The dreaded salary question definitely trips people up during the interview. You don’t want to price yourself out however still expect to be at a certain income. If you ask for too much, someone else may get the job. When you ask for too little, you end up missing out on extra earnings and could feel unhappy in the long run. For most people, it makes sense to hold off on answering this question until the end of the process. At that point, the company has fallen in love with you and knows that you have the right skills for the job.
Dealing With a Lowball Offer
During salary negotiations, some companies start with a lowball offer. They might want to save money, or they may really think that the offer is fair. If they know that you are worth the money, an extra $5,000 or $10,000 might not make a big difference to the company. For you, that amount could be a deciding factor. See if there are benefits that make the offer worth it. If not, counter the offer with a higher one. If the company is firm on their offer, you still have options. Ask if you can be reviewed in three or six months for your next raise. By that time, you will have proven your worth to the company.
Answer the Salary Question With Facts
Facts can help you get a higher salary. You can use websites like Glassdoor and the Bureau of Labor Statistics to find out what people are paid for that position. If you have experience, you may be in the middle or top of the range. If you are new to the field, expect to be at the lower end. If you are working in a high-cost area, you can also expect to be paid more. Using these facts will help you present your counter and show that you did your homework.
Another way to answer the salary question is by finding out more about the company. Some companies start at a lower salary, but they offer raises at each review. Ask about what people normally get paid in the first year and thereafter. If they start low and increase pay quickly, it might be worth it to take a lower salary in the beginning.
Be Careful About Your Answer
One danger with the salary question is that you may start too low. If you say that you want $25 and the firm was willing to pay $30, they will probably choose your answer. You are willing to work for less, so there is no reason for them to spend more on you. Research the normal salary for your job before your interview. It’s generally best for the company to present the offer first.
If the company offers a low figure, you can negotiate. Talk up your experience and what you offer the company. Ask if they ever make exceptions to the target salary. If they are offering a pay that is lower than average, raise the issue of being paid at market. They still might not increase the wage, but they are more likely to do so if you have the experience and facts to show why you deserve more. It’s critical that you have the facts and are ready for whatever comes your way.