When looking and applying for a new job, candidates are usually motivated by new experiences, opportunities, colleagues and of course an attractive salary and benefits. It can be hard discussing money with potential employers and making sure that you get paid what you are worth, so here we take a look at how to have those conversations and the best way to answer the sometimes awkward questions.
“What are your salary expectations?” Is a question that employers may ask at an interview and if you haven’t prepared an answer can catch you off guard! Recruiters ask about salary expectations to gauge if you are on the correct ‘level’ for the role. If your answer is too high, the chances are you may be overqualified and too low, you are perhaps too junior or undervaluing your skills and experience.
Before you go to the interview, do your research and make sure that you know the salary that other companies are paying people in a similar position. It is fair to then suggest a ‘pay range’ between X and Y because of the experience that you have or even have a higher figure in mind and justify why you are worth that amount.
Realising your worth In order to find out what your salary expectations should be, it is important to spend some time researching. Have a scroll through some job adverts to get a feel for salaries on offer from other employers, speak to people who work in the industry to gauge if your expectations are realistic and see if there are any industry organisations that may be able to offer helpful advice.
Talking money Although it can be an awkward subject, don’t be afraid to bring up the subject of money. If recruiters aren’t forthcoming with the salary on offer, don’t be afraid to ask. It is reasonable to enquire about salaries from the offset when applying, during the initial phone screening or during the interview itself.
Negotiating salaries If the salary on offer isn’t what you are expecting and you are still really keen on the job, there are some things you can do:
• Try to carefully negotiate a higher salary. Whilst this may be difficult, if it is handled the right way, you could end up in your dream job being paid a salary that is above average.
• Ask if there are any non-salary benefits that can be offered to make the package more appealing. This could include flexible working hours and locations, private healthcare, a gym membership or paid self-development or volunteering days.
• Consider accepting a lower salary if you really love the job and the company. Try to scope out potential within the company and look at this as a first step and part of a longer-term plan.