How to Respond to the Money Question when Interviewing for Jobs

Be prepared to handle the money question strategically when interviewing for jobs. Here are some tips about how to handle the money question to allow for the best outcome. If you’ve read about how to handle the subject of money during a job interview, you’ve likely learned that you should never bring it up. Most interview experts agree that it is a good idea to let the interviewer bring up the topic of money.  Lisa Quast, a contributing writer at Forbes, provides additional ideas in her article  “How to Answer the Interview Question How Much Money Do You Make?”

However, even when the money subject is broached while interviewing, many people still don’t know how to respond, so it’s a good idea to prepare some options for responding.

If you respond to the money question with a figure that is too low, you might miss out on a lot of money. Yet, if you name a figure that is too high, you might not be offered the position. So what’s the solution? The answer is honesty. Tell the interviewer exactly what you think your skills and experience are worth.

Some people aren’t comfortable specifying a number in response to the money question. If you feel uncomfortable, you can try to deflect the question. However, this carries a bit of risk. Many employers want a direct answer so that they can determine if the two of you agree on your worth. If you’d like to deflect, state that you are open and flexible about your salary.

Instead of deflecting or offering a dollar figure, another option is to state that you’d rather not commit to a salary quite yet. Then stop talking. Be silent and force the interviewer to respond. If you decide to not answer the money question, do it in an upbeat way and with a smile.

Perhaps the best way to respond to the money question is a further approach is to offer a salary range. Tell the interviewer that you don’t have a particular number in mind, but you are looking for something in a range of $X to $Y. The range should not be greater than $10,000. By replying with a salary range, you decrease the chances of ruling yourself out for the position, yet you still let the interviewer know a general idea of how much money you think you are worth.

When interviewing, it’s probably not in your best interest to pinpoint a specific number in response to the money question.    There is no doubt that some employers use the money question to rule out some candidates. Don’t be afraid to deflect or simply not answer until you learn more about the position or until the interviewer offers a number. If you can’t decide between the first three strategies, opt to provide a salary range.  It won’t pigeonhole you into an exact figure but, it will give the interviewer an idea of how much money you feel you’re worth.

If you would like some help with preparing to interview, call us at 281-293-7070 to discuss possible interview coaching.


By The Self-Expression Center Team

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