Discussing Salary at Job Interviews

Salary can be a sensitive subject, no matter who brings it up first in a job interview. The interviewer who asks, “How much money did you make last year?” gets interviews off to a rocky start, coming across as offensive and just generally setting a negative tone. The interviewer’s trying to cut to the chase and see if you, the candidate, will disqualify yourself, either by asking for too much money, or for so little that they will wonder why you’re willing to settle for a smaller salary — are you damaged goods?

But it does open the door for you to start discussing salary. Get the upper hand by responding to such a question with one of your own:

Well, since you raised that question, let me ask you: what is the salary range for this position?”

By answering a question with a question, you’ve taken back control. Never feel that a job interview must be one-sided, with all the cards on the interviewer’s side and you at his mercy. A good exploratory conversation for both you and the interviewer is beneficial on both sides.

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Paul Cherry

For over two decades, sales expert and author PAUL CHERRY has helped B2B sales professionals close more deals in all major industries. As a recognized thought leader in customer engagement strategies, Paul Cherry has been featured in more than 250 publications, including Investor’s Business Daily, Selling Power, Inc., Sales & Marketing Management, The Kiplinger Letter, and Salesforce.

Performance Based Results

Paul Cherry is the president of Performance Based Results. PBR delivers intense, customized sales team training programs and sales management coaching to companies throughout North America. Paul has worked with more than 1,200 organizations, including 175 of the Fortune 500, plus more than a thousand entrepreneurial, small to mid-sized, cutting-edge businesses looking to dominate their niche markets. Clients typically get 7 times their return-on-investment (ROI) or better.

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Paul Cherry’s top-rated bestseller, Questions That Sell: The Powerful Process for Discovering What Your Customer Really Wants (AMACOM) has been listed on BookAuthority’s “100 Best Sales Books of All Time” and has been published in four languages. He is also the author of Questions That Get Results (Wiley) and The Ultimate Sales Pro (HarperCollins Leadership).