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Salary and Compensation

Typically, salary topics are brought up if you are under serious consideration for a position. But, before you go to any interview, you need to know the essentials of the salary range and the benefits of the position for which you applied.

An employer is more inclined to respect a person who has a clear understanding of his or her worth in the marketplace. To prepare, you should:

  • Research the current salary for your level of education and career field. Obtain data from several different sources to get a composite view as you will find differences among the surveys.
  • Know what your skills are and what they are worth in the current market.
  • Review what your need for living expenses, including rent, utilities, school loan, car payments, etc.
  • Come up with 3 figures - a minimum, a realistic midpoint salary, and a dream salary

You may be asked questions regarding salary to determine if you are a fit financially. Some typical questions include:

  • What is an adequate reward for your efforts?
  • What is your salary history or what was your salary progress on your last job?
  • What were you making on your last job? What are you making now?
  • How much will it take to get you? How much are you looking for?
  • What are your salary expectations or requirements?
  • What do you hope to be earning 2 to 5 years from now?
If you are asked about money before you are comfortable with your knowledge of the job duties, postpone further talk about money until you have more facts in hand. Respond with "I still have 1 or 2 questions about my responsibilities and it would be easier to discuss salary once I have them cleared up." Then make sure you ask the questions! Your goal is not to settle for less than what will enable you to be happy on the job.