Have you ever been caught off guard by the salary question during a job interview? Perhaps the interview was going well and overall their appeared to be a good connection. But then, the question about salary came up and it threw a wrinkle in everything. Why? You weren’t prepared. You blurted out some number that didn’t fit within the employer range because you didn’t study beforehand, or your number was well below what you should be paid.
Bankrate.com offers a number of tips for job interviewing and included some helpful tips for talking salary. Overall, you need to be prepared to talk salary during an interview and the first thing to do is avoid getting locked into a specific number.
Here are some of the tips they provided:
Provide a salary range – Always try to give a range and it should never be more than $10,000. I would try to start your range no less than what you’re getting paid today and use the range in your favor. That being said, you need to pay attention to the marketplace and what the job is paying. Your range might start lower than current pay under certain circumstances. Try not to take a pay cut more than $10,000 unless your budget can handle it.
Pay cuts – I’ve turned down a few job opportunities because I found out the salary was grossly different than what I was making. If you find out the employer isn’t near your range it’s fair to politely decline.
Justify the number – Obviously, you don’t want to just throw numbers around. You have to justify those numbers by backing them up with years of experience, the skills you’ll bring to the table and some of your own research.
Does some salary research – You can do some research online to find what the position currently pays in the marketplace. There are plenty of websites that provide this type of information. For starters, check out Salary.com and GlassDoor.com. GlassDoor provides feedback from employees that have worked for a wide variety of companies. Some of this feedback includes salary.
Overall, I think it’s best to find out what the job pays in advance of the interview. This is easy if you’re working through a recruiter, as they’ll likely talk about salary during the interview screening process. As with an employer, stick with a range. Don’t get locked into a specific number. I also think it’s fair to ask about salary if no one brings it up. It’s a waste of everyone’s time to go through the grueling interview process only to find out you’re no where in the same salary ballpark as the employer.
What are your tips for talking about salary during an interview?