Determine What Matters To You
Money isnt everything.
I know youre probably rolling your eyes at that saying, but its really not just about the Benjamins. When asking about salary during your interview, be sure not to be unduly fixated on the cash. Think bigger.
Beyond the salary aspect, there are other subtle forms of rewards and compensation that a job opportunity can offer, such as:
- Upward mobility and growth opportunities
- Compatibility in terms of values and culture
- Suitability for your career journey
- Health insurance, retirement plans, vacations, and other staff benefits
The starting pay that the organization offers might not be as impressive but think beyond the paycheck. Other perks might sweeten the deal, so keep an eye out for them.
When To Ask About Salary In A Job Interview
Of course, each job interview and situation will be unique, so when you ask about salary if you ask about it at all keep in mind that it is going to depend on a few factors.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to wait until the hiring manager brings up the topic. Best case scenario, a company lists the position’s salary range on the job posting, and you can use that to best determine if the job and starting salary fit your needs before you even apply. However, you’ll notice many companies won’t report salary, so don’t hold your breath.
Instead, you might notice that some online job applications require you to enter your desired salary range. Although this feels like a too soon type of question, it helps the hiring manager determine if you’re a good fit. If you filled out this information on a job application and then were contacted for an interview, you can assume the company will be able to meet your salary expectations.
Sometimes you’ll get asked the salary question during an initial phone screen, too. Again, this can feel a bit invasive, but the company doesn’t want to waste its time. If your desired salary is too high, the company can go ahead and let you know you’re not the best fit.
So if you’re the one making the first move, you’ll just want to make sure you bring the salary question up strategically.
Get Your Figures Right
At the beginning of the process, even before your phone evaluation, do your homework and find out the latest salary ranges for your city, industry and the job title youre applying for. The 2022 Robert Half Salary Guide will help you determine average national salaries for the position and industry. To localize these figures for your market, use our Salary Calculator. Check out Glassdoor, too, to see if anyone at the firm youre considering has shared their salaries.
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Ask For More Than What You Want
You should always ask for more than you actually want. Psychology shows that your bargaining partner will feel like he or she is getting a better deal if he or she negotiates down from your original ask.
And dont fear asking for too much! The worst that can happen if you give a high number is that the other party will counterofferbut the worst that can happen if you dont negotiate is that youll get nothing.
Determining Salary On An Application
Some paper and electronic applications require you to list your salary expectations. One option is to simply skip this question. However, if it’s listed as a required question and you skip it, the employer might think you’re bad at following directions. Some online applications wont let you move on to the next page until you answer all the questions. In this case, here are some options:
- Put in a salary range based on your research.
- Write a phrase like negotiable to demonstrate your flexibility.
- Avoid putting down one specific salary. This will make it seem like you’re unwilling to budge.
Ask To Discuss Via Phone
If you’ve been asked to come back for a second interview, but you’re still in the dark about the position’s pay, now’s the perfect time to ask about it. Respond to your contact’s email address and let them know you’re excited for this next stage, but that you have a few questions you’d like to call and discuss beforehand.
Then, during the phone call, ask a few questions you have about the position, including salary. From there, you can determine if attending the second interview is worth your time.
Do Salary Research First
Of course, this is a two-way street you should drive down with a seat belt on and think of research as your harness against a wild ride. You cannot have an intelligent compensation discussion without knowing that the salary you’re prepared to offer is fair and competitive. So get on solid ground by exploring:
- The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, whose Occupational Outlook Handbook includes information on more than 800 jobs.
- Indeed Salaries, where you can search salaries by job title, company and location.
- Glassdoor, PayScale or other sites that offer local salaries, which will probably take precedence in your compensation discussion or they should. This is your best chance to level the playing field and ensure that you’re dealing with a reasonable and fair-minded professional. Fair-minded is someone who doesnt expect to be paid a salary on par with a professional in New York City when he will be working on the outskirts of Towanda, Illinois .
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Plan The Right Timing
Turns out, timing is everything. Most people wait until performance review season to ask for a salary adjustment, but by that time, your boss has probably already decided what raises will be doled out to the team.
Instead? Start talking to your boss about getting a raise three to four months in advance, writer and former human resources professional Suzanne Lucas of EvilHRLady.org told LearnVest. Thats when they decide the budget.
