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Career Detour: Talking About Money Too Soon When Interviewing

One of the first rules in negotiations is that you never go first! Remember the game, The Price is Right? Within the first two minutes of your phone interview, you’re likely to hear the question, “What’s your salary expectation?” You now have to give a bid on what the company considers their retail price for the job without going over. You know how this works. You could try and answer it with another statement depending on the role, offer letter, and benefit package; something like, “I’m sure you pay a fair market rate. What did you have in mind?” or “What, roughly, is your range?” But no matter what, do what you can to stay away from the salary quote. If you do indeed deliver a range, remember that the hiring manager will always start with the lowest number you throw out. If you can get them to talk about the job and role, you might even be able to expand the role and responsibilities – thus increasing the salary offer!

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Chris Fawcett says:

    Many companies are pushing that question even further ahead in the screening process, by placing a required data entry field for salaray expectations on their HR portal. You cannot even submit an online resume or apply for a position without putting some number out there, even before a candidate has a chance to get in the door and follow the above advice.

  • David says:

    These rules only apply when you are talking to a real person. That’s why networking is so important. Often times you avoid this altogether if you spend the time building relationships that walk you past this process. If not you have to play by their rules.