comfortableness, or lack of it, wages or salary should be discussed, even during a first interview. Wait to see if the interviewer brings it up, if not, use the time you have for questions at the end of the interview to address it. Remember, you’re selling yourself as an asset to the company, asking for compensation shows that you feel you’re important and have a lot to offer.

If salary is most important, then benefits are a close second. Especially if you have a family, a company’s health insurance coverage could weigh heavily on your decision to take a job. Health benefits are something companies like to promote to potential employees to differentiate themselves from others. That is, however, if the company does indeed have an attractive healthcare coverage. Doing some research on an employer probably will lead you to a tentative outline of their health care. During the interview, briefly go over your understanding of their health benefits and ask the interviewer if they could elaborate. If you’re interviewing for a smaller corporation, or an entrepreneur, it may be hard to research the company’s position with healthcare. If that’s the case, make it a forefront of your concerns and ask the interviewer about their benefits the first opportunity you get. Worker’s compensation or maternity leave can also be addressed within the healthcare discussion.

The last two forms of employee compensation are the least important, recognition and appreciation. This could range from your name on an ‘employee of the month’ plaque, to the boss letting you spend a week in his sweet time share down in Cabo. In sales positions, awards such as recognition and appreciation are common. During an interview, you might ask if there is any acknowledgment for sales leader. Asking this can also show ambition and your high expectations of yourself.

SOURCE: About.Com
IMAGE: Courtesy of Benefit Jar

Chris Officer