In any job interview, you should be prepared to talk about money. Here's our guide to discussing salary requirements with your potential employer.
Your first interview with a company is important, but all those questions can be intimidating.
You know you’ll get questions about your strengths and weaknesses, your experience, and your goals — but there’s a good chance you’ll also be asked about what kind of paycheck you’re expecting.
Today, we’re going to help you figure out how to answer the question “What are your salary requirements?” during your interview.
Answering this question is going to require some research and some reflection on your own abilities. Take a look at the tips below, and by the time you walk into your interview, you will know just what to say.
Do Your Research
Before you start thinking about how much you want to make, do plenty of research into how much other people make for the same work.
Don’t just look in one place for the numbers — check out multiple sources. The more research you do, the more likely you are to get an accurate idea of the average salary for your industry and job position.
Take the time to become familiar with how much money people make for your job in the area where you live. Cost of living can have an effect on your potential salary.
Here are a few good online tools you can use for your salary research:
On those sites, you may be able to find salary information from past or current employees at the company where you’re interviewing. This will give you a realistic salary range to work with.
Who knows — you may be able to request a lot more money than you initially thought!
Consider Your Skills
Your experience and skill level can change how much money you can reasonably ask for in your interview.
The longer you’ve been working in your industry, the higher you can reach. The more skills you have that are listed in the job post
, the more money you can ask for.
For example, if a job description mentions a software app that you’ve been using for years, you can use that to justify your salary requirements.
Never exaggerate or lie about your skills just to get more money. You will be found out eventually.
Shoot for a Range
In your first interview, it’s much smarter to start with a range rather than an exact number. This gives you plenty of wiggle room and may result in you making more than you were expecting.
Put your baseline salary at the bottom of your range.
If you need to be paid $45,000 to take the job, set your range at $45,000-$53,000 or something similar.
Don’t make it a crazy range. Keep it reasonable.
Make sure your numbers still fit within the salary range that you researched. That way, you have evidence to back them up if you’re asked about it.
Make It Clear You Are Flexible
Somewhere in your answer, you should make sure the interviewer knows you’re willing to negotiate. If an interviewer thinks you have no wiggle room, they may be less likely to bring you back for further interviews.
Saying something as simple as “I have some flexibility” after offering your range will do.
You could also say that you are willing to learn more about the position and benefits offered and there may be flexibility based on those things. Benefit packages
will always be taken into consideration when it comes to your salary.
Check Out Example Answers
The internet is full of wonderful resources to help you through the interview process. One of the best ways to prepare your salary answer is to look up how examples are worded.
This will give you a good idea of what employers are looking for and will help you word your answer properly when the time comes.
Here are a few examples to get you started:
1. “Considering my experience in the field and my skills, I would like to receive between $X and $Y for this position. Does this match with what you had in mind?”
2. “Based on my research, I believe that a salary of between $X and $Y is appropriate for someone with my experience. I am open to learning more about your expectations and the included benefits for this position.”
3. “My baseline salary requirement is $X. I feel that the value I can bring to this role supports my expectations. Is this in line with the offer you were considering?”
4. “I'm open to discussing what you feel is a fair salary for the position. However, based on my previous salary, my knowledge of the industry, and my research of this area, I would like to receive a salary somewhere between $X and $Y. I'm open to discussing these numbers with you.”
Research is your best friend when it comes to numbers. You may already have a vague idea of what you want to ask for, but backing that up with solid evidence of the industry average will make it much easier for you to sell your expectations to future employers.
Spend the time to formulate your answer to this all-important question because it’s going to matter.
Interviewers want to see that you know your worth. Over or underselling yourself on salary could quickly put a nail in the coffin of your career dreams. Thankfully, by following this guide, you will be completely confident of your salary requirements when it matters most.
Caitlin Sinclair is the property manager at The Beverly
. With five years of property management experience and many more in customer service, she has a passion for her community and looks forward to making The Beverly the place to call home.