500 Questions: Salary & Benefits, Part Three

What if we could stretch our budget a little and get you a little more? Would you accept the offer?

If the salary is within your expectations, you may be tempted to say yes right away. Always take some time to consider the offer. Let the interviewer know that you are interested, but that you would like some time to consider the offer carefully. Know your requirements ahead of time and be prepared to discuss them at the right moment. Be sure you have researched the company and the position prior to the interview and can discuss the equivalent salary ranges for the position in other companies. Briefly remind the interviewer of your unique qualifications and skills.

Would you expect a salary raise with this job on a regular basis? If so, how much?

This is good opportunity to describe your ambition, drive, and ability to grow professionally. You would hope to be compensated accordingly. State that you expect to be a significant contributor at the company and that any exceptional raises would be based on exceptional evaluations, job performance, and accomplishments. If this does not fit your particular situation, you may wish to discuss your expectation of a standard salary increase as the cost of living increases over time.

Our company offers several benefits in addition to your salary. Does this interest you?

Usually this question is used as a negotiating strategy when it comes time to discuss salary. Indicate your overall interest in the company, including benefits that the company has to offer.

What was your salary in your previous position?

Often employers will need to know your previous salary to assess a salary fit with what they can offer –especially if the last position you held is very similar to one you are seeking.

Do you have a starting salary in mind?

Usually an interviewer already knows what range they are authorized to offer for the position. Reaffirm your worth to the company by restating your qualifications and if appropriate your requirements for starting this position.

How does the salary we are offering compare to your current salary?

In computing your current situation, be sure to include all benefits, including vacation time, stock options, retirement, and other company benefits. It is the entire package that you need to compare, not just one figure.

What is the range of salary you are seeking?

Be prepared to have a salary range in mind when you enter the first interview. If the interviewer brings up the subject of salary, discuss it with him or her. It is usually a good idea not to bring up the subject of salary unless the company brings it up first.

What is the lowest salary you would consider?

Even if there is a minimum you would accept, you don’t want to reveal it to the interviewer. Talk about your qualifications for the position and your requirements without resorting to stating an absolute bottom line. Remember that most salaries are negotiable. To succeed in negotiation, both parties have to reach an agreement with which both are happy.

What has been your salary history?

Although your previous salary history may have some bearing on future potential, most salaries are negotiable. Do your homework and be prepared to discuss a realistic salary expectation.