Discussing hourly wages, yearly salaries, or commissions can be a bit tricky and it normally seems to be one of the more stressful topics to cover during an interview. You don’t want to go too high and have a future employer immediately write you off, but you also don’t want to shortchange yourself and take less than what you deserve. Do not let this stress you out during your interview for you can always come to a fair arrangement with your interviewer/ future employer.


What to say if I’m asked about my desired salary

*Note: As of January 2018, it is illegal for any employer to ask a potential employee what he/ she is currently making at his/ her current job. If you are asked this question during an interview, you are not obligated to answer. All you have to answer is your desired salary if you are hired.

  • Be honest. Think about what you are currently making/ made in the past and work around that
    • It is recommended beforehand to do a search on the average salary for your position. If you stay within the position’s average salary range, employers may be more willing to work with you
    • A good response might be: “I will consider any reasonable and fair offer that is within your range”
  • Don’t appear desperate or undersell yourself by saying, “I’m out of a job, I’ll take anything”
    • Undercutting your salary may hurt you in the future when you want to get back to previous salaries


When, how, and what to negotiate

*Note: Only being negotiations AFTER you have been formally offered the job. You have not accepted yet and, with the job offer, you know the company wants you. Do some research on the company on what they are capable of offering you and make a list of additional perks you would like with the position – all within reason, of course.

  • You don’t always need to negotiate – If you are presented a better opportunity and salary, DO NOT NEGOTIATE
  • DO NOT negotiate a written offer
  • Do not overdo negotiations
    • Too many negotiations could jeopardize any offer given
    • Be reasonable – only negotiate for things you care about
  • Possibilities to negotiate regarding salary:
    • Bonuses/ Commission
  • Possibilities to negotiate regarding the job:
    • Training opportunities
    • Relocation assistance
    • Travel compensation/ Company vehicle
    • Flexible working schedule/ Working from home
    • Tuition reimbursement


How important are perks and benefits during negotiations?

  • If the salary is lower than your previous salary, you may want to weigh the perks, benefits, location of the job, commute time, etc. Any number of these items may compensate for a taking a lower salary.