Discussing salary during a job interview can be very stressful. This question is dreaded by most interviewees. Talking Cents wants to help prepare you to handle this question so you can be on your way to a great salary and avoiding consumer debt.
3 Ways to Navigate Salary in an Interview
Whether you have gone through this before or it’s your first major job interview, negotiating salary can be intimidating- almost as intimidating as a credit card negotiation! You don’t want to scare the company away with a number that’s too high, and you don’t want to be short changed. Receiving good compensation at work can help you not only feel good but also help you to reduce credit card debt. Here are three ways to answer “the salary question” in an interview.
1. Be Flexible and Honest
“I’m certainly open to discussing a fair salary. Recently, I have been earning around X and I’d like to be somewhere in the range of Y and Z.” Giving a range is a great way to break the ice without being too demanding. The interviewer will appreciate your candidness and the way you have approached it. This is a great tactic if you are switching jobs that are comparable. Research salaries for similar job in the area so you can come up with a fair and appropriate range.
2. Flip the Question
“There are a few things that can also factor into compensation that haven’t been discussed yet- like benefits. Could you tell me what range you expect to hire someone at?” Sometimes it’s helpful to turn the tables back on the interviewer. It will give you a sense of whether you can afford this job or not. Remember that if you want to eliminate debt, your salary and budget need to move forward together. You need more or at least the same amount of cash to get rid of debt.
3. Delay the Answer
“Before we talk about a salary range, I’d like to make sure that we agree on our fit. Could you tell me more about your goals for the job and the department?” You may just need a few minutes to collect your thoughts during an interview, so delaying the answer can buy some time. Offering more interest in the job itself will reflect well on you and give you more insight into the situation.
Your first salary negotiation is an important step to take in your professional life as well as in your personal finances. Poorly navigating salary discussions can set your pay too low for your immediate needs, like eliminating debt, and future needs since your compensation may not advance at a good rate. Make sure to research your position, taking into consideration your experience, the requirements, the benefits, and the location before going to your interview.