Navigating the Salary Question

Career Blog Jill-Klees

In this month’s Elluminate Career Development Workshop, we talked about how to answer tough interview questions and strategies for handling questions related to salary came up as one of the most difficult. I want to share some tips to navigating around this question.

Bottom line: the interview is not the place to negotiate salary. Think about it, you have not even been offered the job yet. The only safe answer in this situation is to discuss a salary range and never ever give an exact dollar amount until an actual job offer has been made. Here are some good responses that I found on the Brazen Careerist blog written by Penelope Trunk. Check them out and be prepared to respond in a way that “fits” for you next time you get a salary question in an interview.

Q: What salary range are you looking for?

A: Let’s talk about the job requirements and expectations first, so I can get a sense of what you need.

Q: What did you make at your last job?

A: This position is not exactly the same as my last job. So let’s discuss what my responsibilities would be here and then determine a fair salary for this job.

Q: What are you expecting to make in terms of salary?

A: I am interested in finding a job that is a good fit for me. I’m sure whatever salary your paying is consistent with the rest of the market.

Q: I need to know what salary you want in order to make an offer. Can you tell me a range?

A: I’d appreciate it if you could make me an offer based on whatever you have budgeted for this position and we can go from there.

Q: Why don’t you want to give your salary requirements?

A: I think you have a good idea of what this position is worth to your company, and that’s important information for me to know.

Please share your comments and tell us about tactics that work for you.