We all know the mantra “He or she who states the salary requirement first loses.” As a recruiter I struggle with the salary requirement question all the time.
There’s too much advice out there instructing job seekers to never tell the potential employer what they want for salary because it might be too high or too low. What about it might be in the range? What about how much time you are wasting if you really must have $300K per year for salary and the range goes up to $75K. Are you really interested in the job at that rate?
That example is a bit extreme; however, I’ve seen potential candidates talk their way out of even getting an interview by trying to coyly avoid answering the question “What is your salary expectation?”
That’s a tough question. Answers I’ve heard that didn’t work:
Salary.com says the range should be (insert range here) and I’m fine with that.
It depends upon the exact package…(so if I say it pays minimum wage but the company pays for your medical insurance and has a pool table in the break room, will that work for you?)
I’ll tell you my salary expectation as soon as you tell me what the top of the range is… (then it will be the top of the range)
I’m flexible. (What exactly does this mean?)
Money is not at the top of my list, the job responsibilities are more important to me. (Does this mean you will work for free if you love your job?)
The one thing I know for a fact, when it comes to salaries: When I say the range is $50 – 100K, the only number the candidate hears is $100K. I honestly don’t know why everyone looking for work feels they automatically will receive an offer at the top of the range but I’ve never once had a candidate tell me $50K is exactly what they are looking for based on that range.