Author Topic: Interviewer asking for salary range?  (Read 3029 times)

jeromedawg

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Interviewer asking for salary range?
« on: January 27, 2021, 12:03:35 PM »
Hey all,

I think I asked something along these lines before but was hoping for a refresher on this. I just had an interview with a hiring manager and at the end he asked for salary requirements or at least a range. He was saying he kind of "needs" this to move things forward. I recall prior that, as an interviewee, I should avoid giving that number and try to push or defer it to the end. He told me I could email him a range or number in lieu of feeling pressured to give an answer over the phone.

That said, how would you guys approach this? I've tried researching the company's numbers via Glassdoor, etc and can't really find anything. This position is relatively 'unique' as well and it sounds like there are a number of other interviewees competing for the position. If I have found anything on salary with the company, it seems well-below what my current number is. If I'm making $130k now and I'm really pushed on giving a number or range, is it advisable just to give him a range like $140k-$150k for example? Or do you go based on percentage? He told me that , in short, because this is a nationwide hiring the salary isn't going to be adjusted based on various COL areas (so you won't get paid more/adjusted if you live in LA/NY vs middle Kansas for instance).

Any suggestions on how to respond back?
« Last Edit: January 27, 2021, 12:05:09 PM by jeromedawg »

BlueHouse

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2021, 12:23:30 PM »
Definitely give him the range.  And yes, $140-$150 is a fine range, as long as you make sure that you know what benefits are included.  I used to say something like: "depending on the benefits package, I'm looking for $x - $y".  That way if you really want the job but you've overreached, you can back down and still save face.  But if you're used to $130k with a fully matched $401k and health and they offer $140k, then that's not worth it to you.

What you want to avoid, is giving them past salary. 
a.  None of their business
b.  It makes them feel as if you don't "need" more than that
c.  They tend to appreciate other company's opinions on "worth" more than yours or even theirs. 

Good luck!

jeromedawg

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2021, 12:32:14 PM »
Definitely give him the range.  And yes, $140-$150 is a fine range, as long as you make sure that you know what benefits are included.  I used to say something like: "depending on the benefits package, I'm looking for $x - $y".  That way if you really want the job but you've overreached, you can back down and still save face.  But if you're used to $130k with a fully matched $401k and health and they offer $140k, then that's not worth it to you.

What you want to avoid, is giving them past salary. 
a.  None of their business
b.  It makes them feel as if you don't "need" more than that
c.  They tend to appreciate other company's opinions on "worth" more than yours or even theirs. 

Good luck!

Ah ok - thanks! I think I might have been conflating the idea of not giving salary at all with the idea of giving my past/current salary. Good point on benefits. The benefits are not as good as the current company's but they're not horrible. Currently my 401k match is 6% whereas this smaller company matches fully up to the first 3% then up to half of that up to 5% (I'm not really sure how this even works but isn't that just a 4% match?). Health isn't fully covered at my current company either but I think the subsidy might be a bit better than whatever the new company would offer.

bloodaxe

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2021, 01:54:40 PM »
Make sure you play on the emotional brain on your interviewer.

In the book, "negotiating like your life depends on it", the author suggests saying something like:

"A company would pay a high quality worker 150k - 185k in this area".

This is called anchoring, at it has been seen that having a large upper range makes the lower bound reasonable. This is also addressed in "Thinking Fast and Slow".

jeromedawg

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2021, 02:15:00 PM »
Make sure you play on the emotional brain on your interviewer.

In the book, "negotiating like your life depends on it", the author suggests saying something like:

"A company would pay a high quality worker 150k - 185k in this area".

This is called anchoring, at it has been seen that having a large upper range makes the lower bound reasonable. This is also addressed in "Thinking Fast and Slow".

But isn't another constraint with this the national average and field you work in as well as experience level? I would anticipate a response such as "that salary range is more so if you're a lead, manager or director" in which case the position I'm applying for is not, or if there is a response "that salary range is outside of the range we've set". This kind of happened to me while applying for an opening at my current company under my previous manager. You were forced to include a salary requirement in the online screener application so I put the high range number and my prior manager said HR rejected the app based on that as well as my selecting "No" for being willing to relocate (even though all of us are remote). I was pretty pissed and that's given me more reason to look elsewhere.



bloodaxe

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2021, 02:24:32 PM »
Make sure you play on the emotional brain on your interviewer.

In the book, "negotiating like your life depends on it", the author suggests saying something like:

"A company would pay a high quality worker 150k - 185k in this area".

This is called anchoring, at it has been seen that having a large upper range makes the lower bound reasonable. This is also addressed in "Thinking Fast and Slow".

But isn't another constraint with this the national average and field you work in as well as experience level? I would anticipate a response such as "that salary range is more so if you're a lead, manager or director" in which case the position I'm applying for is not, or if there is a response "that salary range is outside of the range we've set". This kind of happened to me while applying for an opening at my current company under my previous manager. You were forced to include a salary requirement in the online screener application so I put the high range number and my prior manager said HR rejected the app based on that as well as my selecting "No" for being willing to relocate (even though all of us are remote). I was pretty pissed and that's given me more reason to look elsewhere.

The numbers have to be realistic. Don't lie to them.

If they say "that range is not possible" you can turn it around and ask what is a viable range. If that range is good with you, then move forward.

Otherwise, stand firm on the original range. Negotiating is really all about asking questions.

  • "How can I accept that range?"
  • "Where did you get that range from?"
  • "Should I accept an unfair salary?"

Avoid "Why" questions, since that is likely to offend the person you are talking to. Example: "Why would you offer me that?" sounds a lot more personal.

FIRE 20/20

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2021, 02:29:22 PM »
It also depends on how much you want this job.  If you're making $130k now at a job you hate and you have reason to believe this job would be much better than your current job, then I would think you'd be willing to go a little lower - maybe give a range of $125k-140k.  Or if you know you're about to lose your job or it's really really horrible, then you might go even lower.  If, on the other hand, this is basically a lateral move and you aren't really all that interested unless they offer you a reason to move then a higher range like $140k-160k might be the right choice.  I read your other thread so I have some thoughts on this, but after the interview how much do you want this job?  Would it be better than your current job?  Actually, in what ways would it be better and in what ways would it be worse?  How much would they need to offer to make you willing to accept and join their company?

Laserjet3051

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2021, 05:33:56 PM »
I went through really challenging salary negotiations about 14 months ago and despite having a few decades of experience doing this, I learned one new important thing.  If we come to a point where we have to start putting a stake in the ground regarding compensation, it must be stated only AFTER the candidate has demonstrated their true value to the company. Despite our attempts to not be the first one to throw out the # or range, sometimes prospective employers are succesful in forcing our hand. Just make sure they know how much YOU are really worth to them before stating any #s. Our true value as an individual cannot be discerned from a distribution plot of salaries.

I had two negotiations, both for the same job for the same company, but at two different locations nationally. They each didnt know of the other interview I had at the time. The employer for which I had succesfully evidenced my value over multiple phone calls and emails ended up offering me almost twice the comp that the other one did where they forced my hand early in the conversation, well before I had been able to evidence my true value through interviewing. 

