Preparing for a Salary Discussion


You’re about to interview for a new job, and you feel like salary might be a point of discussion. This can feel awkward because you don’t want to send the impression that you’re only interested in the job for the money, but the amount you’ll be paid is important.

It’s great that you’re already thinking ahead about how to handle this topic since it can require a certain finesse. Here’s some advice to help you navigate money talks with ease.

Five Ways to Handle a Salary Discussion

Know Your Worth

You’re a talented professional with so much to offer any company, so the last thing you want to do is undercut your value. Therefore, it’s important to go into the interview knowing how much you should rightfully expect to be paid. Use a salary calculator — such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics — to determine how much someone in your field, with your experience, should be paid in your local area.

Give a Range

When stating your salary requirements, there’s no need to give a specific dollar amount. Providing a range can be a good idea for many reasons, including not inadvertently overstepping the salary range for the position and not accidentally undercutting your potential new salary. This leaves room for negotiation, which is important at this stage of the interview process.

Redirect the Question

If you don’t feel like you have enough information to answer the salary question yet, feel free to stall. If the interviewer asks about your salary requirements and you’re still unsure, let them know you’re not ready to answer yet, until you learn more about the position. This is perfectly acceptable because you can’t be expected to name your price when you don’t fully understand what the job entails.

Research Local Laws

It’s possible that the interviewer will ask you to provide your salary history. Conduct research beforehand to make sure this question is legal in your state and local area because it’s outlawed in some.

Consider Other Forms of Compensation

Money isn’t the only form of compensation companies can provide. It’s possible your dream job won’t come with as big of a paycheck as you’d like, so think about other forms of compensation you might consider acceptable. For example, you might be willing to accept a lower salary for additional vacation time, fully paid health insurance premiums, or equity in the company. Having this negotiating tactic in your back pocket can help you get both the job you want and compensation that makes you feel valued.

Ready to take your career to the next level in the Northern Indiana/Southwestern Michigan area? Wood Staffing is here to guide your search. Apply online today to get started!