Recruitment specialists since 1980

Friday Jun 24

Woodland offers you our top tips on navigating through that all important question on salary in an interview



During an interview, it is totally understandable that a lot of people do find the discussion regarding salary quite awkward. When is the right time to talk about salary, or if a potential employer talks about salary, how should you respond? There is no point wasting time on an interview if a person’s salary expectations are far-fetched. Speaking about your salary too soon could scupper your chances of getting the position before you even sell yourself to the company.  So how do you approach this conversation in an interview?


Do your research

It is very important to know your market value before you step into any interview. The best course of action is to research your potential employer and the salary range for the job you are going for. Take a look at some job adverts in the locality of where you are applying and compare the salaries. There are also some good salary surveys online. Salary surveys are tools that find out the average compensation paid to employees in one or more jobs. Compensation data, collected from several employers, is analysed to develop a better understanding of what organisations are paying for specific jobs or job classes. It would also be a good idea to contact people in the same job or industry to ask what sort of pay they are receiving. Remember to keep your research fixed to the location you are interviewing in, as different areas may command a higher or lower wage.


Sell yourself before the talk on salary

Most interviewers want to get onto the subject of pay as soon as possible, so that they do not waste time looking at somebody they cannot afford. Chances are, they will also bring up your past salary in a bid to keep your own expectations low. In order to take control of this situation, it is imperative that you talk up your skills and successes to convince them that you are perfect candidate for the role. If the salary question comes up earlier than usual, get the employer to disclose the salary before you do. Something along the lines of “what kind of salary range are you looking at for this position?” You will be surprised how many will share this information, if asked in a polite and respectful manner.


Establishing you salary requirement

Before your interview, ensure you know exactly what sort of salary you want to earn, but also what sort of salary you would be happy settling with.  It should be higher than your current pay packet. Try to get your target salary at least 15% higher than the minimum salary you’d be willing to accept as this gives you a margin for negotiations.


Keep negotiations friendly

You want to work together with an employer to negotiate a pay packet that is right for both parties. Never corner an employer into offering you a better salary. There’s no point in trying to use another company’s offer as a bargaining tool, unless they directly ask you if there are any other offers you are considering.


Never lie about your previous salary

Nowadays, a lot of online applications require you to enter your salary expectations and your salary history. This information will be passed over to the interviewer to be referred to in the discussion. Never add too much to out-price yourself, but more importantly do not lie about your salary history as you might be asked to provide details of your most recent pay-packet.


Salary offer is too low

To begin with, if you receive a salary offer in writing, arrange a time before committing to discuss it face-to-face. Don’t worry if your salary offer is non-negotiable. There are other incentives that you can look at negotiating such as extra holiday or training that allows you to move up the career ladder.

Sometimes it is not meant to be, and in the event of you being unable to negotiate the salary package that you want, you should, in your best interests decline the offer. Reject the offer graciously and on the best of terms so that you don’t burn any bridges with any business contacts you have accumulated in the recruitment process.


We at Woodland wish you all the best in your interview, and hope you get the salary you deserve! If you need any advice on your CV, Interview or Career please do get in touch.

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