Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Interview preparation

Vault's Video Guide to Management Consulting Interviews


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Salary and the Job Interview - How to Answer Questions About Desired Salary

Many people have a pretty good idea of the type of salary they want to make when changing jobs or looking for the first time but when the issue comes up in an interview, many people stumble.

When you are interviewing for a position and the interviewer asks you "Can you tell me what salary you are looking for?", what do you say? Surprisingly most people speak too soon when it comes to money and this often ends up hurting them in the long run.

You will occasionally get the interviewer who will ask this very early in the process, which can really catch you off guard but there are two things you can do to make sure you are ready for it.

1. Put it off by redirecting. If an interviewer asks you this question, one of the best ways to redirect is to say, "It feels premature to talk about salary until I know more about the job and the responsibilities that go with it. Could you share with me the range budgeted for this position." Now you have put the ball in their court and they are asked to come up with a number. It will be the rare interviewer who will not know what is being budgeted for that position and if they choose to deflect that answer, you might be in for some tough negotiations.

2. Prepare and do your research. Before you go into an interview, you should know what the average salary for this position in your market is. You may think that you are worth $40k when you are really worth $50k - important information to have when going into an interview. Make sure you do your research and talk to people in the know. If they press you for a number, at least you will be making an educated request.
If you want resources to help you find out salary scales for certain positions in a demographic area, you can go to your local professional association. They will usually have the latest reports on salaries in the industry and these can be a great place to start.

Remember, when it comes to negotiating salary, most employees unknowingly leave 20% or more money/benefits on the table. But, we'll discuss that more tomorrow when we touch on negotiating that all important bottom line.

To find out if your career is aligned with your body and mind go to

Melani Ward is a career coach and the founder of Career Fitness. She helps people create balance in their body, mind, and work. She works with 30-something yoga practitioners, athletes, and professionals on career discovery and development, resume and interviewing strategies, setting and achieving goals, and uniting who they are with what they do. To learn more, go to

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