Answering the Dreaded Salary Question
“What are your salary expectations?” may well be the diciest question job seekers are asked. How does one frame the response so that the salary range is not too high to turn off the potential employer or so low that it will drag down your income indefinitely?
The first thing to remember is that being asked about salary expectations is standard, but being asked about current salary is actually illegal in some states. Therefore, it pays to know your region’s regulations.
Because all job seekers know the question is likely to come up, preparation is key. Experts recommend the following strategies:
- Research typical salaries for the job title and geographic location of the position. Factor in your skill level and any other unique qualities you bring to the table before tossing out a number.
- Know your needs. Determine the amount you need to sustain yourself.
- Ask for details of additional benefits. The amount an employer chips in for health care, child care, bonuses, or stock options can affect the final salary figure.
- Delay your answer. If you do not know enough about the position yet, respond by saying you can’t answer until you know more about the total compensation package.
- Respond with a range of salaries. Rather than picking a single figure, provide the potential employer with a salary range you would find acceptable.
Ace That Online Job Interview
- Investigate the firm. Visit sites such as Glassdoor or Indeed to learn about what employees say about their company. Pour over the organization’s website and social media to find out what the company says about itself.
- Scope out the interviewer. If you know who will be interviewing you, visit LinkedIn to learn about the interviewer’s background and current position.
- Prepare your interview space. Make sure lighting, camera angle, clothing, and background show you as a professional. Also try using your communication technology before the interview to ensure you are comfortable with it.
- Practice answers. If you’ve never been on an interview, locate lists of typical questions and rehearse your answers ahead of time.
- Focus on your value. Be prepared to convey what your specific skill set can bring to the organization rather than what the organization can do for your career.
- Ask the interviewer questions. Make sure you have questions to ask at the end of the meeting. Jot down questions that arise during the interview, too.
- Send a thank-you e-mail. Use specifics from the interview in your follow-up e-mail, which should go out within 24 hours after the interview.
Finally, remember that each interview helps prepare you for the next one. Learn from each experience.
From The New York Times
Questions Not to Ask in Job Interviews
It’s common knowledge that interviewees should have a list of questions to ask at the end of or during an interview. But here are some questions to avoid.
- Personal questions (Are you single? Is that a picture of your child?)
- Easily researched questions (What does your company do? Is your company eco-conscious?)
- Self-involved questions (Will I have my own office? Will I have to work long hours? Did I land the job?)
- Gossipy questions (Are the rumors about a buyout true? Is it true you promote from within the organization?)
However, it is okay to ask about the next steps in the hiring process.