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how to answer "What is your salary expectations ?" Interview question.

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by sahmed, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. sahmed

    sahmed Bit Poster

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    Hello there,

    Well I was made redundant from my last job in december 2011 and ever since then have found it hard to find a new IT job, as a matter of fact any other job. I worked in first line support for a telecom company. It was my first real IT job......But recently had a telephone interview with a different IT company for a similar technical based role.

    It was going all well until the point she asked me, "What is your salary expectation ?" I froze for a while but answered "The market rate is what I am aiming for"......I could not think of anything else.....I think I read that answer somewhere here on this forum, as I am sure someone has asked this question. However this answer was not enough, she went on and asked me in a very confident way "What is the market rate ?" I said "experience is more important to me"............Then she went on and asked me"what I earned in my lost job" :ohmy

    Do I really have to reveal how much I earned in my previous role ?

    I really did not want to take the interview further........I am sure that I have not gone on to the next stage. I really think she was looking for a numeric figure but I honestly had no idea how much the salary is now for a first line role. In my previous job I had to take a pay cut in order to keep my job, I went down to NMW but even that was not enough. :(

    What do you guys/girls think is the best way to answer "What is your salary expectation ?"

    I do not really know what to say about the job market here in the U.K, I have lived here my entire life and never thought it would be this difficult in finding a job, even with some experience under my belt, a lot of my family members have decided to go abroad to look for work and they all have been successful, I think it is time for me to search elsewhere.....

    Thanks in advance and sorry for the long post.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012
  2. Monkeychops

    Monkeychops Kilobyte Poster

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    Why would you not want to carry on with the interview after someone asks you a standard HR type interview question??

    Whilst many will say answer it ambiguously without giving a figure etc to most employers it'll just piss them off.

    Saying market rate is a pet hate of mine, way too generic and doesn't take loads of things into account. Plus depending on who is interviewing you they might not have a clue what the market rate is, if it's some HR person for instance. They want a number they can stick down on their notes for the interview.

    You should have said what you wanted or were expecting to be paid for a position like that, simple really. Even a range would have been better than nothing.

    Do you risk under/over pricing yourself doing that? Maybe, but thats all part of the fun :)

    Plus this is why you should do your research before an interview, find out what the 'market rate' you quote actually is, look at similar jobs in the same areas and what they pay. Not saying anything will just have you come across as underprepared.

    But chin up, you know for next time and keep at it!
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012
    sahmed likes this.
  3. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Hey sahmed,

    You'd have to do some research on what the salaries for your type of role with your experience are in your city. I always do my research as to how much I should be earning and that way I know what to ask for. When I was first starting out, in the interviews I would say, this is my base salary... and I am open to negotiation. Although nowadays, after being in IT for a little while, I know what number to ask and usually give a range of about 5K being the difference between lowest and highest number I am looking for. But each person is different, this is just something that I've done in the past and it worked for me. Sure there were times where I did not get the job because of the salary I would ask, but I always ask for something that is in par with what I'll be doing so if I don't get the job because of the salary, then I don't really want it because I know that this will be a future conflict with the company.
     
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  4. Boffy

    Boffy Megabyte Poster

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    SHOW ME THE MONEY!


    [​IMG]

    On a serious note, go balls in or you'll never know. I over estimated my current job by £3k, they knew my old salary and could therefore see the jump of £7k...Still got it though.

    Not that I wasn't happy to negotiate, but if you don't ask, you don't get.

    EDIT: market rate? That's pretty much unemployed....
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012
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  5. sahmed

    sahmed Bit Poster

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    Thanks for the excellent advice. The telephone interview did go until the end but I felt as if I wanted it to stop.....I will have a range in mind for similar future encounters....I just did not want to give a figure as it might have sounded that I am too greedy and just there for the money. I will definitely do research beforehand. Thanks again.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thanks for the reply mate. I agree 100% with your comment.

    - - - Updated - - -

    LOL I remember in my previous job my manager was looking for a web desinger to design the new company website and he got asked the question, he straight away answered 18K and got turned down for the job.....This is what made my nervous giving a figure.
     
  6. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    You could always say "I would prefer not to say" or you could say, it's up to you. How the organisation will take your answer will be based on the individual organiation.

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but to be honest (imo) you should have known the market average or range for 1st line support.

    One answer would have to gone with: the market range - starting at what you need to live off plus a little bit more (so there is room to negotiate). Eg range is £12k to £17k, you need £13k to live, so you could say: "£14k to £17k depending on training opportunities, but open to negotiation"

    I'm not saying that is the right answer (as there really is no "right" answer that fits every organsation), but it is an answer to their question.

    Are you sure that was the reason why he got turned down for the job?
     
