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What To Answer When You Discuss Salary Offering During A Job Interview

Job Interview, Negotiating Your Salary, Knowledge Is Power, Discussing Salary At Job Interview, competitive salary

Although having a job is important, you shouldn’t settle the moment you were able to land in one. You should also make sure that you’re properly compensated based on your experience and current position. This is because being underpaid can raise your risk of having poor health. In some cases, being underpaid at your job can become the reason why you’ll experience debts and financial stress.

If you don’t want any of these to happen, you should exert time and effort to know how to negotiate salary. This information can help you create a positive impression during your job interview while making sure that you’ll be earning the appropriate amount of salary the moment you start to work. Living from paycheck to paycheck can adversely affect the quality of your life.

Importance of Discussing Salary Offering 

Contrary to popular belief, you shouldn’t always settle with the salary being offered by your potential employer to you. This might work when you’re a fresh graduate who doesn’t have any professional experience. But, when you already have in-depth experience in a particular industry or niche, you’re in the position to discuss your salary during your job interview.

To paint a clearer picture of why discussing your salary is important, consider the points below:

1.  Not Negotiating Your Salary Will Cost More From You In The Long Run

A lot of people fail to negotiate their salary because they don’t have the confidence to do it. This is especially true for people who are interviewed by recruiters who tend to be intimidating and give off an authoritative aura. 

However, if you want to have the motivation to stay in this job for the longest time possible, you should muster up your confidence to negotiate your salary.

Earning less than what you deserve can hurt your performance at work. More often than not, underpaid employees will be less satisfied with their jobs and eventually lose the motivation to become productive at work. Starting off with a small salary and being unhappy about it will not give you the motivation to work for a raise in the future.

2.  You’ll Have Lesser Chances Of Growing Financially

Regardless of how happy you are with the job you have right now, there’s no assurance that you won’t look for other careers in the future. Human beings usually look for challenges and avenues to grow, which is why they would jump from one employer to another.

If you believe you’ll be doing the same in the future, it’s important that you discuss your salary with all of the employers you’ll meet. The money you’ll earn in your current job can give your future employer an idea of how much they should pay you when you start working for them. Earning less can usually mean that you’ll have slower financial growth or lesser chances of being financially stable in the long run.

For example, if you received a job offer that allows you to earn $10,000 every year when the average annual salary during that time is around $12,000, your next employer will also pay you less than the average yearly salary. 

Earning less than the average salary will make it very challenging for you to make both ends meet, especially if you’re the breadwinner of the family.  

3.  You’ll Learn How To Grow Professionally When You Discuss Your Salary

Discussing your salary provides a lot of other benefits aside from money. Sure, opening up to your potential employer and letting them know your expected salary can be very nerve-wracking, but this situation can be a great platform for you to learn and grow professionally.

Discussing your salary with your potential employer can be an excellent avenue for you to learn how to tackle different conversations at work and manage them in a very professional way. If you stated a salary range that you’re expected to receive from the employer, and the employer strives to meet halfway by offering a smaller amount, this situation could teach you about professionalism, cooperation, and being open-minded.

Discussing your salary during your job interview might be uncommon to some, but doing this can actually benefit your current career positioning and future career trajectory. Aside from earning more every single month, discussing your salary during your job interview can also boost your self-esteem and show the employer that you’re someone who knows their value in the organization.  

What Should You Answer When You Discuss Salary Offering During A Job Interview?

Business people speaking during an interview in their office

As mentioned, discussing your salary during your job interview is an accepted practice in the industry. However, if you want to be successful with your efforts, you should know what to answer the moment the employer throws questions about this topic. You don’t want to sound too impulsive when discussing your salary as this can become the reason why you’ll be turned down for the job. Hence, instead of landing a job that pays you well, you’ll end up being jobless.

For you to make the most out of your job interview and ensure that you’ll be getting the appropriate salary, make sure that you observe the following when answering salary-related questions:

1.  Avoid Salary Talk During The Courtship Phase

Usually, employers will schedule you for several interviews before they can fully gauge your skills and suitability to the organization. You’ll have to impress them during the first, second, and third interviews. Their recruitment process might even include different types of exams to assess your personality and behavior.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when discussing their salary during their job interviews is to open the topic during their first or initial interview. The first interview should be an opportunity for the employer to know you better and identify your strengths and weaknesses as an employee. It’s best if you wait during your second or final interview before you discuss your salary as you’ll be confident that the employer is actually interested in hiring you.

