Show Me The Money! – How to answer THAT salary question at interview

Big Payday

Few people would be doing what they’re doing unless they were being remunerated sufficiently for the pleasure, right?

Money is clearly an integral part of our chosen career path, of course it is; it pays for things after all and features prominently in conversations with candidates. Yet frequently it becomes a problem during an interview because, generally, very few of us know what the correct thing to say is.

After so much pre-interview preparation and stress, all your good work can be undone at the sheer declaration of a simple number that seems to concrete into non-negotiable “you said it” mass as soon as it pours from your gaping mouth; it can go either way:

  1. Too high and it will price you out
  2. Too low and you lose out on money

There are plenty of “How to Negotiate Salary” articles and blogs out there but, in my opinion, they all assume you have a heady mix of Wolf of Wall Street (Glengarry Glen Ross if you prefer) sales technique, Godfather-style negotiation skills and an iconic Jerry Maguire delivery capability.

We are who we are though, right? And not everyone can put it on the table with such gusto. In truth, many of us can become a little bit Oliver! about the whole thing.

Now, where was I again… millionaire playboys, The Godfather, agents with pet goldfish and orphans…money, right got it…

So with all that said and done I could have probably wrapped this up in a tweet or two as there are really only two figures you need to have in mind prior to an interview:

  1. The amount you would realistically like to earn (best-case scenario)
  2. The lowest figure you would accept to achieve/maintain your desired lifestyle

As an aside, when considering these figures it can be worthwhile calculating the monthly NET figure to realise how much that couple of thousand is actually worth in real money and here’s a great little site to help you calculate that.

So to finish off here, no-one is saying this should be the lowest figure you will accept; it’s important we achieve a win-win situation so that enjoying Cristal and caviar on your luxury yacht is still on the cards. Just know what the all-important figures are.



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