Answering that Salary Question

confDear CoachFaith: I have ready made answers for almost all interview question except this ‘How much do you want to be paid’ question. And that is for two reasons, one, it feel wield that am asked to cost myself, like, fix a price tag on myself! I hate it. Two, just how much low or high do I go! A books said it feels classy to go a bit high and another tells me not to name a price up front at all. In the recent past I have received calls from two human-resources departments and one recruiter have called and demanded to know how much salary I wanted. When I refused to name a number, he ceased all conversation. Both HR departments also wanted me to name my salary before interviewing. Is this the new trend? – Paul, Warri

Mr. Paul, this is not new at all, it is basic negotiation. It can be tricky but its important. Answering the consequential salary expectations question the wrong way can cost you many more job offers. Companies  and HR professionals ask job candidates the salary question, ultimately beacause they want to know if they can afford you before they invest time and resources courting you to come to work for them (or even for the interview at all). That all about it!
Your mission will be first of all to SELL yourself on them, and convince them of your worth to their organization before you reach the point of salary negotiations.

Solution: Where they insist you make a mention!

Before you consider answering the question, it’s important to know the going rate for jobs in your field and in your job market (location). And to have the better chance, you need to give a price range that reflects your walk-away rate (anything lower and you’d pass entirely). Follow up on that range by explaining that until you know more about the job, you can’t give a specific number. Stress that you are willing to further negotiate/review/trade the salary up or down (for an interesting opportunity to grow your skills or for an attractive corporate culture and impressive co-workers. Close by saying that you applied for the job because you believe their company possesses these traits, and thus you are willing to further negotiate. This indicates that you are flexible – just the opposite of the impression given by following the typical advice of refusing to name a price.

Paul, a more detailed advice I find on HOW TO ANSWER: What Are Your Salary Expectations? question is on do yourself the good of checking it out!


You’re Great-by Design!


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