How can I deal with the pay question at job interviews?

Friday August 10 2018

HR Specialist & Journalist at Monitor

HR Specialist & Journalist at Monitor Publications Limited, Isaiah Kitimbo 

By Isaiah Kitimbo

On several occasions, I have been confronted with the question of pay during job interviews. How best can I deal with it? Timothy

Dear Timothy
It is becoming a common phenomenon for many employers to ask candidates to state their current salaries and how much they want to be paid when submitting resume and cover letters. This phenomenon often makes candidates nervous thinking they would find themselves in a “no-win” situation. But it depends on the chemistry applied. It could be that hirers want to limit the number of applicants. Therefore, play it safe. Make sure you know the job responsibilities and do some careful research to find out what the typical salary is for that type of position.
If you state a figure that is too high, the employer will automatically screen you out. If you state a figure that is too low, the employer could either end up paying you less than what the position is worth or they might assume that your skills are not worthy. Asking you to state your current salary or how much you prefer may assist your employer to come up with a salary scale as some companies never have them, and only pay randomly. If you feel pressed, give the employer a reasonable salary range with the lowest end being slightly higher than your absolute minimum.
Including salary requirements in the cover letter gives you a chance to bullet-point why you are the right person for the job and emphasise to them that you are worth this money. Let the hirer know that this range is negotiable depending on the position’s responsibilities. Your chances of being considered will increase if the employer knows you are flexible.

Isaiah Kitimbo
HR Specialist & Journalist
Monitor Publications Limited
[email protected]