Answering Job Interview Question: How Much Money Do You Want?

TRAP: This is a delicate topic. The recruiter wants to know if the company pays more or less than average.

TRICK: If you want to earn more, use this salesman tactic: never mention a price until the recruiter says how much s/he can pay.

Of course, this is happening throughout the interview – you are targeting your expectations to whatever expectations the recruiter expresses. In this instance, to maximize your earning power, use the following strategy:

  1. Research the average salary in your specific market and compare it to your ex-salary.

  2. Research what the average minimum is in your specific market.

  3. Use these numbers as a basis to answer the question, "What salary do you expect?" If the recruiter says she can pay only the minimum, then what the heck? It's the low-end company.

Most companies won't pay the new guy more on the first day. So expect a cut from your salary (unless you happen to be the well-known pro). Companies can't pay more simply because you might address their issues. You earn more when you actually demonstrate that you can solve the company's daily problems. That's what a trial period is all about.

If the job interview goes well, negotiate the path for your career and checkpoints when your salary should be increased. Usually, this is done in a second interview.

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