Archive for August, 2015

How to Handle the Question: “What Salary Do You Expect?”

August 10, 2015

Salary NegotiationI know that from talking with so many of you, there is a lot of confusion about how to answer this question when asked in an interview, or on a job application.

Think carefully before divulging your past salary history in an interview. Many people think that by not doing so, it could prejudice an employer’s offer, so they gladly reveal their salary history if asked, so as not to be disqualified. Just because recruiters & employers keep insisting & pretending you must hand over you salary information, does not mean you have to come up with new ways to answer them.

Declining to divulge salary history is not about being uncooperative. It’s about shifting the interview to a higher plane. Don’t worry so much about getting disqualified. Any candidate can be cooperative, but few can demonstrate their value & get paid what they’re really worth. Your value lies in what you can do next; not in what somebody paid you to do last year. If you learn to hold your ground properly you will earn a manager’s respect, & maybe the offer you deserve.

Once you decline to reveal your salary to an employer, it’s up to you to shift the discussion to support your position. It’s not going to buy you anything to say “No” without helping the employer assess your value.

Here’s an alternative – instead of trying to placate an interviewer, focus on projecting a clear impression of what’s important to you & what you’re worth. When you withhold your salary history, it forces a candidate & an employer to negotiate based on the candidate’s future value. Do you really want to get stuck defending what your last employer paid you?

The only reason any employer hires you, and pays you what they do, is for the VALUE you bring to the company. So, the one question that must be clearly defined, by you, is how you will help the employer succeed – how you will bring them more, or equal value for the salary they pay you. Employers love to know that you have carefully thought about the job and how you would be able to profit them – how you will help the employer “win.”

You might just have to work through a live problem in the interview, or it might mean spending half a day shadowing the manager. Often, when managers see such motivation & willingness to work together during the selection process, they drop the demand for salary history in favor an actual demonstration of your value.

However, if you cannot explain exactly what you will do to perform the job more profitably, efficiently, quickly – better in some way, than the employer expected – then you have no business expecting a higher salary. It’s all about exchanging fair value for fair a fair salary, and you must be prepared to explain it. Your past salary has nothing to do with the job at hand – it’s your ability to do the required work that’s important!

***One of the busiest hiring seasons of the year is almost here! So, I want to make sure you have every opportunity to get interview calls for the jobs you want. In order for that to happen, you need to start with a stellar resume – one that shows your optimum value! I know what it takes to get results, and I can show you what to do. Just email your resume to me at and put “Resume Critique” in the subject line. I will then give you a complimentary resume critique. I look forward to hearing from you.***