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Negotiating Salary and Benefits - What do I say if I just can't dodge a question about salary?
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What do I say if I just can’t dodge a question about salary?
Karen Choper: Sometimes when you’re interviewing with the person from human resources or the in house recruiter, they have their list of questions and they are not going to move you forward until they got an answer to everyone of those questions. And so you can dodge and avoid the question all you want but at the end of the day, the human resources person is going to say, “I still need to know what your salary requirements are.”
In this case, you’re going to use a formula that I took from John Luck who writes passage at a 100,000 to a million. It’s a wonderful book on career change for executives and his recommendation is to describe what your compensations has ranged over in the last five or six years. So compensation is not just salary, it’s all the other benefits and bonus and everything that you’ve been giving by employers over the years and what your looking for is four or five years ago. Everything stripped out of that number so its pretty much your salary and not a lot else and then everything loaded in for your highest salary including bonuses and other benefits that you’ve gotten.
And what we’re looking for here is a nice big range, $50,000.00 and in some cases it would be $75,000.00 between the lowest compensation number and the highest compensation number. The objective here is to bracket the number that they’re thinking of so that they can say, “Okay, well we can probably stretch up to that number or we can probably reach down to somebody who is making that.” So that you’re not eliminating yourself from consideration by giving them a single number, you’re giving them a range and its more easy for them to fit themselves into that range.