One of the most challenging questions when searching for a job is answering the dreaded, “What are your salary requirements?” question. It’s like 3 card solitaire; it is so tricky!
You don’t want to over-shoot the mark, for fear of self elimination from a viable job candidate. However, you also want to let your interviewer know that:
- You think highly enough of yourself to warrant an appropriate compensation for your skills
- You understand your worth VS the job’s ROI to the organization
- There may be room to grow with that number, based on performance
There is a fine, fine line between overstepping your boundaries/expectations OR selling yourself short of your worth. In a market where jobs are scarce and candidates are plentiful, do you lower your requirements for compensation? If so, should you voice that to your potential employer?
When companies are throwing around terms like “leaning out” and “domestically realigning,” this can be quite a hurdle to overcome without shooting yourself in the foot…so to speak.
After being asked this question by multiple parties at various job interviews, I continue to believe that honesty is the best policy (as usual). My answers usually oscillate between a blunt compensation number or parameters of specific compensation range. I try not to patronize the question. I tend to answer with a confident, but understanding tone.
I like to relate this delivery style to a personal trainer asking what you ate today.
You: “Well, I ate pretty good…but I had a cookie after lunch today.”
Personal Trainer: (look of support, but empathy for your situation) “Ok, we can deal with that. Let’s get started because we have a lot of work to do.”
You: “Good…because I can’t take back eating that cookie and it was so delish that it was worth it!”
At least that’s how I like to picture it in my head. Now, as to how the other party/interviewer sees this scenario playing out is still TBA. I just continue to hope that after having multiple job offers, I am able to find a nice mix between compensation that reflects my worth, a passion for the organization and position, as well as a healthy verbal appreciation by my potential employer.
Shout outs to:
1. The Jimmy Buffet Bus Driver: for making me believe once again in Karma and the goodness of people. He returned my iPhone, hallelujah!
2. Mexico: for making the USA look like we are having “good times.”
3. Ryan Coffey: for continually going out of his way to help me.