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Answering Salary Questions during Phone Interviews

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Summary: Kris gets some advice about a verbal salary negotiation agreement during her interviewing process.

phone interview

Question: I’ve recently encountered an awkward situation while negotiating for a new position. At the end of my first telephone interview with the company (which went very well), the interviewer pushed me to discuss my salary requirements. I dodged the question as best I could, but then relented and named an amount. The interviewer quickly replied, “That’s do-able.” My first instinct was that I’d low-balled the salary. But when I went in for a personal interview and saw the job description, the salary listed was nearly $15,000 less than what we’d discussed on the phone. I’m glad they offered me so much more, but I’m afraid they won’t stick to their original offer. My question is how do I get the company to stick with the salary figure originally discussed without getting into a “he said-she said” situation?

Kris: Don’t jump the gun. Wait for the company to make its offer. Then, if it isn’t the amount agreed to on the phone, you have a few options. First, remind the interviewer of your earlier conversation, and that you agreed to be interviewed based on that salary amount. If that doesn’t generate the right response, be prepared to justify the higher salary. Research salaries for your function, industry, location, degree, and years of experience. Show the interviewer that it’s a critical issue for you. At this point, you must also decide how you really feel.

Answering Salary Questions during Phone Interviews by
Authored by: Andrew Ostler

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