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how to answer salary expectation question

by oldcat, published: 2008-07-12 08:19 viewed: 661 times
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Sooner or later in the interview process, you will be asked this question: What are your salary expectations? How you deal with this question is crucial so that you are not left out of the considerations. Below are some advice about how to handle this salary question.

Avoid offering a solid figure. Don't answer the question, instead, say, "I will expect the fair market value. Make me an offer and we can discuss it." Or "Maybe you can tell me what your range is?"

Also, the best approach is to arm yourself with information. It is very easy to find what your range is, based on the job title and industry. There are several websites you can consult to find salary ranges for various professions in regions all over the country. A few reliable ones include Salary.com, Vault.com, WageWeb.com, SalarySource.com and JobStar.org. Professional associations also sometimes conduct salary surveys and publish their results.

Employers will often ask the salary-expectation question as a way to screen out candidates. On an application, it's fair to write something like "negotiable" or offer a very broad range. If your resume and cover letter are impressive, potential employers are unlikely to rule you out based on a vague response.

Remember that if you do name an amount early in the process, it's going to be difficult to renegotiate later. If and when you're asked the question in an interview, ask the interviewer about the position's salary level for someone with your qualifications.

If you're pressed for a figure, you can offer a range that you've determined based on research of the position's fair market value.
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