By: Megan Beauchamp
Asking questions is an important part of an interview as a candidate, however, when it’s come to money it can leave people decidedly dumbfounded. What is it about "salary" that makes candidates so uncomfortable? Listen, there’s nothing wrong with asking how much you will be compensated for the work you do. In fact, this is a question you should either be prepared to ask or answer.
The first, and perhaps most vital part of even mentioning a salary is timing. Timing is essential because you don’t want to ask too early in the interview about money. Yes, compensation is important, and fair compensation, even more so, but asking the hiring manager about salary prematurely, says that the only thing driving you toward the job is the money. That is the last thing you want an employer to think about you. Wait for the ‘questions’ portion of the interview. When the hiring manager turns questioning over to you, this is the perfect time to talk money. Don’t let this be your very first question, though. Self-awareness is what we’re aiming for, not desperation. Make sure you’re asking about the job and what it entails. Make inquiries about the work environment. Show your genuine interest in the job, before any talk of pay comes up.
You know the saying, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it?” Well when you’re talking money, this is helpful to keep in mind. This is where preparation and practice come in. Think about any questions regarding money you might have, and then practice asking them. Listen to yourself. Do you sound too eager? Too meek? Like a lot of things, strive for balance. You want to sound polite, but firm. How do you do this? Grab a friend, family member, colleague and have them listen to you. Having someone else listen is a good way to gauge where to edit yourself.
Do your research
Researching your position means being a little bit of an investigator. Not only should you think about researching the hiring manager, but you should also consider looking at other employees who have held a position you’re applying for or something similar, and what their compensation has been. When you’re coming into an entry-level position or just starting work in a given industry it can be easy to shortchange yourself. Odds are you already have an idea about what you will be getting paid because it might have already been on your application, but there’s nothing wrong with asking for clarity. (Source)
Going back to entry-level positions, when you start working it can be tricky to measure what is too little, but when you’ve started working more and gotten more experience, you’ll start to identify what number sounds right. Knowing your value isn’t always as easy as it sounds. It comes with a level of confidence in your work, work ethic, and a sense of self-assuredness that you are worth it. Again, this is something that comes with time but as women in the workplace exuding poise and no-nonsense is extremely important, especially when it comes to our pockets.