It all starts in the interview, when the salary discussion is initiated.
If the topic of money arises in your first interview or in a phone interview, and you give up to much information – such as how much you made in your last position or what you are looking for in terms of compensation – then you have successfully steered the focus of the interview in the wrong direction.
When money is brought to the spotlight before a company has had time to get to know you and all of the value you can bring them, how much it will “cost” to hire you takes center stage. When this happens, you will have to work harder to compel your interviewers to see above and beyond your price tag.
Not only do you stand to lose your negotiating power by prematurely mentioning money, but the dollar figure you throw out will now serve as an immovable backdrop against the successful communication of your strengths and attributes.
It’s interesting how this works, but it is very true.
You might be thinking, “Well, how do I get around such a direct question about money in my interviews? After all, I don’t want to appear rude and hurt my chances of being invited back.” It’s wise to be considerate of these points; however you can successfully sidestep these questions and prolong discussions about money for a later interview by using the following simple techniques.
#1: Discuss Benefits
When you are asked how much money you are looking for, simply state that salary is important to you, but benefits are equally important; and since you are on the subject, would they share their benefit package with you? This is a simple diversion that is extremely effective.
If asked how much compensation you are looking for or what you currently make, you might say, “Although I would be happy to discuss money with you, I was hoping to get a better understanding of the opportunity and give you a little more time to get to know me, in order to see if there is a potential fit.”
Follow this statement up by asking them “If that’s okay.” After all, you are declining to answer their question, so your diplomacy and polite response will help you to successfully sidestep this question until a later interview.
These two simple techniques will help you keep the interviewer focused on your skills and abilities as they relate to the position and set the tone and pace for a bigger and better offer later!