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Salary Job Questions: The 3 Most Common Blunders You Never Knew

Salary Job Questions: The 3 Most Common Blunders You Never Knew

Of all job questions, the one that remains most pertinent has always been, “yeah, but how much are you going to pay me?”

Salary negotiating can be as intricate as a chess match, with each party trying to gain the upper hand. There are several pitfalls that can be avoided during the litany of job questions you’re being asked. These are the most common mistakes made when negotiating one’s salary.

1. Talking about money too soon.

Applicant: Hi, I’m Soandso.

Interviewer: Nice to meet you Soandso, I’m Whats-his-face.

Applicant: A pleasure. So Whats-his-face, how much are you going to pay me?

Money should not be amongst the first of any job questions you might have. Don’t mention salary right away, even if the interviewer mentions that the job is out of your typical pay range. If you can prove that you’re worth it, you might be able to talk them up to your pay range later. Salaries are always negotiable, getting kicked out of an interview after only two job questions is not. Also, if you’re interviewing with a large corporation, there is a good chance that salary negotiations will be done by another person from human resources during the official job offer anyway. Money shouldn’t be mentioned until after at LEAST the second interview. According to the bestselling guide, 10 Minute Guide to Job Interviews by Dana Morgan, “He who speaks first loses.” Unless one of the job questions specifies you must give your salary history in order to be considered a candidate, let them do the talking first.

2. Giving too much away.

Interviewer: Well, the salary range for this position is between thirty and thirty five scrabillion dollars.

Applicant: Thirty scrabillion dollars? That’s not enough to cover the bail.

When asking job questions the focus of your negotiations should actually be what you bring to the company, not what you need from them. According to Morgan, “So what if you have a big mortgage, a new baby, a big car payment, and a college tuition to manage into your budget?” The employer may be sympathetic, but these expenses will not convince her to pay you a higher salary.” Unless the interviewer’s job questions include ‘How many palimony payments do you need to make a month?’ you may want to hold back. Again, focus on your value to the company, not how much money you need.

3. Not adhering to reality.

Interviewer: So, we’re a small company of only 5 employees. We start all entry level employees at ___ dollars an hour.

Applicant: How am I supposed to pay for the private jet with that kind of money?

Of course you would like to be earning Donald Trump’s salary. Your mommy may say you’re special, but that doesn’t mean your job questions can bend reality. Asking for a salary beyond a company’s means when asking job questions comes off as immature, especially for entry level positions. According to the 10 Minute Guide to Job Interviews, the higher the position, the more room there is to negotiate. “Negotiating a 10-12% increase over the salary originally offered to you is not unreasonable,” Morgan says. It’s important to keep this in mind when asking your list of job questions. Your best possible approach is to find out what the salary range for the position is and adjust your requests accordingly.

In today’s job market it might seem impossible ask for a higher salary when asking your job questions, but that’s not entirely true. It comes down to three basic rules: Don’t be too quick on the draw, don’t show all of your cards, and don’t have your head in the clouds. These simple rules can help to make you a master salary negotiator. If done right, you’ll be able to add “How much are you going to pay me?” to your litany of job questions – and you’ll get away with it too!

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