When searching for a job, at some point, the employer can question you about your salary demands or share the wages you’ve earned on past workplaces. Here, you should be careful when speaking about it - you don't want to be expelled or offered a low salary, do you?
Therefore, it is essential to be ready to respond to this question. So, in this article, we'll explain why hiring managers ask this question, provide tips on answering it correctly, and offer sample answers that lead to great chances of a high starting salary.
Well, that's why it is necessary to learn about the topic before you go into an interview.
First of all, let's take a look at what salary is. Salary consists, in short, of regular rates paid by employers for work done in legal employment relationships. It includes payment in kind (e.g., meals or housing), but excludes bonuses and extra compensation like year-end presents or hazard pay.
There are different types of salaries:
- Fixed salary: The employer agrees on a fixed wage with his employee - this remains the same even if performance decreases below average;
- Performance-related pay: An employer pays out part of the wage depending on how well someone performs their job - this can either be based on a certain standard that the employee should reach or on a bonus if he exceeds this standard. In other places, performance-related pay is known as 'awards'.
- Piecework: When an employee works by the piece, he earns according to how much he produces - for instance when making shoes. This way of paying must make sure that the wage earned will always be higher than the minimum wage;
- Commission: Someone who receives a commission gets paid depending on how many sales he makes. The employer and an agent negotiate a percentage of each sale in advance, which then goes into the worker's pocket;
- Contingency fee: Paid to lawyers or other professionals instead of a flat rate or salary - e.g., 20% of the value of a claim;
- Salary on demand: Employees can ask their employer for money and get paid immediately. Although it is possible to make such agreements, rates should always be defined beforehand;
- Social salary or social wage: The German state pays certain sums to its citizens so that they will have enough money to live according to certain social standards - e.g., pensions, unemployment benefits, child allowance.
Money plays a big role in our society and we need it to live well. That's why we should show that we earn the salary we request during an interview. Employers expect you to know what your worth is and may not be willing to negotiate.
How can you answer these questions without sharing too much about your past gains or lying about them?
To begin with, never claim money you haven't earned yet! You might choose to work for less than what you've been earning before, but nobody wants to hire someone who'll bite their hand off when offered a job.
However, don't boast about earnings either - whether they're high or low. If your extra income is something positive (e.g., hobbies), then state it in a humble manner. If your earned wages are less than what you've expected - or even worse, lower than the standard rate for this job position - remain confident when stating your current income.
It's preferred to show modesty before asking for too much money. Don't be shy about revealing your basic salary because, in most countries, it is illegal to discriminate against someone based on their income level.
If you need some kind of compensation that will help you cover specific expenses (e.g., child support), don't ask for the bare minimum because you'll seem desperate and won't be respected by employers in return. Remember, they value people based on how much salaries they earn!
Never mention unemployment benefits when asked about your salary because it'll look like you haven't found a job, no matter how long ago you left your last work;
Don't reveal other business activities either - whether you're self-employed or not. If the interviewer has concerns about your trustworthiness, they might think that you're hiding something from them.
Make sure to answer all 'salary' questions by being truthful and precise! The more specific information you provide, the easier for both parties to decide if this job is really meant for each other.
WHAT ARE THE PAYMENT DEMANDS?
A wagering requirement signifies the amount of money a person must pay to accept a job offer. Many companies ask job seekers to include their salary demands in the application or cover letter.
Sometimes the HR managers or employers ask this question in person. That's why you should be ready for it not to be messed up.
There're many factors that influence salary demands - industry, benefits package, your wage history, work experience, and living costs in a specific region. Sometimes employers or HR managers ask the candidates to share their wage history.
The pay history contains info about your past earnings, previous workplaces, and your benefits sets.
THE EXPECTED WAGE: WHY DO EMPLOYERS QUESTION IT?
There're many reasons why employers or HR managers ask for this info. If your wage demands are too high, they can refuse to hire you since they do not want to pay so much.
But if you set salary demands lower than the company wants to pay you, they can offer a lower wage than you deserve.
HR managers want to see that you can accurately assess yourself. Moreover, they have a budget that cannot be exceeded.
Here, the most important thing is to find a middle ground so that you are hired and given a decent salary.
Now, we'll give you some tips on how to frame your salary demands:
- Do your own research, find out more about the vacancy and compare the salary with what other organizations offer.
- Look for salary information on the company's website. Here, you can use online payroll calculators like Payscale to define your life's cost.
- Specify a range. After examining reasonable salaries, specify a range, not a specific amount.
- For example, you could say: I want to earn $35,000 – it means that the range will be $40,000. A salary range will give you flexibility and protect you from low pay or rejection for high expectations.
- Dream big and aim high. You should include the salary you expect based on your education, experience, and skills in your range. The trick is to put your desired salary at the bottom of your range. For example, if you want to make $ 50,000, enter a range from $ 50 to $ 57,000. Most likely, the employer will offer you 50 thousand, but this is what you are trying to achieve.
- Leave it negotiable. Notify that your wage demands are flexible and you are ready to discuss. It will give you more room to negotiate your salary when getting a job.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR COMMUNICATING YOUR PAST WAGES
When being asked about the wage history, you can also name ranges rather than a concrete amount.
But if the employer gives concrete instructions on how to provide wage information, you must follow the rules.
Here, we advise you to be always honest. If you lie about your past wages, your possible boss can easily contact your last boss. It would be best if you remembered - lying won't help you get a job, and the truth will come out.
One of the main problems for job seekers is the feeling that they do not earn what they deserve.
So how do you negotiate the wages you deserve? We'll share some recommendations:
- Define your strategy
A wage talk needs to be planned in advance, and you need to research how much your competitors are paying for your level of expertise. Study the market price and how many employees have the same skills as you actually pay.
- Don't Emphasize On Your Today’s or Past Wage
Often specialists focus on wage rather than their market value. And, as a result, the conversation with a possible boss leads to a standstill. When telling about your today’s wage, be sure to include how much other organizations pay your expertise level. Don't forget to mention bonuses, perks, vacations, and bonuses. Your today’s wage is not the main thing – you must see your entire compensation package.
- Do not bid against yourself
Be sure to inform your possible boss that other employers consider your candidacy. You need to tell them that you are ready to negotiate and remind them of your goal: to achieve career advancement. It is why the range is better than the exact number. When you give a range, you show flexibility, and employers prefer adaptable and versatile workers.
- Consider the power of the counteroffer
Often, the employers expect that you will not accept the first offer made to you. Let the employer make you an offer, make one counteroffer, and then decide.
Salary is essential in any work and career, but your happiness and long-term goals matter more. You should take into account all the options and ask for a few days to think it over, and it will help you make the right decision, rather than being impulsive and possibly regretting the decision.
A HIGHER WAGE - HOW TO DISCUSS AND GET IT?
After being offered a job, you can still discuss the wage. Here, you can use everything you've learned about the position and the things the employer values most.
Try to be clear about why you deserve more. Pay negotiations are rarely pleasant. But your starting salary will affect your income, so you have to endure the awkwardness.
You need to bear in mind that salary negotiation is not the key element of the job audition. Your aim is to make your possible boss know more about your strengths, abilities, and qualifications. But you shouldn't underestimate yourself either. Tell why you deserve to be paid the required salary. Be ready to discuss and substantiate your demands, give the necessary arguments.
Now when you know how to ask for a higher wage - go and ask for a reasonable salary you're worth!