And the job with the almost twice comp, was in a much LOWER COL area than the other lower comp job prospect, so a huge win for me.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2021, 05:39:29 PM by Laserjet3051 »

norajean

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2021, 07:15:19 PM »
Ask for more information. Some companies will try to come back with a full salary and benefits package comparison to whatever you provide them. They will assume you wonít come for less total remuneration than current. I donít think it will affect who gets selected, just how the present the offer. I would give them all your current details and tell them I wouldnít consider switching companies for less than 20% bump.

jeromedawg

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2021, 07:37:51 PM »
Ask for more information. Some companies will try to come back with a full salary and benefits package comparison to whatever you provide them. They will assume you wonít come for less total remuneration than current. I donít think it will affect who gets selected, just how the present the offer. I would give them all your current details and tell them I wouldnít consider switching companies for less than 20% bump.

Wouldn't this occur later in the process though? I've only had one conversation with the hiring manager so far and there are a pool of candidates and interviews they're going through. Frankly, I'll be surprised if I end up making it any further (the pool they're choosing from is based on other professionals who are on a pretty exclusive mailing list and if I had to guess most of whom are probably more highly qualified than myself)

jeromedawg

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2021, 09:40:22 PM »
I went through really challenging salary negotiations about 14 months ago and despite having a few decades of experience doing this, I learned one new important thing.  If we come to a point where we have to start putting a stake in the ground regarding compensation, it must be stated only AFTER the candidate has demonstrated their true value to the company. Despite our attempts to not be the first one to throw out the # or range, sometimes prospective employers are succesful in forcing our hand. Just make sure they know how much YOU are really worth to them before stating any #s. Our true value as an individual cannot be discerned from a distribution plot of salaries.

I had two negotiations, both for the same job for the same company, but at two different locations nationally. They each didnt know of the other interview I had at the time. The employer for which I had succesfully evidenced my value over multiple phone calls and emails ended up offering me almost twice the comp that the other one did where they forced my hand early in the conversation, well before I had been able to evidence my true value through interviewing. 

And the job with the almost twice comp, was in a much LOWER COL area than the other lower comp job prospect, so a huge win for me.

Objective question but how do you guys define "how much you are worth"? I know oftentimes people will justify worth based on how much revenue or dollars savings they brought to a company but I feel you can't do this with all jobs (or at least directly). For sales jobs, marketing campaigns, etc where you can get measurable results sure. But for a low-level tech/engineering position where you're working on a piece of the puzzle, it seems really hard to map your efforts to a dollar amount. Which leads back to the original question....

use2betrix

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2021, 07:23:19 PM »
Thereís a million different factors to consider.

Do you hate your job? Are you willing to work for less? Do you absolutely want more? How are the responsibilities different? Are the hours different? How much is their health insurance? Do they have a 401k? Is there a match? Whatís the vesting period? Any other perks, bonuses, etc?

I just went through this and had to factor in all those things. I left a job a loved with colleagues and work that I loved for something thatís a lot more challenging with less flexibility and less money, however there is a lot more job security.

Their expectations for the position was $95/hr-$105/hr at 50 hrs per week w/ no time and a half, no per diem, and no vacation.

I was able to get them to $121/hr w/ time and a half after 40 hrs/wk, working a 50 hr/wk schedule. They threw in two weeks vacation and $375/wk per diem until I relocate closer (currently 75 miles away, and hour and 10 min commute).

I work in industrial construction and the industry is DEAD right now and there were a million choices they had. I was currently working at a job I loved so I had a ton of leverage.

You really just need to feel the situation out. Thereís so many variables that all have to be considered.

ender

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2021, 07:27:25 PM »
"What is the range for the position? There are a lot of factors impacting salary and so it's hard to say without seeing the whole package but if you can let me know the range, I can tell you if we're in the same ballpark."

jeromedawg

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2021, 08:19:23 PM »
"What is the range for the position? There are a lot of factors impacting salary and so it's hard to say without seeing the whole package but if you can let me know the range, I can tell you if we're in the same ballpark."

Is this what you're proposing emailing the hiring manager back with?

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2021, 11:33:19 PM »
I think the reason they ask the question is threefold:

1.  To see what you might be willing to accept.
2.  To see if you and they are even in the same ballpark compensation-wise.  If they're planning on something around $100K and you say "$175K-$185K" I think that would stop the conversation cold turkey.
3.  As a standard negotiation tactic of "you go first".

When I was asked the question for my first job at my last company, I developed my answer by considering two factors:

1.  The competitive market value of the job.  I collected the job position description, title, responsibilities, and education and experience requirements.  With that I went and looked at all the salary comparison tools (Glassdoor and Salary.com at the time, now there are more.).  This gave me a pretty rough idea of what they should pay for the job.

2.  How well I felt my personal skills, qualifications, educational background, etc. matched that job description.  Generally job descriptions I've seen are aimed at a range of candidates - "2 year degree required, 4 year degree preferred" means if I have a 4 year degree I'm toward the upper end.  If it says "3 to 5 years experience with Microsoft Excel" and I have 8 years, then I'm above the range on that item.  I looked at all of the bullet items in the job description and evaluated myself objectively on each of them and then sort of took the weighted average.

In general, I think when you cite a range, the bottom number is probably what they will take as your bare minimum, and the top number is what you would really like to get paid but don't expect them to pay you.  I did that and gave a range that had about a 20% difference between the two numbers.  They offered me about 5% above the bottom of my range, which at the time was also a 20% pay bump from my previous job plus a much better benefit package, and I was happy to take it.  (I later got a promotion, and overall about another 25% in raises and a lot more stock options.)

I have been on the hiring side of things as well.  Generally when I was making hiring decisions, I would go through a similar process to the three steps I listed above for evaluating the candidate and propose what I thought was a good fair number to the HR person - I wanted a number that would be good for the person and a wise use of my company's compensation dollars.  I would then usually be approved for that number plus often a few thousand dollars a year wiggle room, and maybe 500-1000 shares of options.  If the candidate and I couldn't agree within that range, then I would have to either give up on the candidate or go back to HR to ask for more money.  (That never happened to me when I was hiring.)

In a typical sideways move, I think there was a rough rule of thumb that we thought a candidate usually would need at least a 15% bump in salary in order to compensate them for the risk of switching jobs and to lure them away from the known into the unknown.  But sometimes that rule had to be broken - maybe the other company was doing location-based compensation and the candidate lived in an HCOL area and was moving to our LCOL area, or maybe they were deliberately downshifting in responsibilities, or maybe they were retreading and switching career tracks.  I don't think I ever had to deal with those scenarios personally, but we would probably have more extensive conversations with the candidate about that if we had to.

