Salary Questions

At some point in the interview process you will be asked about your salary expectations. Many people find this an uncomfortable subject, mainly because they don't want to give the interviewer a bad impression by appearing too greedy, or out of line with what the job would offer. Here are some tips on how to deal with questions about salary.

Try Not To Be The First One To Bring Up Salary

Your primary goal during the interview process should be to convince the interviewer that hiring you would be a great move for their company. The best time to talk about salary is AFTER you have established your fit for the job, not before.

There are two reasons for this. The first is that if you bring up questions about salary early in the process, you will appear greedy instead of focused on how you can benefit the employer. Secondly, from a pure negotiation standpoint there is a chance that the interviewer will give you information salary without you having to give your expectations, which puts you in a position of strength in negotiating your offer.

Ask If They Have A Salary Range For The Job

If the subject of salary comes up during your interview (and it probably will) then you need to understand that in most companies a budgeted amount has already been set aside for the role you are applying for. That is, the interviewer already has a salary range in mind. Use this to your advantage by asking...

Is there a salary range that has been established for this role?

This is perfectly acceptable, and while the interviewer may decline to answer, for the most part they will share this information with you. This is a huge advantage in terms of negotiating the best possible salary for your new role.

Tips on Salary Negotation

Just like you are trying to get the best offer possible, it is the the interviewers job to get the best talent available, for the lowest possible cost. Don't be surprised if the interviewer offers you a lower salary than you are hoping for. Depending on how well you established your value to the company during the interview process, and what type of job you are applying for there is often room for negotiation.

It is a delicate balance to strike between fair negotiation, and leaving a bad taste in the interviewers mouth due to greedyness. Hopefully you have a sense based on the interview of how good an impression you made on the interviewer, and how well your skills fit with the job you are applying for. If you feel the company 'needs you' then you can be a bit more aggressive in regards to your salary demands.

If on the other hand you felt like you were a 'marginal' candidate due to limited job experience etc. then you should be cautious about asking for more money.