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Picture this: You’ve worked hard for weeks on end to get to the final stages of an interview. You’ve now had two interviews (and maybe a project) and you know the next step is a highly anticipated phone call.

When you get the call, you answer and calmly thank them for the offer, then you politely give them your counteroffer to which they say, “Let us call you back.” When they call you back, they say, “We can do that.” Boom! Time to celebrate!

The scenario above may not always reflect reality, so you need to be ready to negotiate a counter offer. When it comes to the salary question, the best way to approach it is to be prepared. We gathered our five favorite ways that we have had candidates respond to the salary question when asked.  Enjoy! 

1. Know Your Number

When you begin an interview process, you should already know what salary you want to make. You should also know what other factors need to be present for you to accept an offer. Some factors to take into consideration include paid time off policy, office culture, childcare options, etc. 

2. Do Not Make the First Offer

It’s not the end of the world if you’ve done this before, but try to not offer a salary goal until you have a better understanding of their benefits package, their stance on overtime and off-hours work, and what other non-compensation benefits you have access to.

You also don’t want to be the first one to show your hand. In some states, it’s illegal to ask what your current salary is! This question can be framed as “What is your target earnings/salary?” or a plethora of other versions of that question. Keep an eye out!

3. Research Research Research

It goes without saying that you should do your research before going into an interview, but what does that mean? What is considered adequate research you might ask? I’m glad you asked. Let’s start with a list of what is NOT adequate research:

  • Reading all their reviews on Indeed
  • Glancing at the website
  • Reading the About Us page
  • Instagram stalking the company
  • Looking at their LinkedIn Information page

If you have done any of the actions above in the name of research, that’s fine! You’re actually on the right track because all of those research methods are ways to find information, but they just aren’t enough without the following few steps.

  • Check all of the companies social media accounts and take note of the content they are publishing
  • Read their reviews to see how previous candidates have felt about the company
  • Go through their website thoroughly. Make sure you’re prepared to ask at least three in-depth questions regarding their policies towards employees, the workplace, and benefits
  • Read the “About Us” page and make sure you understand their mission
  • Stalk their LinkedIn and go ahead and connect with the people on the team you’re interviewing on

4. Practice Your Pitch

Now that you’ve got most of your prep work done, it’s time to get comfortable talking about an uncomfortable topic: your salary.

By now, you should know what you want to make yearly, what benefits you would like to take advantage of, and what qualities of their work that you would like to know more about. An easy way to ease into this conversation would be to ask, “What’s your salary budget for this role?” before they ask you to reveal your ideal salary. Though most get shaky hands just thinking about being direct in this conversation, we’re here to assure you that you can do this!

Another great way to mentally prepare for this part of the conversation is to practice with a peer or mentor. Having them ask you qualifying questions can help you build up the repertoire you need to crush that conversation in the interview! However, since you can never be too prepared, here are some of our favorite questions that you can use to make sure you’re ready for your next interview:

  • What’s the local market average annual salary for this role in my area?
  • Is this company offering a competitive benefits package?
  • What’s the company’s PTO structure like?
  • How much would you like to be earning?
  • What’s the lowest you would be willing to take if they give you an offer?

Answer these and BOOM, you’re ready for that salary question.

As always, the Catch Crew is here to ease your burden when it comes to all things interviewing and job hunting. We find lots of joy in helping our candidates prepare for their interview, and just being there for them during the whole process, and we would like to guide you! Check out all of our open opportunities on our careers page to get started!