MustachioedPistachio

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2021, 09:26:31 AM »
Wouldn't this occur later in the process though? I've only had one conversation with the hiring manager so far and there are a pool of candidates and interviews they're going through. Frankly, I'll be surprised if I end up making it any further (the pool they're choosing from is based on other professionals who are on a pretty exclusive mailing list and if I had to guess most of whom are probably more highly qualified than myself)

To your point, the HR ask on the salary range in this context and at this stage is likely less of a negotiating point and more of a filter for the candidates. If you are less qualified but give a lower range than the other candidates, you may be reconsidered. If you are equally or better qualified, it helps to demonstrate that you are worth it with a high ask, especially if you are able to give them reasons to believe you are high potential as well.

jeromedawg

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2021, 10:27:32 AM »
Thereís a million different factors to consider.

Do you hate your job? Are you willing to work for less? Do you absolutely want more? How are the responsibilities different? Are the hours different? How much is their health insurance? Do they have a 401k? Is there a match? Whatís the vesting period? Any other perks, bonuses, etc?

I just went through this and had to factor in all those things. I left a job a loved with colleagues and work that I loved for something thatís a lot more challenging with less flexibility and less money, however there is a lot more job security.

Their expectations for the position was $95/hr-$105/hr at 50 hrs per week w/ no time and a half, no per diem, and no vacation.

I was able to get them to $121/hr w/ time and a half after 40 hrs/wk, working a 50 hr/wk schedule. They threw in two weeks vacation and $375/wk per diem until I relocate closer (currently 75 miles away, and hour and 10 min commute).

I work in industrial construction and the industry is DEAD right now and there were a million choices they had. I was currently working at a job I loved so I had a ton of leverage.

You really just need to feel the situation out. Thereís so many variables that all have to be considered.

I don't *hate* my job per se... it just feels like there's not that much stability. Of course, when speaking with the hiring manager on the phone he told me they furloughed a number of employees last year due to COVID but that's under pretty extreme circumstances. That said, my current company has gone through rounds of layoffs but our organization has been largely untouched (outside of ppl leaving on their own volition). That said, I'm pretty comfortable here outside of "unknown job stability" - I think it would kind of take me a lot for me to move on and yes preferably for more than what I'm making now. The responsibilities are different in that I'd have to brush up and learn/know a lot more in an area I've been out of for a while. The hours would be more or less the same but it seems like the amount of flexibility in how I get my work done would be similar. Is it a bit too forward in my email follow-up to inquire about their full health insurance/other benefits only after a first interview/screener? They have a 401k that matches 100% up to the first 3% that I contribute then up to 50% on the next 4% and another 50% up to 5% (as mentioned before, I'm not really sure how to make sense of this...)

I suppose replying back initially with Ender's recommendation of pointing out that it's hard to give a number/range without knowing the *full* benefits package and sort of pressing them to give me a range (versus the other way around).

I should note that I just had my annual bonus/comp review and I got more than I was expecting (more or less the same thing as last year and for the most part what I've been getting year over year since working here). So I'm not *unhappy* about things currently. But yea, there's this looming cloud over my head about the possibility of things declining and or layoffs, etc.


I think the reason they ask the question is threefold:

1.  To see what you might be willing to accept.
2.  To see if you and they are even in the same ballpark compensation-wise.  If they're planning on something around $100K and you say "$175K-$185K" I think that would stop the conversation cold turkey.
3.  As a standard negotiation tactic of "you go first".

When I was asked the question for my first job at my last company, I developed my answer by considering two factors:

1.  The competitive market value of the job.  I collected the job position description, title, responsibilities, and education and experience requirements.  With that I went and looked at all the salary comparison tools (Glassdoor and Salary.com at the time, now there are more.).  This gave me a pretty rough idea of what they should pay for the job.

2.  How well I felt my personal skills, qualifications, educational background, etc. matched that job description.  Generally job descriptions I've seen are aimed at a range of candidates - "2 year degree required, 4 year degree preferred" means if I have a 4 year degree I'm toward the upper end.  If it says "3 to 5 years experience with Microsoft Excel" and I have 8 years, then I'm above the range on that item.  I looked at all of the bullet items in the job description and evaluated myself objectively on each of them and then sort of took the weighted average.

In general, I think when you cite a range, the bottom number is probably what they will take as your bare minimum, and the top number is what you would really like to get paid but don't expect them to pay you.  I did that and gave a range that had about a 20% difference between the two numbers.  They offered me about 5% above the bottom of my range, which at the time was also a 20% pay bump from my previous job plus a much better benefit package, and I was happy to take it.  (I later got a promotion, and overall about another 25% in raises and a lot more stock options.)

I have been on the hiring side of things as well.  Generally when I was making hiring decisions, I would go through a similar process to the three steps I listed above for evaluating the candidate and propose what I thought was a good fair number to the HR person - I wanted a number that would be good for the person and a wise use of my company's compensation dollars.  I would then usually be approved for that number plus often a few thousand dollars a year wiggle room, and maybe 500-1000 shares of options.  If the candidate and I couldn't agree within that range, then I would have to either give up on the candidate or go back to HR to ask for more money.  (That never happened to me when I was hiring.)

In a typical sideways move, I think there was a rough rule of thumb that we thought a candidate usually would need at least a 15% bump in salary in order to compensate them for the risk of switching jobs and to lure them away from the known into the unknown.  But sometimes that rule had to be broken - maybe the other company was doing location-based compensation and the candidate lived in an HCOL area and was moving to our LCOL area, or maybe they were deliberately downshifting in responsibilities, or maybe they were retreading and switching career tracks.  I don't think I ever had to deal with those scenarios personally, but we would probably have more extensive conversations with the candidate about that if we had to.

Totally agree with you. Regarding your point #2 I'm just wondering if this is something where I should just reply back with the actual range as he requested and shoot for $160-180k (like what you and Blueaxe are throwing out) just for the sake of it. The job itself is novel and sounds like something that would be more 'fulfilling' than what I do now. Then again, my bigger goal is FIRE and I don't want to be working for an employer for the rest of my life. I were to take the job and it were to earn me that much it would certainly help with comfort levels as far as a home purchase is concerned in the midst of also thinking about FIRE. I would envision working at least 3-5 years more after taking on a mortgage (with a more significant down payment).
 
The interesting thing about this position is that the hiring manager actually posted two different positions: lead and associate. But when I asked him how many positions he's looking to fill, he said currently they have approval for one position. It didn't occur to me then but after I was wondering if they're interviewing for both positions and trying to find "the best candidate" to fill the one position regardless of whether they're lead or associate. I think I gave him the idea that I would be more "associate" level since I've been out of the primary area of expertise for a number of years now. That said, I just don't see an associate position here really reaching into the $160k range... but that's just my assumption

With that 15% bump in salary, does that factor in things like remote work etc? In my case I'm already WFH and this new position would also be WFH. It seems like they might not really consider that based on me already being remote. And in fact, they would probably be less inclined to consider a 'default bump in salary' if most ppl they're interviewing are working in an office in hopes of enjoying a commute-less position.

Bottom-line right now is if I should:
A) respond back with what Ender suggested
or
B) respond back with what I think is 'unrealistic' knowing that I have to ask for what I want (so in this case $160-180k)
« Last Edit: January 29, 2021, 10:40:10 AM by jeromedawg »

trollwithamustache

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2021, 10:35:53 AM »
first interview comp your goal is too befuddle and move on.

