Sharon T.

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How to answer questions about salary expectations in interview?

In an interview, when asked about salary/wage expectations, what is the best approach in answering this question?

Presumably, as an interviewee, it is probably not good for yourself to low ball the answer but as a potential employee, it probably sounds too crazy to expect the highest pay.

What kind of answer would be fitting? What do employers look for? #management #human-resources

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The way you respond to the offer can change everything. 1) When negotiating a job offer is to keep things positive – even if the offer is one you’re having a great deal of difficulty drumming up enthusiasm about. Show gratitude for the offer and enthusiasm about the potential of the position before you dive into negotiating mode. 2) Make your counter offer one that is fair, well-reasoned, and thoughtfully presented. CBS Money recommends providing a salary range as part of your counter offer – indicating that companies will often avoid offering the lowest range in an effort to avoid seeming impolite. Though if you do provide a range, make sure the bottom number is one you can live (and work) with. Providing a salary range also gives the employer the impression that you’re flexible – a trait they often prefer in employees. 3) The third tip, and perhaps the most important when it comes to your long-term career goals, is this: be willing to walk away if the offer isn’t right for you. It’s hard to do, especially in a competitive job market. If you’re not desperate to put food on the table or a roof over your head, though, it may be better in the long run to wait for the right offer, rather than simply taking the opportunity that’s available right now. 4) Finally, keep in mind that some companies may have a limit on salaries they can offer, but that doesn’t mean they can’t offer compensation in other ways. If you get pushback on a higher salary, try negotiating for other benefits that could sweeten the offer for you: Performance bonuses Signing bonuses Future pay raises Additional vacation days Company stock Retirement contributions Health benefits Flexible work hours Some people even negotiate for gym memberships. Only you can determine your priorities. If you’re reasonable with your requests, don’t be afraid to open up the discussion. The bottom line: You don’t have to live in fear of interview questions about money or even a salary offer that’s on the low side of what you want or need. Following these tips will help you navigate the tricky waters of salary negotiations, while keeping your head above water.

Last updated Jan 26 '17 at 00:11

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Hi Sharon, That is a wonderful question! As a technical recruiter in the corporate world I am very accustom to asking candidates this in our first recruiter phone screenings and always offer this exact insight to candidates when they respond with their "expected salary". -First of all, before going into any interview - whether it is the initial recruiter phone screening or the final round in-person interview, always do research on not only the company (what do they do? what is their core business? where is their HQ? Is there anything positive in the news about them?) but also about market salary for that role in the industry and then at that company (use of Glassdoor for this is perfect!). This will give you a relatively accurate perception into at least the range you should be aiming for. -The intention of this question from the recruitment side is generally intended to verify that the company's expected pay range for the role aligns with what you are looking for. This is true for both the high and low end of their expected range to be paid to you. The company wants to make sure they can not only "afford you" (i.e. you are not looking for a salary too high out of their available pay range) but also that you are properly valuing yourself and skills (i.e. you don't "low ball" yourself). However, as you mention, this is a difficult conversation to navigate since you don't know the company's approved range up front. -Upon being asked this difficult question by the recruiter / hiring manager I suggest that, before providing a hard number, candidates should put the question back in the company's lap: "Thank you for your question but before providing the number I have in mind I would really appreciate better understanding the details of the job expectations, growth potential, and if possible, the salary range that has been approved for the role. This would allow me to provide you an accurate representation of my expectation in pay." another way to directly ask this may be "Before providing the number I have in mind, I would love to know what the company is expecting to invest in this new role." (this is just a roundabout way of asking "what is the range you have been approved from?") The company / recruiter most likely won't give you the salary range up front but they SHOULD respond appropriately with either an appreciation for your professionalism, further insight into whether they pay competitively within the market / industry, and hopefully more details around the job. If they respond with frustration, disagreement, or pushing you beyond comfort this may be a good time to assess whether this company truly values you as an individual rather than another person to simply recruit. From here you can do two things: 1) Continue to not give a hard number until you fully understand the job responsibilities and instead explain that you would be happy to discuss the salary expectations should you get to the final round interviews and are being considered for an offer 2) Provide a broad range (generally a $5K - $8K span), mentioning that this would be based on a number of other factors (such as those mentioned above by Deb) and you would be happy to discuss this in more detail shoudl you be considered for the opportunity. (*It is not recommended that you mention this may only be from Glassdoor since GD can sometimes not be the most representative). Overall, you are interviewing the company just as much as they are interviewing you. I encourage all candidates to feel empowered to ask equally direct questions to the company so that you have all of the information you need to make an informed decision and answer their questions with confidence. I hope you find this information helpful! It is always my pleasure providing insight to professionals in the midst of navigating the difficult world of recruiting. #recruiting #salary-negotiation #salary #recruiter
Last updated Oct 17 '17 at 21:12

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