What do YOU do with the salary question? In today’s job market, it’s huge. Well I found a LinkedIn group discussion with nearly 700 comments. The person who posed the question does an excellent job of articulating the issues, and firing back further questions. I think this discussion addresses the issue in such detail that it will at least give you some different perspectives on the BIG question. It’s a members-only LinkedIn group called “Career Change Central – in Partnership with IvyExec.com.” It is not restrictive, though, if you explain that you are looking for career changing information and input, or show that in your LinkedIn profile.
In the Career Change Central LinkedIn group, look for the group discussion “Interview Question – What are your salary expectations?” The discussion leader is J. Paige Freeland. My perspective on this topic has evolved slightly. This was my “Comment:”
“While I agree with the common recommendation that answering the salary question without really giving specific dollars or dollar ranges is normally to the candidate’s advantage, there are times when the recruiter insists on at least a specific range, and without it, the conversation ends.
There are two solutions. Research the industry, like companies and like jobs. Inquire through your local network of contacts who might know what the local market range for this position is with competitors. Ask people who know people in those companies if they can help you. Get as much information as you possibly can about relevant salary data.
The other solution is a more traditional research visit to your local library. Reference USA is the premier business reference guides and can be accessed with a good librarian’s assistance. Hoover’s is also a great reference although on-line it may require some investment.
If the company is publicly traded, some financial information will be available on the required SEC filing, the 14-K. For a non-profit organization, the Form 990 will have key people salary information.
With nearly 700 comments already, these research references are (I’m sure) not news. My view on this is that careful preparation for a critical question puts you in the best position to move beyond that natural interviewing process hurdle.”