500 Questions: Salary & Benefits, Part Two

We have received many candidates for this position and it will take time to sort through them. Based on salary alone, what is your bottom line?

Affirm to the employer that you can certainly understand why many people would be attracted to the position. Redefine your own qualifications in terms of your unique qualities and skills. Recap the benefits you offer to the company. Then, discuss the additional compensations that are part of the package you would consider.

You certainly seem to have what it takes to fit in with our company. What would it take to bring you here?

The time to negotiate is at hand. Your potential employer has indicated their interest in you as a top candidate for the position. Reassure them that you have the skills, enthusiasm, experience, and desire to do the job. Indicate how you believe you can produce more value for the company and describe your capabilities in terms of the value they can provide the organization. Then be prepared to negotiate. Your willingness and ability to negotiate for yourself demonstrate your personal effectiveness.

We can only offer you $30,000 at this time. Is that acceptable to you?

You don’t usually have to accept the first offer a company makes, whatever it is. In most cases you can improve the existing offer in a number of ways. Be ready with three figures (in your mind): a minimum, a realistic midpoint desired salary, and a dream salary. Find a starting point that gives you every advantage and negotiate from there.

What is your ultimate salary requirement?

Be prepared to state your worth based on experience, knowledge, skills, and track record. Talk about the results you know that you can produce for the employer. Even if the interviewer tries pressuring you, avoid naming a specific figure early in the interviewer “game”.

Your salary expectation is higher than what we had planned, would you take a lower salary?

An organization will try to recruit you at what they have determined is competitive and fair. If you really want the position and there is a good fit and good opportunities, consider taking it. However, you might also try to ask about methods for you to achieve the salary that you prefer.

We believe that our employees should start at a lower salary and earn additional compensation once they have proven their worth.

Reassure the interviewer that you think this is an admirable policy and are more than willing to prove your worth to the company. Follow up by asking what the normal time limitations are for periodic reviews.

Would you be willing to intern for a couple of months before we hire you as a full-time employee?

You usually won’t come across this question unless internships are a normal process in the industry for which you are interviewing. Be prepared, if that is the case, to discuss your requirements honestly and succinctly.

What if we offered you a lower starting salary with opportunity for a significant raise in six months based on your performance?

This is a personal decision that only you are in a position to consider. You know your own limitations. Try not to act desperate; review the lower salary with dispassion and clarity. Take the time to think through each offer thoroughly.