Answering the Question: What Are Your Salary Expectations?
When hiring managers or recruiters ask what is your expected salary, it’s really a trick question. Depending on what stage you are in the interview process, the question indicates a couple of different motives on the part of the hiring manager.
If you’re in the first or second round of interviews, asking what’s your expected salary is simply a tactic to weed out your application for the position. Designed to eliminate you as a candidate, the question about salary expectations is the reason why many candidates don’t make it to the next round. They get the answer to this question wrong.
But if you’re in the final round of interviews, then asking what’s your expected salary is a good faith question on the part of the hiring manager. They are possibly considering hiring you and possibly want to accommodate your salary expectations, in which case you can sell your qualifications, as well as point out the demands of the position to justify your expected salary.
Salary Expectations During First Round
When a hiring manager is interviewing 20 candidates, they can effectively eliminate all of the candidates whose salary expectations are outside their budgeted range. Without knowing what the company’s actual salary range is for the position, you can answer the question without providing a single number.
In the first or second interview, you can say at this point in the process, you need more details about the position before you can give an accurate answer. There’s a good chance the hiring manager will ask you what details you need. You can then either list everything, including work hours, overtime, shift work, travel requirements, breaks, benefits, flex time, remote work, and general job demands… or you can simply say you’re trying to get a feel for the company culture.
If they continue to press you after you’ve stated you need more information, flip the script on the hiring manager. You can then say that you understand that both the position and the salary must have been approved. And then ask what the approved salary range is. If they answer this question, then you can say that fits your expectations.
If the hiring manager won’t provide a range but still presses you to answer the question, you can then avoid the single number but instead provide a wide range of your own. Before your interview, research the market and salary trends. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides federal data on industry wages. They can’t eliminate you if your range is between $40,000 and $100,000, depending on the job requirements.
Let Optimum Staffing Solutions Guide You
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