Being asked about your salary expectations is common during job interviews and preparing your answer should be part of your interview preparation. Yet when I asked this question at interviews recently at lot of the candidates were unprepared to answer it and looked unprofessional when they had to respond.
Here are some tips to help you answer this question well
Tip 1 – Know your answer
Prepare to be asked about your salary expectations and have your answer ready.
Also, watch your body language when you respond to the question. Don’t shuffle in your seat, put your head on the desk or say “oh man I hate this question”. It will be asked at some point during the hiring process so know your answer! Hesitating, answering with a lack of confidence or failing to answer altogether does not present you in a positive light with the interviewer.
Tip 2 – Know your market rate
It’s critical that you know what your skills and experience are worth in the current labour market. You can learn this from talking to recruiters who recruit in your space, reviewing free online salary survey data, job ads and information you pick up during job interviews.
Tip 3 – Be reasonable about what to expect
Be prepared that if the salary isn’t enough for you odds are the job isn’t the right one for you! And if the salary is way above what you are getting now then you may fail at the requirements for the role! There has to be a natural match.
Tip 4 – Take a deep breath and SAY it
State your salary expectation clearly, slowly and with unwavering confidence.
Tip 5- It’s ok to give a range or a ballpark
Say that your salary would be dependent on a range of factors that you need to take into consideration. For example factors like what your role and responsibilities would be, employee value proposition, location to home, work life balance and development opportunities.
Unless my client feels strongly or we know the market well you can postpone the question with answers like ” I would rather discuss salary when we were further through the recruitment process and I have a better understanding of the role” or ” the other roles I am considering have been within the range of —” with a big range suggested.
Tip 6 – Be prepared to say what you are earning now or in your last job
For candidates wanting a salary increase, (who doesn’t?!), don’t let the hiring manager focus on ‘current’ earnings. Instead focus on the role being applied for and relevant industry rates. There’s nothing worse than being offered the job but you feel like they got a bargain!
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We would be delighted for you to reproduce our articles, as long as they remain intact and contain the author’s details as follows: Kris Reynolds is Managing Partner at Let’s Talk Career (www.letstalkcareer.com) in Australia. Kris can be contacted on 1800 284 255 or email@example.com.