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Don’t Let Salary Talk End Your Candidacy

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Summary: Holly gets some advice about how to make sure that salary negotiations don’t end her relationship with a prospective employer.


Question: When a prospective employer asked me for salary requirements, I quoted a figure based on my research of average salaries. The company said my requirement was more than they were willing to pay. What can I do differently next time?


Holly: Your inclination to hold off on sharing your expectations until the company representative indicates a range or extends an offer is a good one. You’ll come from a much stronger bargaining position after an employer has expressed an interest in you. The danger of disclosing too soon is that you risk being screened out of the running before you’ve had a chance to dazzle them with your qualifications and personality.

In the future, hold off as long as you can, indicating that you’d first like to know more about the level of responsibility and details of the benefits package. When you do suggest a figure, couch it in terms of your interest and enthusiasm for the position. Take a look at The 101 Toughest Interview Questions by Daniel Porot (2009, Ten Speed Press) for in-depth coverage of just about every possible scenario you might encounter at the bargaining table.

As for your current situation, you’ve merely stated an expectation. The negotiating is just about to begin. Contact the employer to determine their range, and if you’re still interested, let them know that you’re eager to continue the process. Express your interest in learning more about the position and the full package. Stress that you think you would be a strong match for the position and that you’re optimistic you’d be able to reach an acceptable offer.

Don't Let Salary Talk End Your Candidacy by
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