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Job interview questions and answers (Part 11): What are your pay requirements?

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Published on May 1, 2013

Job interview questions and answers (Part 11): What are your pay requirements?
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Today we're going to talk about the job interview question "what are your pay requirements?" You may also hear this question worded "how much do you want to make?" and "What kind of salary are you looking for?".

This question can be super awkward. You want to make a good amount of money, but you also don't want to scare them away by giving them a number they can't afford.

Answers to avoid:

"Anything. It doesn't matter. I'm just desperate for whatever you can offer me."

"$200 per hour. I really don't think I can settle for anything else."

"It must be $13.37 on the dot. I've worked out my finances and that's what it will take if you want to afford me."

These answers will probably make the interviewer pretty nervous about you. You don't want to seem desperate; they may think you are just looking for any job and not their job. At the same time, you don't want to look like they can't afford you.

This can be scary, but some research can make it a little easier. Do an internet search for average salaries for the type of position you are interviewing for, and what the average is for your location. For example, a cashier in Nashville will probably, on average, make a different amount than a cashier in New York City.

You can use this to give you a range you think they can pay. Be sure to end your answer with the option for the range to change. This way they will know that you'll be willing to work with them on what you could possibly earn.

"I would really like to make between 9-11 an hour. However, this is negotiable."

This is a great answer because it gives them a specific range they can work with that is average for the position and ends by letting them know that this is up for negotiation.

What interview questions scare you? Let us know below!

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Tags: what are your pay requirements salary wages tough interviews job work unemployment tips advice hints hard difficult unemployed employment searching search how to find finding applications resumes retail restaurant office employers hiring hires get hired help video blog working career examples money how to negotiate

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