2.  Don’t Imply That Money Is Your Sole Motivator

The salary you’ll earn is one of the reasons why you applied for a job in the first place, but your employer shouldn’t feel as if this is the only thing that motivates you to work. Discussing your expected salary during the first time you meet your employer can create an impression that you’re more concerned about earning dollars rather than the experience and opportunity that the organization will provide to you.

Steer away from this direction by waiting for the employer to open up the topic about salary. If they don’t, politely ask how much you’ll earn from the position. If you’re not amenable to the amount, you can start to negotiate.

3.  Know Your Worth

It’ll be challenging for you to discuss your salary during your job interview if you don’t have any idea how much you should earn. 

What is your definition of a “competitive” salary? What factors will you consider the moment the employer asks you about your expected salary? Not having answers to these questions and opening up topics about salary during your job interview is like going to war without any weapons – you’re unprepared, which can decrease your chances of actually earning the salary you have been expecting.

Before your second or third interview, do your research and look for online resources that tell you the average salary of a specific position. Aside from this information, you should also consider the bonuses and benefits. Being prepared with this information will make it easier for the employer to assess whether or not to give in to your request.

4.  Provide Well-Thought Answers

Being seated in front of your future employer is already nerve-wracking, much more when you start answering their questions. Being in the same room with an HR professional or someone who holds an important position in the organization can be very intimidating.

But, regardless of how nervous you are during the interview, make sure that you don’t provide poor answers just for the sake of answering. If your employer asks you about your expected salary, you don’t have to give a salary range right away. Instead, you can ask for the specifics of the job you’re applying for or the benefits you’re expecting from it. The latter is especially crucial if you’re planning to switch to another career.

The answers you can get from these questions will help you formulate the appropriate salary range without sounding too impulsive. These responses can also help you continue the conversation and avoid any dead air during your job interview.

5.  Give A Salary Range, Not An Exact Number

The organization you’re applying for is a business, which means that they have to be careful about managing their finances to ensure that the business continues to operate in the long run. 

If you want to earn a competitive salary without compromising the financial needs of the organization, it’s best if you give a salary range when asked about your expected salary. When asked with this question, you can answer with the amount you’ve researched prior to the interview.

You should also frame your answers carefully to let your employer know that the range you mentioned is fair to you and the company. This is one of the most obvious reasons why you should exert time researching about the average salary of the industry you want to get into.

6.  Make Sure You Leave Room For Negotiation

The purpose of discussing your salary during your interview is for you and the employer to come up with terms that are amenable to both parties. As mentioned, the organization will have to look into the business side of your salary expectations, which is why they can’t possibly pay you with an amount that’s higher than the average. How can the organization continue to operate if its financial resources are spent on your salary alone?

After giving your desired salary range, make sure to leave room for negotiation. For example, if the employer mentioned that they couldn’t give you the salary you’re expecting, inquire if there are any other non-monetary perks that you can get from the job. These perks can compensate for your salary, allowing you to enjoy more from your job.

If the employer can’t meet your expected salary, they might offer paid vacation leaves, gift certificates from partners, and free lodging accommodations to you.

7.  Never Bluff

Since most employers will only require a resume and application letter to schedule applicants for an interview, a lot of candidates will lie about their information thinking that they’ll have better chances of earning more money from their next employer. Some candidates will stretch their experience and exaggerate their answers, just so they can land a high-paying job.

Regardless of how tempting it is, make sure that you don’t bluff when discussing your salary during your job interview. This information can easily be validated by the employer. If they find out that your actual professional experience is different from your answers, you’ll lose your chances of getting hired. Lying to your potential employer will surely leave a lasting and negative impression, which can become the reason why you’ll be turned down for the job.

When discussing your salary during your job interview, be as open as possible and be honest about your situation. If you only earned minimum wage from your previous job, let the employer know. If you’re currently facing debts because your previous job paid you less, be transparent about it with your employer.

Being honest is an important trait that employers are looking for in their employees. In some cases, your honesty can become your edge against other applicants and your ticket of finally earning a salary that fits your needs and experience.

Knowledge Is Power

If you already have the schedule of your upcoming job interview, practice your negotiating skills by using this article as your guide. Aside from making sure that you’ll receive an adequate amount of salary, these tips can help you start on the right foot so you’ll have better chances of getting hired and eventually attain financial stability from your job! 


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