I'd widen your range high, and then follow with a long rambling discussion of benefits and apples to apples comparisons and 401ks and "the full package and the opportunity have to be looked at together." its the only time I recommend rambling, don't get pegged down.

 It shuts down the conversation in a reasonable way. You don't want to talk comp until you are further into the process and they are thinking they really want you.

Also remember when negotiating, silence is a good thing. Silence means they have to think about it. So you didn't ask so high to be an automatic no, and you didn't come in too low to be an automatic yes.

AccrualWorld

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2021, 10:39:41 AM »
"What is the range for the position? There are a lot of factors impacting salary and so it's hard to say without seeing the whole package but if you can let me know the range, I can tell you if we're in the same ballpark."

Agreed on this. You should try to push back a bit and get a sense of what is budgeted for this role before you provide them with a number.

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2021, 10:44:27 AM »
I recently negotiated my salary for a new job.

One question I asked upfront was: do you have pay transparency in your company [and it not, why not]?.  For me, I was able to get the previous salary of the person I was replacing, and I was actually able to get a slight bump up from that.

Above all else it helps to know what a competitive salary range is for that particular position in that area. If you want the high end of that range you need to be able to justify why you deserve the high end (e.g. years of experience, education level, proven record for landing large contract, etc).  Sometimes this is hard - for my position there literally isn't anything comparible, so I had to base it on unrelated fields that require a similar level of education adn experience (but vastly different skillsets) - not a perfect match to be sure.

jeromedawg

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2021, 10:54:35 AM »
first interview comp your goal is too befuddle and move on.

I'd widen your range high, and then follow with a long rambling discussion of benefits and apples to apples comparisons and 401ks and "the full package and the opportunity have to be looked at together." its the only time I recommend rambling, don't get pegged down.

 It shuts down the conversation in a reasonable way. You don't want to talk comp until you are further into the process and they are thinking they really want you.

Also remember when negotiating, silence is a good thing. Silence means they have to think about it. So you didn't ask so high to be an automatic no, and you didn't come in too low to be an automatic yes.


So at this point, based on what others are pointing out and especially on the "15-20% salary bump increase" guideline, I think I would want to ask for a minimum of $160k (this is factoring in a $130k salary + bonus that got me up to $140k gross this past year).

But it sounds like a lot of you are implying I should try my hardest to avoid presenting them those numbers.
Given the hiring manager asked me for a range and said it would be hard for them to move along in the interview process if I didn't because they need to know, etc, do you think the best move would then be to redirect the question in the form of Ender's? Again, this is after the initial screener/call... I don't want this to be a 'hill to die' either so trying to approach this relatively cautiously.

Here is what I'm thinking of writing him with (or something along these lines):

"Hi ______, Thank you for taking the time to speak with me the other day. I appreciated our discussion and learning about this position. As far as salary range is concerned, I know you had briefly shared what some of the benefits are over the phone but it is difficult to give a number or range without seeing the full benefits package. Taking that into consideration, if you can let me know what your budgeted range is, I can let you know if we're in the same ballpark"


I recently negotiated my salary for a new job.

One question I asked upfront was: do you have pay transparency in your company [and it not, why not]?.  For me, I was able to get the previous salary of the person I was replacing, and I was actually able to get a slight bump up from that.

Above all else it helps to know what a competitive salary range is for that particular position in that area. If you want the high end of that range you need to be able to justify why you deserve the high end (e.g. years of experience, education level, proven record for landing large contract, etc).  Sometimes this is hard - for my position there literally isn't anything comparible, so I had to base it on unrelated fields that require a similar level of education adn experience (but vastly different skillsets) - not a perfect match to be sure.

That's a good one to ask - I should have thought of that. I'll have to add that to my arsenal of interview questions to ask in the future. The thing about this job is that it's extremely niche, especially as he was describing it to me. What they want is practitioners who have hands-on/real-world experience to be hired on as Subject matter experts but not necessarily in a position where they're applying hands-on experience.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2021, 10:56:12 AM by jeromedawg »

jeromedawg

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2021, 11:21:30 AM »
Alright, this is what I have drafted so far:

"Thanks again for the call on Wednesday and taking time out of your day to discuss the position with me. I enjoyed speaking with you and learning more about what the needs are at the company.
I've been thinking about the salary requirement/range and it's hard for me to give a number without seeing the full benefits package. I know some of the benefits are mentioned at a high level in the job description, and you did briefly cover some on the call as well but it is still difficult without knowing all the details before coming up with a range. Taking that into consideration, would you able to give a general range for the position? From there we can discuss or I can let you know whether or not it would be in scope for me."

Even if he does give a number and it's close to what I want, I could envision him saying "$140k-150k for the *LEAD* role" in which case I feel like I excluded myself from based on the first discussion. But who knows...

trollwithamustache

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2021, 11:56:03 AM »
can you call them back instead of writing?

jeromedawg

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2021, 12:08:36 PM »
can you call them back instead of writing?

I would probably want to email him back to ask if he has time to talk but he sounds like he's pretty busy. We ended the call the other day with the understanding that I would email him back with a salary range, so that's what he's currently expecting.

NYCWife

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2021, 12:09:26 PM »
FWIW, many states are now enacting laws to prohibit prospective employers from asking candidates about salary history and/or requiring transparency on salary ranges.

It looks like you are currently in CA, though not sure if that's where you are looking for this particular job. Based on this website (https://www.hrdive.com/news/salary-history-ban-states-list/516662/) California's law is:

California's ban prohibits private and public employers from seeking a candidate's pay history. Even if an employer already has that information or an applicant volunteers it, it still can't be used in determining a new hire's pay. The law also requires employers to give applicants pay scale information if they request it.

You may also want to check the Ask A Manager blog archives on how she recommends to handle this specific question. She is full of great advice on this particular topic. My biggest takeaway from reading her is for the candidate to try to avoid being the person to give the range -- she recommends something similar to what you are proposing: ask them to provide a range and you can determine whether that works for you or not.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2021, 12:13:47 PM by NYCWife »

FINate

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2021, 01:08:29 PM »
FWIW, many states are now enacting laws to prohibit prospective employers from asking candidates about salary history and/or requiring transparency on salary ranges.

It looks like you are currently in CA, though not sure if that's where you are looking for this particular job. Based on this website (https://www.hrdive.com/news/salary-history-ban-states-list/516662/) California's law is:

California's ban prohibits private and public employers from seeking a candidate's pay history. Even if an employer already has that information or an applicant volunteers it, it still can't be used in determining a new hire's pay. The law also requires employers to give applicants pay scale information if they request it.

You may also want to check the Ask A Manager blog archives on how she recommends to handle this specific question. She is full of great advice on this particular topic. My biggest takeaway from reading her is for the candidate to try to avoid being the person to give the range -- she recommends something similar to what you are proposing: ask them to provide a range and you can determine whether that works for you or not.

