The Salary Question

20 Sep

Over the course of an interview, hiring managers will ask the job applicant tough questions about work history, professional skills and future plans for growth. But as the session winds down and approaches the money topic, the tables will turn. Now you have to answer the difficult question.

What is the best way to bring the subject up and talk hard numbers? Here are a few ideas:

Survey the battlefield, and don’t go in unarmed. Before telling the applicant what you’re ready to give, ask him or her what kind of salary they are expecting and maintain a poker face. You will have to gently lower their expectations if the figure suggested is too high.

Have an open discussion. Employee pay is about more than the check – there may also be benefits, stock options, tuition reimbursement, the value of a short commute and more. Talk about these bonuses with the applicant to get a feel for the type of compensation he or she is looking for.

Don’t tie yourself to a price until you’re ready to offer the position. It’s better to give a price range and a summary of benefits rather than a concrete figure. Skill sets, past experience and salary history can all factor into the final offer.

Do you have a special technique for discussing pay?

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