The dreaded question by job seekers: what are your salary requirements?
This is always an awkward question to answer. I recommend the following strategy in answering this question.
1. try your best to not provide any numbers – because you want to avoid either being too high or underselling yourself. Most recruiter friends always tell me “don’t be the first to draw blood”
2. Re-focus the discussion on how the company reward above average performers, whether this company is the best fit, etc…
3. Re-direct the question back to find out what the salary range is for this position? Therefore, making them show their cards first
4. Tell them you are excited about the company – this subtly negotiates on your behalf, as if the company likes you and they don’t know your salary requirement, they may make you a salary offer on the higher end to make sure they can secure a positive response from you.
Here are some examples of answers that works:
“Salary is only part of the picture. My number priority is finding the best fit for my career. I am very excited about this opportunity. I think I can be a valuable addition to this company. What is the salary range that the company is looking at for this position?”
“San Francisco is an expensive city to live in so starting salary is important, but what is also important to me is how this company rewards high performers. What is the bonus structure? How will compensation progress in a year or two?”
If pressed to provide a number, then try this “I hate to overshoot and be disqualified for this position, but if you need to know then the minimum I would accept for an ideal position is … ”