If you’ve been wondering how to answer interview questions about salary, you’re not alone. This is one of the major questions that any interview and you do need to get your answer right. You need to be clear about your salary expectations, but you also need to be clear on the issues involved.

Interview Questions about Salary

The issues

Interview questions about salary are “exploratory” questions. These questions can also be extremely tricky, particularly in middle and higher salary brackets.

These are the primary issues:

  • If you quote too high a figure, you may well talk yourself out of the job.
  • If you quote too low a figure, you may be devaluing yourself and talking yourself into a significantly lower salary package.
  • Bear in mind that this interview is part of a highly competitive process, and you’re effectively giving a competitive quote for your services.

Fortunately, there is a way around this obstacle course of situations.

Giving a salary figure

The best approach to answering personal assistant interview questions about salary expectations is a strictly professional, “market rate” approach:

  1. Research the salary bandwidths for the position for which you’re applying.
  2. Check the salary progression scale which is appropriate to your new job.
  3. Quote a figure that’s within the bandwidth, which you can document as a reasonable and fair salary.

Quoting the market rate is the safe option. Using BLS figures, for example, means that your salary expectations are well within the normal range. Employers generally will not dispute middle bandwidth salary quotes. They will, however, dispute excessive quotes above these middle range salary figures.

It is strongly advised not to begin your negotiations in a position where you will probably have to back down to a lower figure. These higher claims are vulnerable, and employers may simply refuse to consider them. Do not put yourself in this position.

Salary and benefits

Many salary packages include valuable benefits. Do not disregard or undervalue these benefits. During the course of salary negotiations, these benefits do represent real dollar value which should not be ignored.

Employers may not wish to pay dollars upfront, but can afford to be more generous with benefits. Day care, for example, can be extremely valuable, and provide excellent facilities. You may actually get a better package as a combination of salary and benefits, so be prepared to do some number crunching.

Other benefits, like parking, can also be valuable. When the employer makes an offer, be sure to check the actual dollar value. In most cases, you will find that these extras can add up to a considerable range of additional values.

How to avoid haggling

Haggling is not a productive process. Don’t get bogged down on trivial figures. You don’t want to seem unreasonable, or inflexible, particularly about relatively minor issues.

Be prepared to give a little ground, but stay focused on the market rate values for your services. If you’re given specific figures, and these comments are within reasonable expectations, and within your stated bandwidth, be prepared to talk. The best way to figure out how to answer interview questions about salary is to work with a real numbers.