How to Handle Salary Expectations Questions in a Job Interview
“What are your salary expectations?”When pursuing a new IT position, you’re likely to hear this question at some time in the job search process. IT recruiters usually like to place the salary expectation conversation at the very beginning of the process, while some hiring managers prefer to ask in the initial phone interview or wait until the end of an in-person or remote face-to-face meeting.
Job interviews can be stressful enough. When the subject of money comes up, many candidates panic. You don’t want to say a too high number and price yourself out of the job. Likewise, if you ask for a too-low amount, you won’t be paid as much as you should or could be.
There are several strategies for answering an interview question about salary expectations; all of which can all help you successfully get to the salary negotiation stage.
Why Employers Ask About Salary ExpectationsThere are three reasons employers typically ask about salary expectations:
- They want to assess where you are in your career.
- They use your response to discern if you’re only interested in what the job pays.
- They have a budget.
How to Handle the Salary Expectation QuestionIt’s exciting to land an interview with a company you feel ideally suited for. The last thing you want to do is lose out on the chance of landing the job because of how you handled the salary expectation question.
Approaching the question with research in mind helps you respond in a way a hiring manager is comfortable with, while hopefully advancing you to the next stage of the interview process.
- Do pre-interview research about what comparable positions in the area are commanding.
- Once you land an interview, keep the focus less on salary and more on whether the job is a good fit for you in the first place.
- If pressed for a salary requirement, provide a salary range instead. Just make sure your lower number is the one you’d be happy to accept. Anything above it is, as they say, “icing on the cake”.
Work With an IT RecruiterWorking with an IT recruiter gives you a distinct advantage in the salary expectation arena. IT recruiters are already working for the employer in their job search, so they know what the company’s salary range is for the position, among other things. Our years of experience in the Las Vegas IT recruitment world have given us great insight into how a job candidate should handle the salary expectation line of questioning:
- First, be honest with yourself about the salary you want. Don’t lowball your abilities if you’re desperate for the job. There’s always room for negotiation.
- Be confident in what you decide. It makes it easier to express it aloud during the interview.
- Don’t decide late in the process to suddenly raise your salary expectations.