A question about salary could be one of the most difficult ones during a job interview. The employer always has a set maximum budget for a certain position but they still want to hire the best people for the least amount of money so it is almost certain they will ask you this question. Below please find some tips on how to handle this question.
Firstly you have to decide how much money you really want for this position and what is the minimum salary you would accept. Those numbers may differ. Of course everyone would like to make more than they made in their previous job and they have some expectations towards their future salary. At the same time, everyone has certain minimum compensation in mind.
When thinking about a new job, take into account not only the job description and the set of responsibilities but also the location, how long it'd take you to commute, and last but not least - the whole package offered by your potential employer including health insurance, paid holidays and other benefits. Time is money - if your new position is closer to your home, you will be able to spend more time with your family or on your studies. You will also save yourself a stress of a long commute. If the salary package includes many extras , you may consider taking a bit of a pay cut, if you really like the job.
Furthermore, on the internet you can find information regarding typical salaries in different companies, sectors and locations. This should give you an idea on the salary that might be offered for the position you are interviewing for. One you have calculated the minimum compensation you'd accept for your perfect job, and your desired salary, you are ready to tackle the "what are your salary expectations" question.
What you have to remember is that you do not have to disclose your exact previous salary. Neither this information can be released by any of your past employers. It is up to you whether you want to share your past compensation details with your potential employer. You can give them the real number or exaggerate your past salary just a little in order to justify your present expectations - just don't go too far with this! A couple of £k isn't a big deal.
You might consider saying something along the lines of:
"I would expect that salary for this position corresponds with the level of responsibilities and duties - what starting salary do you offer for this job?" - this answer does not give any details and it moves the negotiations back to them, just what you would like to see.
As mentioned above - the budget for the position is already set; all you can do now is agree on the exact number.
Your potential employer may respond to your question in several ways:
o The money offered is lower than your expectations and a minimum number you have set for yourself - this job is probably not the best fit for you.
o The money offered is lower than your desired salary but in line with your minimum compensation - you should think of some convincing arguments for a higher starting salary.
o The money offered meets your expectations - take the offer.
The second response of your potential employer calls for a bit of haggling. Before your lie down your financial expectations and bluntly ask for more, re-consider your situation. The budget for your position is set but the managers might not have offered you a maximum and there is still room for negotiations. If so, you may try to win a slight increase on your starting salary. You may use an argument that your last salary was higher or that you would have expected higher starting salary to go with the increased set of responsibilities for this position.
You may also inquire as to salary details - mentioned in the third paragraph of this article. Ask about extras included in your salary package: days of paid holidays, insurance, family benefits. Your potential employer may also offer some travel allowance or financial help in obtaining professional certifications. You should also ask about the terms and date of the salary evaluation.
Regardless of the approach you take, you should always end it with a question. You do not want to put forward an argument with no scope of discussion - you need to keep the discussion moving in your favour by always giving your interview an opportunity to respond (rather than leaving the conversation wide open which could result in them changing the subject). Your goal is to reach the agreement in your favour with your interviewers.What Are Your Salary Expectations?