You are going to get hit with unreasonable demands from employers — or recruiters who work on behalf of employers — and you have to be ready for them.

If you aren’t prepared to handle these unreasonable demands, you’re likely to say “Yes!” and agree to something you shouldn’t.

That’s a problem for three reasons:

1. When you say “Yes, I’ll gladly oblige your unreasonable request” you train the organization to mistreat you further. They won’t stop until you say “Enough!”

2. When you give up your power during the hiring process, you also give up your negotiating leverage if they make you a job offer.

3. When you put up with mistreatment at the hands of employers and/or recruiters, you tell yourself “I’m not worthy of respect. I don’t get to have boundaries.” You’ll reduce your own value and marketability by reinforcing that negative message!

The key to handling unreasonable requests from employers and recruiters is to practice saying “Here’s what I can do, instead of what you’ve proposed” until the words roll easily off your tongue.

You’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to set boundaries when you’ve practiced your script in advance.

If you’re prepared to handle unreasonable requests, you won’t stumble over your words. You’ll be happy and confident, and your confidence will radiate from you.

You will actually educate recruiters, HR folks and hiring managers about appropriate boundaries by setting boundaries with them yourself!

If they get mad when you won’t oblige their outrageous requests, that’s fine. You wouldn’t want to work for them anyway in that case.

Some of them will get mad, and some won’t. Some of them will be embarrassed when they realize they’ve overstepped their bounds.

The people who deserve you will respect you for speaking up. Smart managers will realize that if you’ll speak up during the interview process, then you’ll also speak up on the company’s behalf once you have the job.

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