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The Dreaded Salary Question

You already know Rule #1: Never be the first to bring up salary.

Here's Rule #2: Never ask for a specific dollar amount.

Why? You ask may be asking for too little or too much. By working within a reasonable salary range, you appear flexible and give yourself room for negotiation.  

If you are asked, "What are your salary expectations?" you have four strategies for responding:

  1. Stall. Say, “It depends on several factors. May we discuss benefits first?”
  2. Redirect: “What is your typical hiring range for this job title?”
  3. Evade: “Thank you for asking. If my research is correct, it seems like a salary range of $ to $ is common for this geographical area. Is this true for your company as well?”
  4. Be non-specific: “The job ad lists a salary range of $ to $. Based on my knowledge, skills and experience, I would like to be in upper end of that range.”  

To see an example of how some these strategies might work, read the Negotiation Demonstration.

- 2015 copyright Robin  G Walker PhD