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Stop selling yourself short.

Stop answering the one question that every candidate is asked.

As a candidate, never answer the question of what your salary range is first. When you answer first, most of the time you are leaving money on the table. The person interviewing has a salary range for the position, they know what they are paying and should be willing to share this with you.

The unwillingness of recruiters to provide that information, whether by company decree or personal choice, is what has to change about recruiting. The goal of the company should be to get the best candidate available, not the lowest salary possible.

There are many in recruitment who will disagree with this, but this thinking is problematic. It leads to mistrust and even resentment when an employee finds out they have been low-balled during their interview process. People always find out. And when they do, companies have lost trust, and soon after they may lose a good employee.

The best thing you can do as a candidate, is to be prepared for how you’re going to handle being asked the question about your salary range. Practice interviewing. Develop a strategy for turning the question around and getting the interviewer to provide the salary range.

And if despite your best effort, you have to provide your salary range, be prepared to ask for your worth. Research the salary range for the position across various organizations. The information is out here online, it’s going to require some detective work on your part but every candidate needs to put in the work to learn their value.

Once you have figured out what your range should be, practice asking for the higher end of the range. And yes, please practice saying that number aloud with confidence and conviction. Say the number that you can say without laughing. Seriously, say a number that pushes your comfort level.

Be prepared to defend the number with what you bring to the organization. This is something candidates are now only embracing – understand your impact on the business. Start tracking how your contributions to your current employer impacts their numbers. Whether you are looking or not, this is a valuable thing to know. As an employee, it can help you during evaluation and raise time. Once again, there are sources online that can help you with how to figure this out.

Give yourself some credit. Learn your value, and more importantly become comfortable asking for what you believe you are worth.

Until we meet again.
Desmund Adams
CEO, Focus & Find

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