January 21, 2019

One of the most dreaded interview questions is the money question. What’s your target salary? What compensation package are you looking for? What are you earning currently? There are many different ways to ask the question, but is there a good way to answer it?

It’s Not Just About Money

If you’re like most people, money is an important factor when considering a new job, but it’s certainly not the only factor. So try approaching the question from that perspective. What are the things about this opportunity that pique your interest?

The money question gives you an opportunity to explain why you want to work for this company. Maybe it’s the company culture, maybe it’s their state-of-the-art warehouse management system, or perhaps it’s the changes they’re making that attract you to this company. Employers and supply chain recruiters want to hear why you want to work there, so let them know.

Don’t Play Games

It’s fine to give an initial answer that takes the focus off the money by talking about what you’re looking for in a new opportunity. But if you are asked the money question a second time, it’s time to give a straight answer.

A Straight Answer

“I’m currently getting $XXX per year plus bonus, taking me to $XXX all-in. I’m hoping for an increase on that of course, but the most important thing for me is the right opportunity. From what I’ve learned about this company, I think it would be a great fit for me because INSERT YOUR RESEARCH HERE. So as long as the offer is competitive I would be interested.”

If you believe you’re underpaid or you’re just not comfortable telling the employer what you’re earning currently, simply start with “I’m targeting $XXX per year, but the most important thing to me is the opportunity,” and continue from there.

Quick Negotiation Tips

  1. It’s better to provide a specific number instead of a range. When you give a range, the hiring manager will often take the lower end of that range as a starting point for the negotiation. If you’re targeting $65K, don’t say you’re looking for $60K – $70K or you may be disappointed.
  2. When quoting a specific number, give a number that’s higher than the minimum you would accept. It’s easier to negotiate down from a high number than it is to negotiate up from a low one.
  3. Include all variables when stating your current compensation. Be sure to include bonus, vacation, RRSP matching, pension. Some benefits will have a significant monetary value as well, such as product discounts or Healthcare Spending Accounts.
  4. Be honest. Most recruiters have a pretty good idea of what jobs pay, and if you’re underpaid they usually won’t take advantage of that. They also have a specific salary range for most roles, and if you’re outside the range it’s better to find out early in the process instead of wasting everyone’s time interviewing for a job that doesn’t pay what you’re targeting.

Bottom Line

The key to answering the money question effectively is to focus on the factors besides money that are important to you.  Use this question as an opportunity to tell the interviewer what other factors are important to you in looking for a new position.

Contact Us

Looking for more interview or resume tips? Check the blog at SCLSearch.com, or take a look at our careers pages to see what opportunities we have available. Connect with one of our logistics recruiters on LinkedIn. And let’s see if we can help you find that perfect opportunity in supply chain and logistics.

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