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Archive June 2017 XVIII, No. 6

Ideas That Work: Secret to Scoring a Higher Starting Salary

salary discussion YOU GO FIRST If you're asked to name a salary during a job interview, don't reply with a specific figure answer. Instead, ask for the position's salary range.

Secret to Scoring a Higher Starting Salary

The worst mistake you can make when discussing salary during a job interview: blurting out a figure that's either way too low or way too high. Answering the salary expectations question the wrong way can cost you a job offer. As the head of a search firm exclusively dedicated to recruiting outpatient surgery leaders, I've seen otherwise excellent candidates torpedo their chances of landing their dream job by either lowballing themselves or pricing themselves out of the market by naming a desired salary.

How to answer the salary question? Instead of stating a specific number, ask the interviewer for the salary range. Let's say you're making $85,000 in your current position and would happily leave for $100,000. When you find out that the range for the position you're interviewing for is $120,000 to $150,000, you'll be glad you didn't ask for $100,000! Not only would you have cost yourself at least $20,000, you've now given yourself leverage in knowing what the employer is willing to pay (with salary ranges, it's human nature for you to fixate on the high end and the employer to focus on the low end). Once you know the salary range, you can feel confident answering questions about your salary expectations with this simple phrase: "Based on what I know of your organization, I have no doubt you will offer a competitive package." Don't sell yourself short. Just because you're making $85,000 doesn't mean you're not worth $130,000.

André Venezio
Sapphire Health Group
Grapevine, Texas

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