The salary expectation question during the interview can represent a confusing and uncertain situation for many individuals. In addition, employers may also be open to salary negotiation. How do you know when to negotiate and what amount to request? The following recommendations and simulation exercise will assist you with formulating an educated and confident response for the employer in response to your salary expectations.
Before The Interview
- Research the employer website, company culture, work schedule, travel requirements
- Review the job/internship posting for information on the salary or range available
- Research Vault for employer and industry information; access Vault via your BTT Gateway account under the External Links tab.
- Review the following resources for salary information: United States Department of Labor, NACE Salary Calculator, Salary.com; Glassdoor and/or the State of Texas Salary Statistics.
A Simulation of the Classic Salary Expectation Question
What salary are you expecting?
- First, thank the employer for the offer.
- Second, state that you are open for negotiation.
- Remember that this individual may be your future supervisor and professionalism is important when discussing compensation.
Next the employer may say...great! However, can you provide a ballpark estimate of your salary expectations?
- Again, state that you are open and excited about this opportunity.
- Then, request information on the salary range for this position. Once provided the salary range, you can be more specific on your salary expectations.
Now, the employer gives you a range for the position...how do you know what amount to request?
- Consider your performance during the interview process.
- Prior experience, success at previous employers and coursework. For example, if you feel you are in the upper end of the range, help the recruiter help you...
- Provide specific evidence why you are in the upper end of the range, e.g. experience, coursework, technical skills, ability to travel extensively (if required).
- Keep in mind that the supervisor also has a manager who will ask for justification for the salary requested and your specific explanation can help him/her with your offer.
What if the salary is non-negotiable? How can i proceed?
- Ask about performance evaluations, when they are conducted and is a salary adjustment tied to the evaluation.
- For example, an employer may complete an evaluation after 6 months with the potential of a 3% increase.
- Consider the total compensation package, medical & dental insurance, 401K & employer contribution, travel, vacation & illness hours, tuition assistance program, advancement opportunities, professional development and training programs.
Last, ask the employer when you can expect a written offer as you can provide your decision upon receipt or prior to the offer expiration date.
The Total Compensation Package: Keep in mind that the annual, monthly, hourly salary is only one piece of the total compensation package. We recommend reviewing all the components that may be included in an employer's offer of employment.
- Exempt vs. Non-exempt Salary: non-exempt allows for overtime and shift-differential compensation where exempt is a set rate of pay regardless of hours worked
- Medical & Dental Insurance
- 401K & Percentage of Employer Contributions
- Tuition Assistance & Reimbursement
- Sign-on Bonus (considered taxable income)
- Relocation Assistance (considered taxable income)
- Company Provided Cell Phone, Laptop