+1

Assuming this is in CA, I would first contact the hiring manager to ask what the payscale is for this position. I would not invoke the language of the law, just politely ask. He should understand that he's obliged to provide this information. Make sure you know if this is total comp (incl. benefits, bonus, etc.) or base salary. Then I would use this information to respond with your salary range, somewhere within the numbers they provide. If you *really* want the job and the lower numbers are agreeable to you, then go for the middle of the range to give yourself some room to negotiate. If you're more on the fence, shoot for the higher end of the range.

jeromedawg

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2021, 01:14:51 PM »
FWIW, many states are now enacting laws to prohibit prospective employers from asking candidates about salary history and/or requiring transparency on salary ranges.

It looks like you are currently in CA, though not sure if that's where you are looking for this particular job. Based on this website (https://www.hrdive.com/news/salary-history-ban-states-list/516662/) California's law is:

California's ban prohibits private and public employers from seeking a candidate's pay history. Even if an employer already has that information or an applicant volunteers it, it still can't be used in determining a new hire's pay. The law also requires employers to give applicants pay scale information if they request it.

You may also want to check the Ask A Manager blog archives on how she recommends to handle this specific question. She is full of great advice on this particular topic. My biggest takeaway from reading her is for the candidate to try to avoid being the person to give the range -- she recommends something similar to what you are proposing: ask them to provide a range and you can determine whether that works for you or not.

+1

Assuming this is in CA, I would first contact the hiring manager to ask what the payscale is for this position. I would not invoke the language of the law, just politely ask. He should understand that he's obliged to provide this information. Make sure you know if this is total comp (incl. benefits, bonus, etc.) or base salary. Then I would use this information to respond with your salary range, somewhere within the numbers they provide. If you *really* want the job and the lower numbers are agreeable to you, then go for the middle of the range to give yourself some room to negotiate. If you're more on the fence, shoot for the higher end of the range.

FWIW, many states are now enacting laws to prohibit prospective employers from asking candidates about salary history and/or requiring transparency on salary ranges.

It looks like you are currently in CA, though not sure if that's where you are looking for this particular job. Based on this website (https://www.hrdive.com/news/salary-history-ban-states-list/516662/) California's law is:

California's ban prohibits private and public employers from seeking a candidate's pay history. Even if an employer already has that information or an applicant volunteers it, it still can't be used in determining a new hire's pay. The law also requires employers to give applicants pay scale information if they request it.

You may also want to check the Ask A Manager blog archives on how she recommends to handle this specific question. She is full of great advice on this particular topic. My biggest takeaway from reading her is for the candidate to try to avoid being the person to give the range -- she recommends something similar to what you are proposing: ask them to provide a range and you can determine whether that works for you or not.

Thanks! Good to know regarding CA law.

I'm thinking about changing my response to this:

"Thanks again for the call on Wednesday and taking time out of your day to discuss the position with me. I enjoyed speaking with you and learning more about what the needs are at the company.
Regarding the salary requirement/range, it's difficult for me to give a response without seeing the full benefits package and numbers. If you would please provide the pay scale for the position (and also benefit and bonus numbers), we can discuss further and I can let you know whether or not it would be in scope for me."
« Last Edit: January 29, 2021, 01:18:32 PM by jeromedawg »

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2021, 01:29:07 PM »
@jeromedawy, my comments about the 15% bump was from experience between approximately 2012 and 2016 and was in the context of engineers working mostly on site, not WFH.  The companies I worked for at the time discouraged WFH, but things have obviously changed a lot since then.  Logically to me, the 15% was mainly to entice candidates to switch from a job and company that they knew well to one that they weren't familiar with and might not actually like once they got there.  Part of the 15% logic may have also been that we were tech firms outside of the standard tech areas like Silicon Valley, Boston, and Texas, so we didn't have as much in the way of "if you don't like it here, just get a job across the street" that existed in those places, so there was a bit of risk involved of moving here and getting stuck at one of two big tech companies and/or getting caught flat-footed in a layoff with a stampede of 100 of your colleagues.

FWIW, when I was in your position I was unable to get around the "give us a salary range or we can't proceed".  Maybe I didn't try hard enough or clever enough.  I never negotiated job offers, as I was usually pleased with my compensation package and always figured I could make more by providing more value after the initial hire.  But since I couldn't around the "give us a salary range" thing and I wanted to work for the company, I decided to give them my best estimate and try to be cooperative at that point rather than starting the negotiation framework at that point.  I understand why a candidate would; it' just that my MO was to cooperate at that point, try to get to the point of an offer, and then negotiate at that point if necessary.

If you go too high with your range, you risk getting dropped as a candidate.

With the two positions, they may just be seeing who they catch first.  They may want to fill both positions eventually, but only have the funding for one.  Maybe the lead position is hard to fill and they want to be flexible.  Who knows.

Good luck.

jeromedawg

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #28 on: January 29, 2021, 02:29:24 PM »
I would first contact the hiring manager to ask what the payscale is for this position. I would not invoke the language of the law, just politely ask. He should understand that he's obliged to provide this information.

BTW: assuming I do this and he doesn't realize he's obligated to provide the info and in doing so refuses to provide the pay scale, what would my next step be?

I may simplify the ask to this: "I was wondering if you could provide the pay scale range for this position (and if possible, the benefit and bonus numbers). From there I can let you know whether or not this would be in scope for my requirement and we can discuss further."


@jeromedawy, my comments about the 15% bump was from experience between approximately 2012 and 2016 and was in the context of engineers working mostly on site, not WFH.  The companies I worked for at the time discouraged WFH, but things have obviously changed a lot since then.  Logically to me, the 15% was mainly to entice candidates to switch from a job and company that they knew well to one that they weren't familiar with and might not actually like once they got there.  Part of the 15% logic may have also been that we were tech firms outside of the standard tech areas like Silicon Valley, Boston, and Texas, so we didn't have as much in the way of "if you don't like it here, just get a job across the street" that existed in those places, so there was a bit of risk involved of moving here and getting stuck at one of two big tech companies and/or getting caught flat-footed in a layoff with a stampede of 100 of your colleagues.

FWIW, when I was in your position I was unable to get around the "give us a salary range or we can't proceed".  Maybe I didn't try hard enough or clever enough.  I never negotiated job offers, as I was usually pleased with my compensation package and always figured I could make more by providing more value after the initial hire.  But since I couldn't around the "give us a salary range" thing and I wanted to work for the company, I decided to give them my best estimate and try to be cooperative at that point rather than starting the negotiation framework at that point.  I understand why a candidate would; it' just that my MO was to cooperate at that point, try to get to the point of an offer, and then negotiate at that point if necessary.

If you go too high with your range, you risk getting dropped as a candidate.

With the two positions, they may just be seeing who they catch first.  They may want to fill both positions eventually, but only have the funding for one.  Maybe the lead position is hard to fill and they want to be flexible.  Who knows.

Good luck.

Thanks! I figured there was some other gotcha with the 15% bump assumption so that makes sense now that you explained it. I may just send the email over to the manager asking him to provide the pay scale first and go from there. I figure I still would have to let him know whether or not the pay scale range he provides would work which, at the end of the day, accomplishes the same thing I think (as far as him wanting to figure out whether or not they should proceed). I'm not sure if I'm 100% sold on wanting the job enough to take a pay-cut. It would take a lot more to convince me to go over if I had to do such a thing...

