I struggle to answer questions about what salary I’m looking for – what should I say to ensure I’m fairly rewarded?
One of the trickiest parts of any interview is the conversation about financial package. It is usually best to wait until it is raised by the interviewer as many would-be employers can be put off a candidate if they feel they are too interested in the potential salary and rewards rather than the position itself.
In most cases, the salary should have been very clearly communicated to you in advance either via the job advert or through your consultant so you should have a reasonable idea of what is on offer. Often there will be a salary range attached to the role and you need to understand where your skills and experience place you within this.
You should answer any questions as clearly and concisely as possible. You may be asked how much your currently earn – or what you would be looking for salary wise – do not be tempted to lie in an attempt to secure a better package. Most employers are very much aware of salary levels within their industries and may not look favourably upon someone that they feel is not being honest about their expectations.
It’s often difficult to get the balance right and handle the conversation in the best way – ask for too little and you could be kicking yourself, pitch yourself too high and you may not get an offer.
Most job descriptions will come with an expected salary package, often including a salary band plus any additional benefits such as car allowance, private healthcare or pension contributions so you will have an indication of what the employer is expecting to offer before you apply or attend an interview.
Make sure you do some research yourself beforehand; speak to your consultant and read copies of salary reports and other job advertisements online to find out what somebody with your level of experience should be looking for and what the market rate is within your area – remember, salaries can vary considerably by location.
Have in mind a salary range which you feel would be reasonable given your level of experience and the position described. Answer confidently and try to illustrate your answer by linking your skills back to the role requirements.
It is also essential to look at the overall package being offered and not just the salary itself; for example, childcare vouchers or life assurance may not have been high on your list of priorities before, but could be more valuable if your circumstances have changed.
Think about any other benefits to the role which don’t necessarily have a monetary value – additional holidays, flexible working hours, onsite gym provision for example. Also consider if you will save or incur costs in relation to travel, petrol or parking expenses on your commute with a new role.
If you are successful at the interview stage and your application progresses further, then potential salary and rewards will form a key part of the discussion; if you are working with a recruitment consultant then they can use their knowledge of the marketplace to negotiate on your behalf.
Sharp Consultancy specialises in the recruitment of temporary, interim and permanent finance and accountancy professionals. With offices in Leeds and Sheffield our highly experienced team of consultants recruit for positions throughout Yorkshire and beyond. Contact us today to discuss your recruitment requirements.