So much of the job search process is focussed on preparing for the actual job interview and being able to answer the behavioral interview questions you are likely to be asked with ease. Assuming you nail that, the interviewer may ask you about your salary expectations or what your current salary is.
There is lots of great information available on how to avoid the question or how to answer it vaguely enough to not hinder your chances of getting the job. If you are not sure how to reply, take a look at one of the posts below to guide you.
You can’t put off answering this question forever. The interviewer may push you for an answer even after you have tried to avoid it or you reach a point in the interview process where salary discussion is expected. You need to be informed at either point before you damage your chances of getting the job.
How to Research Salary Rates Before the Job Interview
- Talk to Recruiters
If you are working with large recruiting firms ask them up front what salary range they expect for your role and industry. Not only will you have a guide of what they can do for you but you will also be able to compare it to your other research findings and see if they are trying to undersell you.
- Stalk Job Vacancy Websites
Not every job advertisement will include a salary but many do. Use that to give you a rough idea of the range on offer. Off course take into account the years of experience and ajust your range accordingly
- Visit These Sites
There are many useful websites that you should visit and investigate your industry and your role in particular. Here is a list of really great sites:
- Set a Range
Don’t fixate on a set number, make sure you develop a salary range you would be happy with that is consistent with your research findings.
Things to remember when determining your acceptable salary range:
- Make sure you can live with the bottom end of the range. There is no point in setting a lower number so you stay in the running for the job if you cannot afford to live on that salary. Also, accepting a lower number you are unhappy with will influence how you feel about the job and the effort level you put in so make sure it is acceptable to you.
- Counter offer with a salary range not a specific number. Most companies will not come back with the lowest figure in the range, it makes them look cheap. By offering a range you should do a little better in the negotiation assuming you can accept the lower end of the scale.
- Think about benefits not just straight pay. Some companies have a strict salary cap for certain roles or during some tough financial periods. If they are unwilling to move much on the actual salary don’t forget to ask for some key benefits instead. Think about things like company shares, health benefits, onsite gym membership, flexible hours or days, achievement based bonuses etc…
- Be prepared to walk away. This is the tough one, you worked hard, got through the interview, love the job and the salary just isn’t in a realistic range for you. Walk away and keep going with the job search process, something better will come up. As with point 1, accepting a lower number you are unhappy with impact the way you feel about the job and the effort level you put in.
Salaries pay the bills and put food on the table. You must take some time to do your homework in regards to salary ranges before you walk into a serious job interview so you come out with the best possible result for you.