« Last Edit: January 29, 2021, 03:04:50 PM by jeromedawg »

jeromedawg

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #29 on: January 29, 2021, 03:24:13 PM »
Ok I just sent off an email thanking the hiring manager for his time and asking if he would send me the pay scale information and any of the benefit and bonus numbers. And from there I would let him know if the numbers/range will be in scope or not of my requirements. I didn't want to keep waiting too long on this and it seems like the consensus is to avoid putting out any numbers and trying to get them to put them up (CA law seems to be favorable here).

Either way, I'm not confident about how far I'll get in the process and will honestly be really surprised if they tell me I've made it any further. We'll see what comes of this... 

ender

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #30 on: January 30, 2021, 06:46:08 AM »
Something to consider is that for any respectable hiring manager or recruiter they will have a lot of interest in answering that question.



ctuser1

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #31 on: January 30, 2021, 07:12:06 AM »
A lot of factors decide how you should answer.

Lowball answer
"I currently make $130k on the base plus typical benefits. While money is not the primary motivation for this move, I would not be in a position to take a pay cut." -> If you really want this job, know they don't pay much more than $140k or so and don't want to scare them off with a high number.

Keeping flexibility answer
"I currently make a total CTC comp of $X. My expected compensation would depend on many factors, e.g. benefits package, my role etc."
Where X == $130k + 401kmatch + last year's bonus + healthcare cost from box 12DD from your w2

These answers are designed to not make you look like a greedy a*sehole (especially important if you are a female, just in case that is the case) while still not underselling yourself.

Assuming you are currently fairly compensated, a 'good' offer is generally base > CTC comp. If you get this, don't negotiate a whole lot. If not, try to negotiate above this.
 

Car Jack

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #32 on: January 30, 2021, 08:32:34 AM »
There are a number of reasonable reasons why they are asking.

HR has given him a number, which if he goes a dollar above, they won't approve the hire.

They have a number of candidates with varying amounts of experience and skills and if say you have 5 years and a bachelors degree in the area needed and another candidate has a PhD and 20 years in the area and he's already given them a number, they're not going to pay you more.

So you sort of need to know what the job might pay independent of this company.  Going into any interview, you should certainly have a range.  During the interview, that number can definitely change.  I'll give you 3 examples for me.

1: Where I gave a high number:  After the interview, I realized that they wanted me to do the job of 2 people.  It was a startup and they needed 2 people to do 2 things.  I figured out in my head and decided what my number would have to be for one job.  Then I doubled it.  Sort of my "go away" number.  They came back with "and how much equity do you need?".  I had to then say I was not interested.

2: When I accepted a low number:  I was coming from a job where I honestly didn't know my income.  I had a base salary, a quarterly bonus, a car plan, a phone plan, annual profit sharing and other random bonuses.  At the point where I had passed all the tests, including the technical stuff from the chief engineer and CEO who was an MIT PhD, the COO asked what I needed.  I threw out the numbers I was currently making, knowing that their industry paid less, which I accepted.  I think I got through base of $125k and quarterly bonus of up to 25% and profit sharing.....where he stopped me and said that they could only go to $125k with a $15k bonus that was guaranteed because everyone in the company either got it or didn't and the executives sure as hell weren't giving it up.  I took it, knowing it was a big step down.  I had my reasons.

3: When I negotiated:  Sometimes the hiring manager can't up the salary offer, but can offer something else.  I let HR at the candidate company know where I was in salary, but made it clear that I knew that the new job traditionally was a higher paying one and even said that I didn't want to hear that number.  They made an offer.  Remembering that during the interview, the manager talked about the car plan and car requirements, which my car did not meet and we talked about that.  So I countered a higher salary but the manager came back with a slightly higher salary and a signing bonus of $10k to help me with getting a car that met the plan and gave me 6 months to get the car.  I would be paid the car plan from day one while I looked for a car.

Every interview is different.  Have some idea and give it a shot. 

FINate

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #33 on: January 30, 2021, 08:42:46 AM »
BTW: assuming I do this and he doesn't realize he's obligated to provide the info and in doing so refuses to provide the pay scale, what would my next step be?

Then the hiring manager either doesn't know the requirements of the law or is choosing to ignore it. Either way, it's a red flag. You have to consider that this may be representative of how the company is run in general. Maybe, maybe not, but this is the kind of inference companies make about prospective employees all the time... "he put salt on his food before tasting it, this means he makes assumptions!!!"

Your response depends on how much you want the job. If you really want/need it, then make an educated guess on the low end. Otherwise, if you don't really need/want it and you're still interested, I would play their game* and make a guess on the high end of what you believe the salary range may be then add another 15% on top of that to anchor the discussion and give you room to negotiate. If they really want you they'll work to find middle ground with you. If they don't, well, you didn't really want the job that badly to begin with.

* The game is essentially to see if candidates know their worth in hopes of getting people willing to work for peanuts.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2021, 08:47:41 AM by FINate »

jeromedawg

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #34 on: February 01, 2021, 08:57:02 AM »
BTW: assuming I do this and he doesn't realize he's obligated to provide the info and in doing so refuses to provide the pay scale, what would my next step be?

Then the hiring manager either doesn't know the requirements of the law or is choosing to ignore it. Either way, it's a red flag. You have to consider that this may be representative of how the company is run in general. Maybe, maybe not, but this is the kind of inference companies make about prospective employees all the time... "he put salt on his food before tasting it, this means he makes assumptions!!!"

Your response depends on how much you want the job. If you really want/need it, then make an educated guess on the low end. Otherwise, if you don't really need/want it and you're still interested, I would play their game* and make a guess on the high end of what you believe the salary range may be then add another 15% on top of that to anchor the discussion and give you room to negotiate. If they really want you they'll work to find middle ground with you. If they don't, well, you didn't really want the job that badly to begin with.

* The game is essentially to see if candidates know their worth in hopes of getting people willing to work for peanuts.

Yikes - so he got back just now saying that they don't discuss (or I read: disclose) salary ranges. He is pretty much insisting that I send a range over so they can make the call. If I send him a range, I think it's going to be higher than what I'm at now because I don't think I want it bad enough to take a pay cut.

My brother is suggesting that I just throw out a rough range and tell him I'm flexible and open to discussion. I dunno...
« Last Edit: February 01, 2021, 09:27:23 AM by jeromedawg »

Gronnie

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #35 on: February 01, 2021, 09:26:54 AM »
They are absolutely required by CA law to provide salary ranges.

When I was living and working in OC none of the tech companies had any issues with this.

I would almost take this refusal along with insistence you provide a # as a huge red flag.

jeromedawg

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #36 on: February 01, 2021, 09:41:02 AM »
They are absolutely required by CA law to provide salary ranges.

When I was living and working in OC none of the tech companies had any issues with this.

I would almost take this refusal along with insistence you provide a # as a huge red flag.

Hmm... I see. Very interesting - I guess this is whole process has been a learning experience on another level!

