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Should you say what your salary expectations are in an interview?

There are two schools of thought on this. One half thinks that you should, and the other half does not think you should. As usual it is not as simple as that. Let’s explore when you should or shouldn’t say how much you are looking for in an interview.

When you should

If you are applying for a role independently, then absolutely you should be state your expectations. This is because if you don’t you will unlikely be fairly compensated. Naturally you will need to have an idea of what you are looking for. It is best to have a figure in your head and aim a little higher so that you have some bargaining power. And if you land that salary, then more money for you!

When you should not

There are two types of scenarios where you will not want to state your salary expectations. The first is when the salary has been stated upfront. This could be on the job board or when the recruiter contacted you. You are being interviewed on the basis that you are happy with this salary or hourly rate.

The other scenario where you don’t want to state your salary expectations is when you are being represented with a recruiter. This is for a couple of reasons. Your recruiter is usually on a first name basis with your interviewer and will be able to negotiate more effectively than you. Especially if the recruiter has worked with this client repeatedly. Recruiters are also trained on how to negotiate. Also when you say a figure, that is it. There is no negotiation at that point. So if you say something too high or low in your panic, that can shape the offer. And in some cases the figure you quote can actually prevent an offer from coming through.

So it’s best to play it safe and work with your recruiter to get the best deal.

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