While it’s generally frowned upon to bring up the topic of salary expectations during a job interview, this doesn’t mean that an interviewer won’t ask you how much you make. If you find yourself in this position, it’s important to have a proper response prepared. Here are some guidelines for discussing how much you make in an interview and doing so with poise.
Don’t Aim Too High or Too Low
A Salary that’s too high could rule you out as a candidate; too low could let them think you’re underqualified. Give a salary range that’s reasonable that meets your salary expectations if you’re given the job. To find the right number, do your homework ahead of time, which leads us to our next point.
Research Average Salary
Regardless of how much you actually earn, you’ll want to perform some research on what the average salary is for the position in your industry and geographical location. These factors are important because a person living in Dallas, Texas, might earn considerably more than a person living in rural Alabama. Spend some time looking online at what the average salary is for someone in your position and location. If you’re not sure where to start, this resource from the U.S. Department of Labor can help.
Consider How Much You’d Like to Make
You don’t want to sell yourself short if you land the job, so make sure that the answer you provide is in line with what you would like to earn.
Choose a Salary Range
Rather than picking an exact number, it’s usually best to go with a salary range where there’s a bit of wiggle room. This way, you’re more likely to receive an agreeable salary that works for both you and your employer.
When providing an interviewer with an answer, Forbes explains that you could say something like the following. “Based on my research, similar positions in this geography and industry are currently paying between $x and $y. Is this also the range for which you’ve budgeted for this position?”
By approaching this question the right way and being prepared ahead of time, you can provide a seamless answer and increase your odds of being hired. At the same time, this should result in a salary that meets your expectations.