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  7. sahmed

    sahmed Bit Poster

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    Thank you for the reply and yes I am sure that the web designer got turned down because after the interview my manager phoned his partner and discussed it, they thought he was asking for too much..... But at the end of the day, as you have said, it is down to the individual company. I think its best to give a range.......Thanks again.
     
  8. shadowwebs

    shadowwebs Megabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    If it helps, when I am asked by an agency or a company what my current salary is, I always add around £3k on top of what my actual salary is... this way if they want to offer me the same as what I have claimed is my current salary then I have ended up £3k better off, it also allows for negotiation to take place as they could say we cannot offer you the same but how about this, and could end up still £2k better off.

    Just remember that in different parts of the country, wages are different.
     
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  9. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Many perm jobs carry a 10-20% of first years salary fee for the recruiter. A 3k rise can be pretty minimal under such circumstances.

    A few times in my career I have had 30-100% rises.
     
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  10. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    A couple of things to take into consideration here.

    1. As you're interviewing for this role you should have received what was on offer by the agent before taking the interview, after all why waste your time if they aren't offering what you want.

    2. Actually being able to offer an answer of what the market rate is would high light to the interviewer that you did a little bit of market research before going into the interview blind.

    3. If they really wanted to find out how much you earned at your last place it really wouldn't be difficult if this is a perm role because you would have to present P45 to them anyway).

    4. Don't be scared to talk about money, if they are hiring you they will know how much you're earning anyway.
     
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  11. sahmed

    sahmed Bit Poster

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    I would not lie about my current wage. But I do understand where you are coming from. They may ask for my P45, wage slip or bank statement as proof. It has happened to me only once in the past but it may happen again......
     
  12. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    You do not have to disclose your current salary, this is negotiation 101, its personal information and really none of their business.

    If they push you on it I would have no hesitation in giving them a figure that I think they will be comfortable with, I'm not going to tell them the truth. Its called a white lie. This is sales negotiation no good negotiator ever gives away their lowest price, this is why they ask the question, they want to know your minimum, they know if you already work for that amount you will probably work for it again, never give your minimum to anybody when negotiating.
    It like a sales person saying what is the most you will pay for something, in that case you never give your maximum.

    What you do have to disclose is what you would accept if they were to offer you the position which is a totally different matter. This can be any figure you like, but generally its best to do some market research to avoid under or over pricing yourself

    If they look at your P45 after you get the job offer and sign the contract its really not important, this is business after all.

    They are buying you as a commodity based on what you can deliver, your previous salary does not change this proposition, you might have been over or under paid before.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2012
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  13. Phoenix
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    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    I agree with dmarsh
    not giving them the value is not lying, they have no need of it, and it really only serves their interest to get it
    it's a pet peeve of mine when people ask me what I am currently on, especially if I leave knowing i am on the low side of salary vs the value I bring to the organization

    I tell them what I am looking for, and I am not afraid to go VERY high in early rounds, knowing i may not get it, but it also gives me a leg up in 12 month negotiations, and other benefits if they come back with an offer lower than they ask, I think my opening ask last time round was $180'000, and i managed to grab an extra 5 days vacation and some training / conference commitments instead of the full ask, even tho my targets could throw me over it anyway
    Works for me, but you have to actually be gutsy when doing it, don't be afraid for them to say no, better to know now than 12 months in, bitter and frustrated at how little you feel you are worth to them.

    you are negotiating, never forget that, it is a two way street and you need to meet your needs, or you will up and leave at the first sign of a better offer, they don't want that, and neither should you if you get what you want

    Obviously being laid off leaves you in a slightly less advantaged negotiating position, but try not to take the first thing that comes along
     
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  14. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    I think you should be honest about the money you would like to earn. If they want you they will pay it. If you feel you really know your stuff aim high I say. If you know you have a lot to learn, aim to get your foot in the door. I think it all depends on what role you're going for. As already said do searches on what skills are being asked for at what salary. Bear in mind you don't have to know it all. I've got a lot still to learn about vSphere but I wouldn't take a contract on less than 400 a day because I know more than enough and 400 is a reasonable daily rate for a VMware specific contractor at the moment.
     
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  15. Monkeychops

    Monkeychops Kilobyte Poster

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    Although playing devil's advocate here, as a contractor you're expected to know it all already ;)

    Whilst numbers in the contracting world get bounded around all the time 400 a day is still a reasonable rate and would be expecting someone with all the knowledge, but maybe lacking in some of the experience, for that rate.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012
  16. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    Oh I don't disagree mate, all I'll say is I can run rings around some of the contractors I've worked with and consider myself to be nothing special. I always figured I wouldn't be ready to go contracting..... until I worked with 6 or 7 of them. That's not to say they weren't good, not at all, just not the all knowing beings I figured they would be for that rate. This is a completely different conversation but contract rates probably aren't unreasonable from an employers point of view when you factor in all the extras a permie would cost, but obviously as a permie, you see the contracting rate and expect legends IMHO.
     
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