That said, I'm just curious now how to respond. Should I go ahead and reply back with the 'outrageous' range I have in mind? At this point now I'm thinking $160-180k or more or less what bloodeaxe suggested.


On a related note: I was researching the org/partner org on Glassdoor and they have average reviews. A lot of the reviewers seem to suggest that the biggest 'perk' is being able to WFH and that's why nobody leaves. Benefits are above average and there are complaints that work load and "quality of coworkers" varies department to department. I saw a lot of reviews from sales/marketing types who didn't seem to like it much. I think on the engineering side maybe it's slightly better but people also complain about antiquated systems and processes (e.g. using paper and pen for a lot of thigns) and C/exec level ppl being very 'old school' - I've also seen the term "old boys club" pop-up in the reviews numerous times.  In the interview, the hiring mgr told me last year a lot of people were "furloughed due to COVID" but that they hired a lot back. Not sure if that is to be read that a good number of people were laid off or not. Either way, it doesn't seem like the dept I'm in would be as impacted by a lot of the complaints being thrown around - from what the manager was describing they have a system down for what needs to be done and it doesn't really sound antiquated at all. And it sounds like there's a good amount of collaboration too.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2021, 09:49:44 AM by jeromedawg »

Gronnie

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #37 on: February 01, 2021, 09:46:14 AM »
If they are this cagey during the early interview process, imagine how hard it will be to get decent raises once employed!

jeromedawg

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #38 on: February 01, 2021, 09:58:03 AM »
If they are this cagey during the early interview process, imagine how hard it will be to get decent raises once employed!

Imagine if they did meet me even at my minimum ask! They'd probably look for all kinds of reasons why they couldn't bump up my salary by 1% year over year :D "Well, when you signed the offer you were above and outside of the range we allocated. So it'll take close to 20 years to catch-up before you can start getting inflation-adjusted base increases" hahahahaha

Sandi_k

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #39 on: February 01, 2021, 10:03:28 AM »

What you want to avoid, is giving them past salary. 
a.  None of their business
b.  It makes them feel as if you don't "need" more than that
c.  They tend to appreciate other company's opinions on "worth" more than yours or even theirs. 

Good luck!

It is ILLEGAL in California to ask an applicant their current salary.

That said, I assume at least 20% to change jobs, especially if it involves a leadership or managerial role.

jeromedawg

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #40 on: February 01, 2021, 10:16:09 AM »

What you want to avoid, is giving them past salary. 
a.  None of their business
b.  It makes them feel as if you don't "need" more than that
c.  They tend to appreciate other company's opinions on "worth" more than yours or even theirs. 

Good luck!

It is ILLEGAL in California to ask an applicant their current salary.

That said, I assume at least 20% to change jobs, especially if it involves a leadership or managerial role.

Just to clarify: this potential employer definitely has not asked for my current salary. All they are asking for is a salary requirement whether a range or number for this new position...presumably so they can weed out candidates and such.

@FINate, I'm going to chalk this up to the guy not realizing/knowing the CA law or it went over his head (in terms of realizing that I live here and he just thinks he doesn't need to disclose the salary having been asked). It's not like he sought me out for this - I contacted him first through the mailing list although I did send him my resume so he should know that I'm in CA. But even then, benefit of the doubt just says he doesn't know.

I'm likely going to reply back with a high range but that I'm open/flexible to discussing further and see what happens. Again, if it means taking a major paycut I'm not really all that interested. But thinking about the position itself, for someone to go into it even with "minimal experience" means that they'd still have to have a good amount of subject matter expertise and experience. So I kind of think it's foolish to expect that anyone would take the job working for less than what they're getting paid now. And if I had to guess, I think probably most ppl applying aren't exactly "noobs" to all this - most guys I would presume have a pretty substantial amount of experience under their belts.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2021, 10:40:59 AM by jeromedawg »

FINate

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #41 on: February 01, 2021, 10:42:30 AM »
Are you still interested in the job despite what you've unearthed? Refusing to provide a wage range for the position is ridiculous (and illegal), clearly a strategy to anchor the negotiations around what you think is reasonable based on your current wage. Though I suppose it's possible to overlook some of these negatives at the right price. I would come it at the high end of your range ($180k). That may be the end of the conversation, and you have to be okay with that. But they may decide to attempt to negotiate down if it's too high. If they accept then you came in too low. You don't want to come in too low as it will be an uphill battle to get your pay to where it should be.

If they do decide to continue the negotiation and they end up asking you about your current salary, you should return the favor and respond something like "I don't discuss my current comp" :)
« Last Edit: February 01, 2021, 10:52:19 AM by FINate »

jeromedawg

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #42 on: February 01, 2021, 10:53:16 AM »
Are you still interested in the job despite what you've unearthed? Refusing to provide a wage range for the position is ridiculous, clearly a strategy to anchor the negotiations around what you think is reasonable based on your current wage. Though I suppose it's possible to overlook some of these negatives at the right price. I would come it at the high end of your range ($180k). That may be the end of the conversation, and you have to be okay with that. But they may decide to attempt to negotiate down if it's too high. If they accept then you came in too low. You don't want to come in too low as it will be an uphill battle to get your pay to where it should be.

If they do decide to continue the negotiation and they end up asking you about your current salary, you should return the favor and respond something like "I don't discuss my current comp" :)

It sounds somewhat interesting/intriguing/novel as far as work and subject are concerned... but as a lateral move I'm less inclined knowing what I know now and after discussing here as well. So maybe I can say $180-190k then haha. The other thing I'd be concerned about is if they end up replying "ok that range works. We will continue our interviews" and then the interviews end up becoming super grueling or they base the difficulty of the interviews on what the range is that I gave (I don't know if this is something some employers actually do... seems kind of like a waste of time but also illegal/unethical... I wouldn't know though)

And yea, there's no way I'm going to be discussing my current salary with them.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2021, 11:01:17 AM by jeromedawg »

FINate

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #43 on: February 01, 2021, 11:01:56 AM »
No harm in trying. Getting real-world interview practice is always a good thing.

jeromedawg

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #44 on: February 01, 2021, 11:44:28 AM »
No harm in trying. Getting real-world interview practice is always a good thing.

So as far as responding back with a range, I'm considering something like this: "I'm looking at a range of $180k-190k and am open to negotiation" - am I leaving myself too 'vulnerable' by saying "and am open to negotiation" ?
« Last Edit: February 01, 2021, 11:48:42 AM by jeromedawg »

ctuser1

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #45 on: February 01, 2021, 11:49:31 AM »
I do not understand the hesitation about sharing the "current salary" with a new company interviewing you. It clearly is a major factor in your decision as to whether you will or will not accept a job. So, why play games around it?

I have personally twice negotiated ~35% pay hikes during job changes during my career, and I helped/guided my wife through a 50% hike last year. In all these cases, there were real reasons why anything less would not be worth my (or DW's while) - things like "I have another offer much closer to home. You need to pay me higher to consider it", or "The amount of travel required in the new job warrants additional raise over my current job compared to a normal job hop." etc. etc.

