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When A Possible Employer Asks How Much You Are Looking To Be Paid?

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I personally love interviews and I never have an issue with them but the one question that I'm always super frightened that I'm going to be asked is "How much are you looking to be paid?" What should I respond with??? Using a specific number seems like a bad idea to be since if you put it too low, you set yourself in a bad financial position but if you set it too high then you look bad in front of your potential boss. So what is the best response when a potential boss asks what you're looking to be paid? #jobs #job #interviews #salary #interviewing-skills #interview-questions #salary-negotiation

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Gabriel’s Answer

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Hi Basseema,


Thanks for a great question and, yes, it is a VERY tricky one to answer. There are several ways to go about it. First, the Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes what's called the Occupational Outlook Handbook which you can find here: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/ It provides tremendous insights on salary, educational requirements, etc. Another option would be look up the salary information for your public counterpart. For example, let's say you want to work as an auditor. You can then look up public employee salaries in your state to see what auditors make in your state on average (which may be higher or lower than the average salaries made in the private sector).


I'll admit upfront that this is not a perfect system because salary information differs based on a variety of factors, e.g. public vs private employees, size of the organization, education/experience requirements, etc. But it will give you a good idea of where to start.


Another good idea would be to seek out internship and/or volunteer opportunities for the career you are interested in. Volunteermatch.org is a great place to get started. Many people tend to think of volunteer opportunities as working at animal shelters and picking-up litter, but if you'll quickly discover that volunteer opportunities exist for everything from office support to marketing and on the list goes. Doing this allows you to not only develop direct experience, but it gives you an opportunity to network with people and build relationships. Through these relationships you'll be able to get an understanding of salary information simply by asking.


Eventually you'll have a pretty good idea of what the particular job you want will pay. From there you can establish a minimum salary in your mind and then extend it to a certain range. Many people have a minimum "plus 5" or plus "10" which means that if your minimum salary expectation is $45,000 your "plus 5" would be $50,000. When an employer asks you about your salary expectations you can give them your range and simply say "I'm looking for something in the $45 to $50,000" range (or whatever your plus range is) and then simply ask if that will be acceptable. If so, then boom... you've cleared that hurdle. If it's not acceptable to them then it means they are either unwilling to match your salary or they simply don't have the capability... either way it's still a win for you.


Two additional notes: It's important to think about compensation as entire package deal and not just based on salary. Is the job that pays $52,000 a year that has two weeks of vacation and no matching 401k a better offer than the company that pays $48,000 per year, but has 4 weeks of vacation beginning the first year and a 401k match? That's something you'll need to decide for yourself, but I do caution everyone to avoid becoming fixed on salary alone because there are a lot of other benefits and perks that may, in the end, be more important to you.


My final note is for you to check out the book called "Get Paid What You're Worth: The Expert Negotiators' Guide to Salary and Compensation" by Gregory Northcraft and Robin Pinkley. It's a few years old, but it still provides tremendous insight on how to make the most of negotiations to get a deal that is uniquely suited to you.


Best of luck!

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Carole’s Answer

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First of all you should go on a site maybe (salary.com or another site) to find out what salary this job is paying for the area that you live in. Each state can pay a different rate for the same position. You will probably get a salary range for your specific area, and that salary range is important for you to remember. When you approach the time to interview your response should be: I know that in this area and with the experience that I have this particular job
pays between $$ amount to $80,000 a year. At that point they know that you have researched this position and have some knowledge of what this position pay. If they have already given you a dollar amount in the job description you can work around those figures. Here is a sentence; "Well, I'd like to earn as much as I can commensurate with the service that I give. I am just as interested in a fulfilling a challenging position as I am in the money I would like to earn." If they haven't specified any amount for this position you can ask now "What kind of money for this position did your organization have in mind?" Always discuss money in conjunction with the relationship it has to the job. What this communicates is that you are just as interested in doing a good job, as you are in the money you will receive. Remember to research the company and the salary for the position that you are interviewing for so that they know that you have done research and have that knowledge. It is always best to go on an interview with more knowledge than less. Always make the opportunity and challenge of the position your interviewing for and not the money. If those things are taken care of, your earnings will reflect your performance as time goes on. . Other money questions should be postponed until the final offer stages. Once you get to that stage, you have established yourself and the value you can bring to the organization. The greater the value you establish for yourself, the more money you will be able to negotiate. REMEMBER: ALWAYS DISCUSS MONEY IN RELATIONSHIP TO THE VALUE YOU BRING.

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Poonam’s Answer

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Prior to even initiating salary negotiations with a potential employer, you have to analyze as to how much is the worth of the job – along with the worthiness of your skills and experience to the organization. Dedicate time to explore salaries well before you even start talking about pay. That manner, you will be set up to put forth your case and get a job offer that is realistic and sensible. This has to be a part of interview preparation for freshers, and needs to be worked upon.

Negotiations can incorporate all aspects related to compensation, which includes pay, stock options, perks, bonus and so on….

Salary negotiation related helpful tips for interview:

BUY YOUR TIME:

Once you’ve gotten the offer, there is no need to acknowledge (or dismiss) it immediately. A straightforward “I have to think it over” can win you an increase in the initial offer.

WAIT FOR THE RIGHT TIME:

When you are aware as to what you ought to be earning, how should you approach getting it? Begin by being exceptionally patient. While interviewing for a new job position, try your best not to raise the remuneration aspect until the point when the recruiter provides you with an offer.

for more details: How To Go About Negotiating Your Salary


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R’s Answer

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Salary—how much are you worth? Tell them that you have researched the company on the website and it looks like a great opportunity which will probably last in a long term relationship, but as far as salary; You would rather wait and see if "they" (the company) is even interested in someone such as yourself before you have those discussions. If the company pressures you for a $$, ask if there is a range they need to stay between. If they still persist, say- you honestly need to research the ranges and don't just want throw a number out there; however really really REALLY appreciate that they are considering you for this role and this job seems very exciting to you.

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Aimee’s Answer

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Hi Baseema.

There is always a budgeted range for every job. Where a person falls on the range is often based on experience. When asked your salary requirements ask the interviewer what the budgeted range of salary for the job is. You could also ask what the midpoint of that range is. And that is where you should aim for. There is no point in asking for an amount that is not even near what they are preparing to pay for the position.

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