The interview and answering the no-win question

Salary negotiations are difficult for many people looking for a job. A new book offers some practical advice for getting the results you want.

When interviewing for a job, we've all faced the salary requirement question. Most career advisers suggest that you hold off as long as possible on answering this question. What most don't talk about is how to give the answer once the times comes.

You don't want to go lower than the figure the company had in mind, yet you don't want to go too high and take yourself out of the running. In his new book, Salary tutor: Learn the salary negotiation secrets no one ever taught you, Jim Hopkinson gives some really good practical advice on how to field the salary question in interviews, as well as how to negotiate a raise in your current job. (The book is available as an eBook and the paperback will be in stores on Aug 11.)

In one chapter, he talks about how to field the question, "How much money are you looking to make?" First, he explains that it's important to put this in perspective:

They are the ones offering the job.

The know the need they have to fill, whether it's a Java programmer or a project manager.

They know how much additional revenue can be generated by hiring you and what their current budget limitations are.

So, as much as possible, you should turn this question back on them. Hopkinson offers some examples of wording:

"In preparing for this interview, I did some homework and found out the general range for a position like this, but it was clear to me that it could vary widely based on the company. What range did you all have budgeted for the position?"


"Well, I've done some research and I clearly think that the skills that I would bring to this job will make it worth your while, but you're in the best position to determine what a company like yours values for a position like this."

This book is available for $9.99.

By Toni Bowers

Toni Bowers is the former Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.