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How much money do you want to make? or…What are you making in your present position?
This is another trick question designed to blow you out of the interview process by letting you either over or under-price yourself for the position. Your goal must be to get this question off the table as quickly as possible. Remember, you have NO leverage in this process until an offer is made.
The key to responding to this question is to NOT give them your number, rather use it as an opportunity to find out what the employer’s salary range is for the position. How do you achieve this? Easy. Do a little research on salary.com or payscale.com to identify the salary range for the position you are interviewing for. Then present the range to the employer and ask them how the range you have researched compares to the range they have budgeted for the position.
If the ranges are off slightly the employer might ask you what you think. Again, the goal is to get this question off the table as quickly as possible. Respond with something like, “I guess my feeling is that if you decide I’m the candidate you want, and I decide this is the company I want to work with, then I see no reason why we can’t put together a compensation program that will work for both of us. Tell me more about ________(fill in the blank with any topic other than compensation to direct the conversation in another direction.)
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