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How do I answer the salary expectation question in an interview to my best advantage?

Jun 14th, 2014

When an interviewer asks you what your salary expectation is, it can be cause for some anxiety. If you say a value that’s too low, you may lose money; if you say a value that’s too high, they may not consider you for the position. The key to responding to this question is to be prepared and tackle it from the standpoint of a negotiation.

Preparation:Do as much research as possible before the interview. Use websites like Payscale.com to look at compensation ranges for your position. Consider factors like industry, location, and years of experience and see how they affect the range. Keep in mind that your specific position may not be listed, but the idea is to garner as much knowledge as possible on compensation ranges of positions that are similar to yours.

Also consider the type of company that you are applying to: non-profit, small business, large corporate, etc. Then in consideration of the actual responsibilities outlined for this position, start to define a range in your mind that you would be comfortable with, and be prepared to defend your reasoning.

Negotiation:During the interview or job offer, when asked what salary range you expect, be sure you have all your questions about the scope of the position answered first. You can’t be expected to give a salary expectation if you don’t fully understand what the job entails. Don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions in this regard.

Rather than giving a specific number right off the bat for the salary you expect, you can discuss the trends in compensation that you found in your research, and ask the interviewer if that’s in line with what they’re offering. If you’ve done your research, you should be confident in your salary expectations, so don’t just accept whatever they put on the table; make the case for what you think you deserve.


Jun 14th, 2014

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