Is money a dirty word?
Generally at some point during a job interview you will be asked about your salary expectations – that is – how much money you are looking for.
There are a few reasons why employers ask this question but the main reason is to be sure your salary expectation is in tune with what the role is paying.
Here is some advice on answering this very direct question without losing a potential job offer…
Have an idea of what the job is paying
If the role you are applying for did not advertise a salary you need to research the average salary paid for the position, to do this go to a national job site and search title and location, this will give you a good idea of what it is going to pay.
Know your worth
You know what you are earning now or what you received in your last role. Use the research you have done to ask for a realistic figure above this. Remember be realistic, no one is going to give you a 50% salary increase, 10% would be good.
Be prepared to take a drop in salary if needed
If you are changing your career, have been unemployed for some length of time or are interviewing with a Company that is structured differently from your last employer you may have to take a small salary drop – be prepared.
You don’t have to answer salary questions
If you are asked the question “what salary are you looking for” there is no law that says you have to answer. A good way of dealing with this is to say that you are looking for a competitive salary which reflects the responsibilities and experience required for the position.
Rather than tell a potential employer what salary you’re looking for give a salary range. Avoid giving a specific figure – why put a limit on what you would accept. Be realistic but say something like “I believe this type of role usually pays between X and Z, that’s the range I’m looking for”.
Never try to negotiate in an interview
You may have to negotiate your salary, but never, ever try to negotiate before you have been offered the role, how do you know the employer wants you? The time to negotiate if you need to is when you know they want you, but if you do negotiate, be realistic – the employer will have a budget in place for the position.
Don’t out price yourself
There is always a temptation in life to ask for the world, we all want to earn £100k per year but the reality is most of us don’t. If when asked what sort of money are you looking for you come up with a ridiculous figure, the employer will immediately dismiss you as an opportunist – not a genuine candidate – keep it real.
To finish, whilst salary is really, really important when seeking a job it’s not always the most crucial part of a job search, we all work to earn but we also work to enjoy what we are doing – money isn’t everything.
Happy Job Hunting!