“What is your salary requirement?”
The question is often asked early in the interviewing process, and on the job application. But often, a candidate is not prepared to answer accurately early in the process.
During the initial interviews, they will learn more about:
- The job responsibilities and duties
- Their new coworkers, supervisor, and management
- The potential for career growth and impact that the position might offer
- The community – if relocation is required – and cost-of-living differences
- Their family’s reaction to making a job change
Candidates are often caught by surprise by the question, and may state a salary figure that they believe “safe” or that “sounds good.” Alternately, they may throw out a high number, thinking that they’re setting the anchor for future negotiations. Candidates often view salary discussions as theoretical since they’re early in the process. They might not even want the job!
They will be better prepared to give an accurate answer once they’re fully educated about the opportunity, and they know that there’s real interest in extending an offer.
Once the candidate knows there’s real interest, they may disclose additional details such as:
- A bonus plan
- A raise coming up
- An opportunity for a promotion
- A 15% retirement contribution
- Six weeks of vacation
- A contracting assignment that pays $20k a year
- Other offers they’re considering
So, if you do approach salary issues early in the discussion, ask again later. There’s a good chance that the salary requirement has changed!