Is A Final Interview Just A Formality
The final interview is your last opportunity to impress your potential employer before they make a decision on hiring you. The final interview is often just a formality, and the employer could make a job offer on the spot.
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What Is A Promotion Interview
A promotional or internal interview is conducted with the working employees of the company. The employees are chosen, for a new job or position, with more responsibilities within their department. It is a process for hiring internal candidates for the company. The company decides to hire their current candidates for some position within the company, the reason for this being, knowing the work of the employee and their job description. Also, the candidate is familiar with the company and its departments. However, the candidate has to go through a promotional interview to make the employer certain about the promotion.
You Probably Need More Friendsheres How To Make Them
The second question, What are your salary expectations? is forward looking and more appropriate. Nonetheless, as a candidateregardless of which question is askedyou want to do your best to not answer it without seeming evasive. The following strategies, used individually or in some combination, outline how you might accomplish this in a way that doesnt compromise your candidacy.
Gently take the salary question off the table. Be tactful. Acknowledge that you understand why they are asking this question. Your immediate mutual goal is to determine if theres a fit as it relates to the scope of responsibilities for the job. Talking salary so soon is putting the cart before the horse. In particular, you dont want to unnecessarily anchor the recruiter in a number that is ill-informed or too low. One way to do this is to say something like, I understand compensation is an important element and one of many factors to consider. Im not concerned about us being able to reach an agreement, so Id prefer to address this should we reach the offer stage. This type of response also positions you as a reasonable person who is optimistic about being able to find a mutually agreeable solution and starts to build trust.
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Putting Your Strategy To The Test
Whew! A lot to process, I know, but youre toughyoure a rock star
No wait, youre better than that.
Youre a professional. And now, armed with the tools weve given you above and a healthy dose of common sense youre ready to take on any job search with a clear salary goal in mind and the ability to negotiate what you need.
Taking the more passive Old School method might get you a job fasterbut in the long run, is it really the right job for you?
Taking a stand and negotiating your worth might make you uncomfortable in the short run, but when you land the job of your dreams making what you truly deservewell, thats the best feeling in the world!
How Do Know If Interview Went Well
8 Signs You Nailed Your Interview
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Why Employers Want You To Discuss Salary
Most employers expect to talk about salary expectations during the recruitment process. Once an organisation indicates that they want to make you an offer, its understood that remuneration is a central pillar of establishing a mutually agreeable working arrangement, says Jarvis. They are open to having a frank discussion.
Discussing salary in the right way and at the right time is crucial to you securing a role where you feel adequately compensated and recognised for your skills and experience. By following the simple steps outlined above, youre on your way to discussing your remuneration expectations with confidence and receiving the salary you deserve.
Q: What Salary Are You/were You Asking At Your Last Job
A: #1 – It would be very difficult for me to compare my last salary with this position for various reasonsprimarily because I dont have enough information about your whole package. Im sure we can discuss this subject and your entire package before an offer is made.
A: #2 – That would be like comparing two jobs that are entirely different in responsibilities and in the base and bonus structure. I would be more interested in hearing what the package you offer is, before I compare the two jobs. I hope we can postpone this subject until we both have more information to discuss salary and benefit comparisons.
A: #3 – I had an unusual situation at my last job where I took less salary to own a share of the company. I also had a bonus structure that I was receiving. I would have to look at the entire package that you offer before comparing the two jobs or salaries.
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Tips For Giving The Best Answers
Say youre flexible. You can try to skirt the question with a broad answer, such as, My salary expectations are in line with my experience and qualifications. Or, If this is the right job for me, I’m sure we can come to an agreement on salary. This will show that you’re willing to negotiate.
Offer a range. Even if you start by emphasizing your flexibility, most employers will still want to hear specific numbers. In this case, offer them a range . This will allow you to remain flexible while still giving the employer a clear answer. You can create this range based on research or your own experience in the industry.
Think about your current salary. In addition to researching salaries, you can come up with a salary range by using your current or previous salary as a starting point, especially if you’re making a lateral move in the same industry. Unless your last company was known in the industry for its low wages, assume that your current salary is in line with market expectations. Of course, if you’re making a geographic move, keep in mind any changes in the cost of living. It’s always a good idea to know what you’re worth in the current job market.
Only give numbers youd be happy with. Only offer a range that gives you the means to support yourself and your family.
