You’re prepared for your interview and are ready to face any question that might be thrown at you with regard to your skill, ability and experience. However, there is one delicate area where the best of us fail to sound confident. That is the area of compensation. How much exactly do you think you’re worth? If you have a good idea of how much you’re worth, are you prepared to tackle compensation questions your recruiter or hiring manager might have for you?

So what are the compensation questions you might be asked? It’s absolutely essential that you come across as completely sincere and upfront in this area. Fudging information will only cause you to lose respect and perhaps the job. Before you go for your interview, find out what your market value is. You can do this through one of many job sites that allows you to check how much your skills and experience are actually worth.

Questions about compensation will be asked initially by the recruiter or hiring manager, and throughout the process you may be asked by various interviewers or the HR department. You will typically be asked about your compensation in one of two ways.

Question 1: What range are you targeting for your next opportunity?

Many people answer this question by deferring to what they make currently or most recently and follow-up with whether they are looking for something comparable or what % of an increase they would like to see based on responsibilities and cost-of-living issues. This question is often mandatory before a recruiter can submit you to their client, so don’t have delicate sensibilities. Your answers are held in confidence and shared only with the client, but they have to ensure you are within the range their client is targeting.

Question 2: What is your current / previous salary?

This is a question that will be asked at the beginning of the interviewing process and sometimes repeatedly throughout. It’s best to always tell them exactly how much you were making. If you enjoyed company shares or bonuses or other perks in your previous organization, make sure you mention those. Don’t leave out any significant components that would increase your overall package value. Some employers will ask for previous pay slips and tax records to validate if you’re telling the truth before they extend an offer, so be honest.

by:  Anjela Mangrum, CPC

Anjela Mangrum is the founder of Mangrum Career Solutions Inc.  MCS partners with industrial and machining manufacturing businesses to source and secure mid-to-upper level talent for operations, supply chain, and engineering positions.  They work to empower individual job seekers by helping them gain a competitive edge in their job search. For hiring needs contact Anjela at 513.753.3813 x101.

Share This