Interview Question: What are your salary requirements?

Are you prepared to answer this question on your next job interview?

Not to worry. If you are like most, you fall into one of two groups:

  1. You are not prepared.
  2. You have an idea of what to say and are optimistic it will work…but are not sure it is the most effective strategy.

Eric B., a graduating senior at UC Berkeley, used the following talk tracks taught in my classroom and increased his offer from Salesforce from $110,000 to $165,000:

“At this point I am focused on finding the right fit. I’m confident that when I do, compensation will not be an issue.”

Interviewer:

“I can appreciate that but I need to pass along your salary requirements to the hiring committee.”

Eric:

I’m sure you have a salary range for the position. What is the range?

Interviewer:

“The range is based on qualifications and experience.”

Eric:

“I understand, that makes sense. Over the past 3 years, of everyone who has had this position, what has been the lowest and highest salary?”

Boom. Eric received the answer to his question and was able to earn the high end of the range.

Try this strategy the next time you are asked “What are your salary requirements?”

Whatever you do…do not give a number. If it is too high you might remove yourself from consideration and if it is too low you will leave money of the negotiation table. More on this in a future post.