You’re excited. You have a job interview lined up, perhaps one a Tampa employment agency set up for you or one you arranged through networking. You want to do well. But then the topic of salary comes up. How should you handle it? Here are some tips to help you navigate a discussion on job pay during your interview.
Change the Topic: Many employment agencies will tell you that job interviews are generally not the best place to talk salary—it’s often too soon. So if your prospective employer brings it up, you may consider moving off the topic. Try telling the employer that you need to know more about the position and to think a little before you provide salary requirements. Or, that you’d rather focus on learning what value you could bring to the team before discussing money.
Understand the Reasoning: If an employer pushes the discussion of salary at the job interview, it’s usually because he or she wants to make sure that you’re affordable. Companies have budgets to meet, and while there may be some negotiating room, there may also be distinct limits to what can be paid for a new team member. Giving a number that falls outside the range of the employer’s budget could disqualify you for the job, even if your salary requirements are flexible. Instead of answering with a figure, it’s perfectly acceptable to say that your needs are flexible and you’re open to negotiation after you learn more about the position. If you’re working with a reputable Tampa employment agency, you can rest assured you wouldn’t be sitting in the interview unless your financial needs are in line with the company’s expectations.
Be Prepared: You may not be able to deflect a conversation about salary long enough to convey the reasons why the company should pay what you ask. If you’re pushed to give a number, make sure you’ve done your research before the interview. Check salary.com or talk with your employment agency about what would be an appropriate salary to ask for. Then, start by having the company give you its range. If that doesn’t work, offer a range and put the ball back in the employer’s court by saying something such as, “Is that what you were thinking?” This opens the door to discussing your salary requirements and gives you an opportunity to really sell your skills.
Avoid Discussing Your Past Salary: It’s possible a potential employer will ask you to disclose your previous salary. If you can avoid this, do so. After all, if you suggest you’ll take a job for $40,000, and their range is $50,000, you’ve short-changed yourself. If you’re put in a position of having to share it, tell the employer your previous salary and then the range you’re currently looking for. Make sure to include the skills and experience you’re bringing to the table to warrant the salary increase.
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