Avoid Salary Talk During The Courtship Phase
The first interview is an opportunity for your potential employer to get to know you and identify your attributes and strengths. Before starting a dialogue about your salary expectations, you need to display suitability for the role and be sure the job is right for you, as well as attracting the attention of the hiring managers.
Waiting until the second or third interview is much wiser for discussing the salary. Once youre confident the company is interested and they understand your value, you can lay your cards on the table.
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Take The Stress Out Of Negotiating With 4 Corner Resources
Job hunting is stressful, but you dont have to go it alone. A headhunter from 4 Corner Resources can connect you with opportunities that will leverage your skills and help you advance your career. When you work with one of our recruiters, it goes beyond just finding you a job we assist with everything from negotiating salary to helping you understand benefits so you can feel confident youre getting the best offer.
Browse our catalog of open jobs or send your resume to to be considered for future opportunities. Find more resources for job seekers including interview tips, industry trends, information on employee rights, and more on our blog.
Give A Salary Range Not An Exact Number
If youve delayed answering the question and the interviewer asks you again, its time to respond. Avoid giving a specific number. Instead, you can provide a range. Cite your research and frame the conversation as being about what is fair rather than what you want. Here are some examples of how to answer:
For the less experienced candidate:
I understand from my research and experience that low 50s to mid-60s is the competitive range for this role in this industry and city.
In this environment and in this location, my research indicates that mid-50s to low-70s is a reasonable range.
For the more experienced candidate:
Based on my experience in this field and my research on the current market, I understand that mid 70 to low 90s is a competitive range.
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Put Your Number Out First
The anchoror the first number put on the tableis the most important in negotiation, since its what the rest of the conversation is based off of. If its too low, youll end up with a lower final offer than you probably want.
You should always be the first person to mention a number so that you, not your counterpart, controls the anchor.
How To Answer What Is Your Desired Salary
Weve got a guide on how to gracefully sidestep salary discussion in interviews. But, sometimes, no matter what you do, salary comes up and theres no way around it. If thats the case, youll need an answer. But, consider that an employer that demands an answer to such a sensitive question early on in the hiring process may not be an employer you want to work for.
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When And How To Negotiate Salary With An Employer
No matter how exciting the opportunity, salary is a major factor in accepting or declining a job offer. Being compensated fairly for your skills and experience has a direct impact on job satisfaction. As such, understanding the nuances of when and how to negotiate salary during an interview or after getting the job offer is incredibly important.
After all, theres a fine line between success and failure: If you bring up salary too early, for example, it can signal youre more interested in the paycheck than the job. Or if you quote a desired salary figure without doing the proper research, you might leave money on the table or price yourself out of consideration.
So how do you talk money with a potential employer? Ask any hiring professional worth their salt about the process of discussing salary during an interview, and theyll tell you this: When the topic of compensation comes up, you need to be diplomatic and be prepared.
Master This Tricky Interview Question Today
Some interview questions are trickier than others. Being clear on when and how to talk salary is essential to your career, whether this is when you are applying for a role with a new company or asking for a pay rise in your current one. Coming to an honest and reasonable assessment of what youre worth and articulating it well takes practice, but you will soon find yourself able to confidently and assertively ask for what you deserve both now, and throughout your future career journey.
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How To Negotiate Salary: 37 Tips You Need To Know
Whether were starting a new job or gunning for a promotion at our current one, we all know that we should be negotiating the salary.
Or do we?
A survey by Salary.com revealed that only 37% of people always negotiate their salarieswhile an astonishing 18% never do. Even worse, 44% of respondents claim to have never brought up the subject of a raise during their performance reviews.
The biggest reason for not asking for more? Fear.
And we get it: Salary negotiation can be scary. But whats even scarier is not doing it.
Heres a good example: A famous study done by Linda Babcock for her book Women Dont Ask revealed that only about 7% of women attempted to negotiate their first salary, while 57% of men did. Of those people who negotiated, they were able to increase their salary by over 7%.
That may not sound like much, but as Stanford negotiation professor : If you get a $100,000 salary and your co-worker negotiates up to $107,000, assuming youre treated identically from then on, with the same raises and promotions, youd have to work eight years longer to be as wealthy as them at retirement.
So, whether youre male or female, in your first job or your fifth, its time to learn how to negotiate. And were here to help, with a roundup of expert tips and further reading to get you totally prepped.