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How Much Do You Expect to Get Paid – Interview Question
Updated August 03, 2016
When you are applying for a job a typical job interview question is How much do you expect to get paid? Depending on your answer, you can price yourself out of a job offer or you can get a job offer that is lower than you might have expected. This is one of the very trickiest questions to answer since it s so easy to give a self-defeating response.
The key to answering this question well is to prepare in advance by researching salaries at the company, and in similar positions in the same industry.
- I understand that positions similar to this one pay in the range of $X to $Z in our region. With my experience, I would like to receive something in the range of $Y to $Z.
- I would like to be compensated fairly for my experience.
- The research I ve done indicates that positions like this one pay $X to $Z and something in that range would be acceptable to me as a starting salary.
- My salary requirements are flexible, but I do have significant experience in the field that I believe adds value to my candidacy.
Tips for Answering Salary Questions
Here are some strategies to try when asked how much you expect to get paid:
- Provide a range: Experts suggest that you give a range, rather than an actual number. If you are offered the low end of your range, use that as an opportunity to request other non-salary benefits as well, such as reimbursement for classes, vacation days, etc.
- Do your research: Not only should you know the average salary for your industry, but it s also wise to know geographical information as well. A nurse in Alaska and a nurse in New York will not necessarily have the same salary. Salaries can vary widely based on the cost of living in the area, as well as the number of qualified applicants nearby. Use sites like Glassdoor. Payscale. and Salary.com to research salaries.
- Play it coy: Typically, experts recommend that you avoid saying a number first. You can say something like, I d need to know more about the position and its responsibilities before thinking about salary.
- Keep your cost-of-living needs in mind: It can feel very game-like to negotiate a strategy, but it s important to keep your financial needs front-and-center. Will the salary you request cover your expenses? If not, how will you make up the difference? Weigh your needs against the research you ve done about salary — if the two numbers aren t a close to each other, it could be a sign that the role isn t a good match.
- Get information from the interviewer: Use this question as an opportunity to flip the tables on the interviewer, and find out what the salary range is for the position. You can ask: What s the range you have in mind for the position? or What are some non-salaried benefits available?
Find more salary negotiation tips. including where to find salary calculators and how to request a raise.
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Read more answers to interview questions about salary and share your response to salary related questions.
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