Ace Your Next Interview

Questions and answers from a recent Career webinar.

ASAE recently presented a webinar, “The Art of Interviewing: Creating Your Star Quality,” conducted by career coach Pegotty Cooper, FASAE. Below are four questions Cooper answered during this session. To view the entire webinar and find other career resources, visit

How often should I follow up with someone I have interviewed with?

One of the things that you want to do is, at the very end of your interview, ask for permission to follow up. And then if the interviewer says, “Of course, you have permission to follow up with me,” then you should follow up, each time asking when a decision is going to be made or when the interviewer thinks he or she is going to call people for the next interview. You should follow up until you get a result.

What are strategies for interviewing with a group of people?

You want every person in that room to feel as though you’ve connected with them. You want to be clear about who is going to be interviewing you within the group. You want to get as much background information on them as you can. Next, look over who they are. Do your homework, and understand what might be important to each individual, so whether you are face to face or on the phone, you can connect with them.

If you’re face to face with them, you’re going to want to spend time on eye contact with each of them. Watch their faces. If you see somebody who looks confused, address them directly and ask if you can clarify or elaborate on something you said. You want everybody to be connected with you because you don’t want any naysayers in that room.

How do you avoid showing inexperience for a position in an interview?

Well, that’s a really interesting question because none of us know everything there is to know about whatever job it is we’re applying for, because, frankly, we haven’t done that job before. So you could throw it back to them and ask questions about context, ask questions about desired outcomes, ask some questions that say, “You know, this is a thinking person. This person wants to understand more about [the job] so that they can understand where they would plug in their skills.”

The more information you get from them, at some point in time, you’ll have enough that you’ll be able to respond to the question.

Some organizations ask for current salary level. What do you recommend for a response?

I like one of two responses. One response is, “I’m sure if we both feel like there’s a good fit here that we’ll be able to work out our salary and benefits package that will be mutually beneficial.” And another answer is, “You know, I haven’t seen the whole picture yet, so without seeing the whole picture, I can’t really address that very well.” The whole picture might be clarity about the scope of the job … what your vacation is, what the travel is like. Then say, “So once I’m clear about that, I’m sure that we’re going to be able to address that whole question to our mutual satisfaction.”

ASAE Career Headquarters

If you’re looking for the next step in your association management career or looking for high-quality candidates to fill open positions at your organization, check out—the best source of association jobs and resumes. In addition to helping you find your next job—whether it’s as CEO, director of technology, or membership coordinator—ASAE’s career services department offers such services as executive coaching, resume writing, and more. For more information, contact Catherine Lux Fry at [email protected].

Are there certain career-related topics you would like addressed on this page? If so, please email your questions or topic ideas to [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you!