Job Interview Question
What kind of money would you be interested in making?Hiring managers always want to know how much you’re going to cost them, so they will ask the salary question a hundred different ways: “How much did you make at your last job?” “What are your salary expectations?” Or this one, “How much money do you want to make?” As much as you would like to say, “I’m interested in making as much money as I can!”, you can’t say that. Even if it’s true. (Wouldn’t we all?)
The truth is that for most jobs it doesn’t matter so much how much you would be interested in making. This job has a range and it pays what it pays. It’s up to you to do your salary research to find out what a reasonable salary range is for this particular position in this particular area of the country. If you have more experience or special skills that you’re bringing to the party, you can reasonably expect to be on the high end of the scale. If you don’t have that much experience, you’re probably going to fall on the lower end.
The only exception would be in sales jobs that work entirely on commission. For those jobs, the salary range really is up to you, and your answer to this question needs to present you as a strong, energetic, driven, determined professional who is willing and able to do what it takes to make the sale and ring that cash register. They will love that answer because the more you make, the more they make. Your success will make your sales manager look great.
Still, the basic idea with all salary negotiation is to try to avoid being the first one to say an actual number.
So when they ask you, “How much money do you want to make?”, my first piece of advice is to turn it back to them and ask, “What is the salary range you have budgeted for this position?” If they tell you, you can say, “That seems like a reasonable range for this job. If we agree that I’m the best fit for the position, I would be comfortable with an offer in that range.”
If they don’t let it go and instead press you for an answer, you can say, “I’ve done some research and I understand that the going rate for this job falls somewhere between X and Y dollars. Is that the range you’re offering?” You’re still dodging a number, and asking a question that throws it back in their laps. If they tell you that in fact, it is what they’re offering, you can again offer reassurance that you would be comfortable with that range if you agree that you’re the person for the job.
If you’d like to practice your interview answers with professional feedback, or you need help with specific answers, I’d love to work with you as your interview coach.