Whether when filling out the application, or during the offer process, you will likely be asked about your salary expectations when applying for a job. This can spike the nerves a bit. You don’t want to give an answer too high and lose the opportunity, but you also don’t want to low-ball and get paid less than you deserve.

The important thing is to be prepared ahead of time. There are several ways to determine how much money is reasonable in your particular position. Aside researching the market and current salary trends, it’s advisable to ask other people within the industry what they make. Using people as resources will give you a good sense of where you stand. It’s also important to consider how much money you need yourself. More often that not, you are hoping for a salary a little hiring than what you are currently making. If the pay raise is crucial, take that into account when asked this question.

Rather than giving a hard number, consider answering with a salary range. This makes things a little more negotiable and proves you’ve done your research for the role. It will also make you look a lot more flexible to the employer, while also giving you the opportunity to play with the number once you’ve learned more about the employer and company.

Another way to answer the salary question is to flip the script. The Muse advises responding with your own prompt, such as “It would be helpful if you could share what the range for this role is.” They add, “Once the interviewer answers your question, they’ll expect you to say if the salary works for you. So you still need to do your research, but now you’ll be able to tailor your response to the budget the company has. If the interviewer gives you a number or range in line with what you expected or higher, great! You can talk about how that sounds perfect for you. But if the response is lower than you’re happy with, you have to come up with a plan to respond.”

Remember to remain honest and realistic. At some point in the process, you will have to provide and agree to a concrete number. Compare that number with the responsibilities of the job, how many people you may or may not be managing, the hour you’ll put in, and the employee perks and benefits. Always be truthful on your resume and in the interview about your experience and what you can handle moving forward. Eventually, your employer will notice your job performance whether it aligns with your salary. So, it’s important to stay transparent and always express your enthusiasm for the role itself.

If you’re looking for a new position, or hoping to change careers, Green Key recruiters are here to help! Not only can they help you find a new path, they can also help you prepare for the interview process and calm those nerves. Contact us today!

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