During job interviews, there are a few questions that can make candidates uncomfortable. One of them is the famous “How much money are you expecting for this position?” For most people, this is the part of the interview they’d rather skip and get it over with.

While answering this question, you do not want to aim too high because it might cost you the position and aiming too low will cause you to miss out on the available opportunities. That being said, answering this question during your job interview might be very tricky and delicate. However, unlike many job seekers might think, letting your recruiter answer that question for you is not a good idea as it might make you seem unsure of yourself and of your worth. This is why it is better to be prepared to answer this question confidently.

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Ask about benefits first

When deciding to accept or reject an offer, focus on the total compensation package instead of making a decision solely based on the salary. Asking about benefits will give you a better idea of what to ask in terms on monetary salary. When considering accepting a job offer, it is also very important to make sure you know enough about growth opportunities, reward programs, work-life balance and more. These are all things that will affect your general satisfaction as an employee. When you are asked about salary expectations, take the time to first ask about these advantages. From there on, you will be more likely suggest a reasonable amount.


Do your research before the interview

In order to avoid getting uncomfortable, it is important to do your research prior to the interview in order to find out about the common salary range for the type of position you are applying for. Proposing a range is better than asking for a specific dollar amount as the lower side of the range should be your expected salary. Doing so will give your recruiter some time and space to think things through and see if they can work something out within your demands. Having numbers in mind before meeting with your interviewer will help you have the confidence you need to answer without sounding anxious or unsure.

If you know someone who worked for this company in the same field you are interested in, you can always approach them and ask a few questions about wages, benefits and more. Not knowing what you are getting into might send a signal that you are desperate and will accept anything they offer. You want to start at the company on the right foot by making sure that you feel valuable and are treated as such.

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Be prepared for the NO

Your future employer might get shocked by your numbers and that is OK. It is important to keep your composure and be ready to negotiate. Remember that this is an occasion to compromise and find common ground so be flexible. Avoid saying anything impulsive like talking about your other options. Doing so will only make you look arrogant and insecure. If your resume  truly shows that you have what it takes, your recruiter will know it and will be ready to try to make things work out for both sides. Remember you do not get what you think you deserve. You get what you confidently negotiate.


Know your worth

No need to mention how much money you were making before. Just be confident in your skills and capabilities. Do your research and have proof of the market value for your skills and what you can deliver. It is important to be sure of yourself but not arrogant. Plus, throwing random numbers in the air will make you seem ignorant. You can always mention that you are looking for another job because you current or ex company was not staying competitive on the market. Find ways to tell them that you are looking for a company that will be able to value the hard work you are so willing and ready to offer.


Remember that the key is to be prepared and believe in yourself. You can only be as assertive as your own confidence allows you to. Do not get emotional. Remember it is not about you as a person but about a business negotiation. Stay calm, take deep breaths and believe that the chance is on your side.


Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Short Stints

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