It is difficult to figure out how much money to ask for when you are interviewing for a new job. It is common practice for any employer to ask about your salary history and requirements.
But it is generally advised to be as elusive as possible while answering salary requirements questions. This article provides a guide on how to answer salary requirements.
As a common practice, employers will try very hard to get candidates disclosing their salary requirements at the onset. As a potential buyer of your service and time, employers will try to talk about numbers first in order to subsequently negotiate the price they’ll pay. But you have to defer and delay the answer. Never be the first to quote a number.
Any company that has a job opening has a budgeted range about what they will and will not pay for that job. If you say a number that’s at the lower end of the range, you’re going to be affected adversely in a number of ways. For a start, if you get the job, your salary will be less than what the job is worth.
Besides, a too low salary quotation could signal that your work is not up to the quality that the job demands, resulting in the employer’s changing the job description and even giving you less responsibility. Finally, since the employer got the better of you right at the beginning, this could set the tone for the future relationship between you.
Again, if you quote a number that is too high, you might not even get the interview. Even if you are called the interview, the prospective employer will go to great length to bring the number down instead of focusing on your skills and experience. You will have a real tough time to get them to think of the value you’ll bring to the job.
The right way to answer the question about money is therefore by deferring the conversation as long as possible. The more you defer, the more effort you can put into making the prospective employer believe in your worth and that they need to hire you for the job regardless of the pay. The right time to talk about numbers is when the company is about to offer you the job.
If a job advertisement urges you to mention salary requirement in your cover letter, you don’t have to answer the ad with a number. Say you have some flexibility and want to be paid the fair market value of the job.
The bottom line is, contrary to the common belief that you must be obedient and nice with prospective employers, the key here is to remain professional and courteous yet firm about salary questions. This way you’ll stand a chance of being valued as a worthy candidate who deserves to be treated fairly.