How to Handle Salary Requirements
Question: Should job-seekers give an exact salary figure, or a salary range?
Answers: If you have to, give a range for your salary requirements, Canter says, but try to stay focused on whether the job is the right fit."Once an employer falls in love with you, your negotiating power increases exponentially," she says.
Safani also recommends a range instead of a specific number, because it gives you wiggle room once you get to the salary negotiation stage.
Question: How soon during the interviewing process can a job-seeker expect the salary requirement conversation to come up?
Answer: It could arise as soon as the first interview, so you need to know your competitive market value before you start interviewing, Safani says. You can try deferring the conversation by saying you’d like to learn more about the job, so you can gauge whether it’s a good match before rolling out your salary requirements. If an employer presses you for a "ballpark figure," ask for the salary range of the job, Safani says; if they won’t divulge it, say based on your research, you’ve found that pay for such positions is "between X and Y," and ask if that’s consistent with their range.
Question: How do you determine what your salary requirements should be, so you’re not aiming too high or low?
Answer: "Job seekers should benchmark their market value by talking with recruiters and colleagues, researching salary ranges for comparable positions on the job boards, reviewing salary information available through professional associations, and of course reviewing information on PayScale," according to Safani.
Questions: What if a prospective employer asks to verify your current salary with your current employer? What if this jeopardizes your current position?
Answer: "Until there is an offer on the table, this question should not come up. Once an offer is made, this is considered fair game as part of the due diligence process for some employers," Safani says. "Job seekers can politely explain that if an offer is extended, they would be willing to have their salary information verified."