I had an interview with a potential candidate for a position a couple of days ago for a senior engineering role. The interview was going really well until we got to the one question that most people dread: “What are your salary expectations.” This candidate had demonstrated exceptional interviewing skills and seemed extremely prepared: well versed on the position, the hiring company and even had questions. Needless to say I was slightly surprised at the cookie cutter response I received to the question above:
“I would like to be compensated fairly based on my experience.”
Good answer? Well, good…not the best. The best way to face these types of questions is to always be honest. Be confident in your skills and what you have to offer to the company. The “dollars” in regards to the salary of that specific position is usually posted in the original job description and you can absolutely base your response to this question from the amount given! If it is not, this is when you conduct your research of the salary online to find out how much others are paying for this position or one that is similar. Then, you give a number and be flexible.
Common “sense” dictates behavior in so many ways. When you give a number, give a range and don’t expect to have to your expectations met right away. If you are flexible, your behavior or body language wont change with whatever response of feedback you receive from the interviewer. The key is to give the best answer, an honest answer to these types of questions. I had to probe the candidate a bit more to find out what his expectations really were. This did not disqualify him in any way from being shortlisted for the position. However, the key here is not be so focused on not wanting to say a specific dollar amount out of fear of saying the wrong thing. As long you exercise good judgement and have realistic expectations (fostered by common sense and extensive research) this question shouldn’t be scary.
Until the next blog…
Peace & Luv