In a lot of states, it is not legal to for an employer to ask for the current salary from prospective employees. I've personally, however, found it makes the negotiation smoother. Just know what you need to take the offer and communicate in clear terms. A job that pays in six figures will likely not be scuttled over $15k this way or that. At a minimum, it will be considered a failure for the HR guy doing the negotiation.

If you currently make $130k, how much would you need in this new place to switch? Why? Just figure out the details of this and communicate in a few bullet points.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2021, 11:51:11 AM by ctuser1 »

jeromedawg

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #46 on: February 01, 2021, 11:55:20 AM »
I do not understand the hesitation about sharing the "current salary" with a new company interviewing you. It clearly is a major factor in your decision as to whether you will or will not accept a job. So, why play games around it?

I have personally twice negotiated ~35% pay hikes during job changes during my career, and I helped/guided my wife through a 50% hike last year. In all these cases, there were real reasons why anything less would not be worth my (or DW's while) - things like "I have another offer much closer to home. You need to pay me higher to consider it", or "The amount of travel required in the new job warrants additional raise over my current job compared to a normal job hop." etc. etc.

In a lot of states, it is not legal to for an employer to ask for the current salary from prospective employees. I've personally, however, found it makes the negotiation smoother. Just know what you need to take the offer and communicate in clear terms. A job that pays in six figures will likely not be scuttled over $15k this way or that. At a minimum, it will be considered a failure for the HR guy doing the negotiation.

If you currently make $130k, how much would you need in this new place to switch? Why? Just figure out the details of this and communicate in a few bullet points.

So are you saying to offer the details of justifying why on the salary increase despite it not really being asked? I think at the moment, he's literally trying to weed out folks from going any further in the interview process by getting their salary requirements and either eliminating them completely or 'ranking' them based on it. I think I'd understand the part in justifying w/ bullet points more if we were far into the process and past the interviews and they really wanted to hire me but still haven't collected my salary requirement at that stage of it. But it feels like they're kind of dangling the carrot right now.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2021, 11:56:58 AM by jeromedawg »

ctuser1

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #47 on: February 01, 2021, 12:07:12 PM »
I do not understand the hesitation about sharing the "current salary" with a new company interviewing you. It clearly is a major factor in your decision as to whether you will or will not accept a job. So, why play games around it?

I have personally twice negotiated ~35% pay hikes during job changes during my career, and I helped/guided my wife through a 50% hike last year. In all these cases, there were real reasons why anything less would not be worth my (or DW's while) - things like "I have another offer much closer to home. You need to pay me higher to consider it", or "The amount of travel required in the new job warrants additional raise over my current job compared to a normal job hop." etc. etc.

In a lot of states, it is not legal to for an employer to ask for the current salary from prospective employees. I've personally, however, found it makes the negotiation smoother. Just know what you need to take the offer and communicate in clear terms. A job that pays in six figures will likely not be scuttled over $15k this way or that. At a minimum, it will be considered a failure for the HR guy doing the negotiation.

If you currently make $130k, how much would you need in this new place to switch? Why? Just figure out the details of this and communicate in a few bullet points.

So are you saying to offer the details of justifying why on the salary increase despite it not really being asked? I think at the moment, he's literally trying to weed out folks from going any further in the interview process by getting their salary requirements and either eliminating them completely or 'ranking' them based on it. I think I'd understand the part in justifying w/ bullet points more if we were far into the process and past the interviews and they really wanted to hire me but still haven't collected my salary requirement at that stage of it. But it feels like they're kind of dangling the carrot right now.

My workflow would be this:
1. Is it a corporate recruiter?
 1.A. Am I interested in this job change?
  1.A.i. If yes, respond "I currently make $XXX in total comp***, and would need to get a Y% raise to switch for <reason1>, <reason2>". Give one or two reasons max, short ones. If two reasons, consider bullt-pointing.
  1.A.II. If no, state "Thank you for the information. I am not considering a switch right now".

2. Is this an outside recruiter who will get paid a % of your salary if recruited?
In this case, ask him for a suggestion what the range would be. Discuss with him and then supply the range.

I have personally always tried to be very clear in my communication. If the other side gets the vibe that you are not playing any games, then IMO you tend to get the optimal results in a negotiation for the least time wasted.

 

jeromedawg

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #48 on: February 01, 2021, 12:10:05 PM »
I do not understand the hesitation about sharing the "current salary" with a new company interviewing you. It clearly is a major factor in your decision as to whether you will or will not accept a job. So, why play games around it?

I have personally twice negotiated ~35% pay hikes during job changes during my career, and I helped/guided my wife through a 50% hike last year. In all these cases, there were real reasons why anything less would not be worth my (or DW's while) - things like "I have another offer much closer to home. You need to pay me higher to consider it", or "The amount of travel required in the new job warrants additional raise over my current job compared to a normal job hop." etc. etc.

In a lot of states, it is not legal to for an employer to ask for the current salary from prospective employees. I've personally, however, found it makes the negotiation smoother. Just know what you need to take the offer and communicate in clear terms. A job that pays in six figures will likely not be scuttled over $15k this way or that. At a minimum, it will be considered a failure for the HR guy doing the negotiation.

If you currently make $130k, how much would you need in this new place to switch? Why? Just figure out the details of this and communicate in a few bullet points.

So are you saying to offer the details of justifying why on the salary increase despite it not really being asked? I think at the moment, he's literally trying to weed out folks from going any further in the interview process by getting their salary requirements and either eliminating them completely or 'ranking' them based on it. I think I'd understand the part in justifying w/ bullet points more if we were far into the process and past the interviews and they really wanted to hire me but still haven't collected my salary requirement at that stage of it. But it feels like they're kind of dangling the carrot right now.

My workflow would be this:
1. Is it a corporate recruiter?
 1.A. Am I interested in this job change?
  1.A.i. If yes, respond "I currently make $XXX in total comp***, and would need to get a Y% raise to switch for <reason1>, <reason2>". Give one or two reasons max, short ones. If two reasons, consider bullt-pointing.
  1.A.II. If no, state "Thank you for the information. I am not considering a switch right now".

2. Is this an outside recruiter who will get paid a % of your salary if recruited?
In this case, ask him for a suggestion what the range would be. Discuss with him and then supply the range.

I have personally always tried to be very clear in my communication. If the other side gets the vibe that you are not playing any games, then IMO you tend to get the optimal results in a negotiation for the least time wasted.


In this case, I'm working directly with the direct hiring manager who I'd be reporting to either directly and or with whom I'd have a 'lead' above me that I'd report to. There's no recruiter involved here as far as I'm aware. As far as reasons/justifications, what are some examples of those? I don't think I've ever justified a salary increase when negotiating with a company (which is probably bad on my part haha)
« Last Edit: February 01, 2021, 12:13:02 PM by jeromedawg »

ctuser1

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Re: Interviewer asking for salary range?
« Reply #49 on: February 01, 2021, 12:13:16 PM »
In this case, I'm working directly with the direct hiring manager who I'd be reporting to either directly and or with whom I'd have a 'lead' above me that I'd report to. There's no recruiter involved here as far as I'm aware.

All the more reason you want to be known as someone who comes with sterling integrity and does not play games.