Know Your Worth Before the Interview

John Krautzel
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Confidence is a powerful tool when preparing for a job interview. In order to truly display your worth when meeting with hiring managers, you must first believe in your skill set, experience and ability to succeed. Focus your job search on completing an inventory of your skills related to the industry to not only build your confidence, but to also aid you in negotiating a fair salary.

The Need to Know

While job seekers are often warned to avoid discussing salary during a job interview, it is crucial to explore negotiations so you don't waste your job search time on multiple interviews and preparation without knowing the salary range. You have options, and spending ample time on an opportunity that doesn't pay the minimum you can accept is counterproductive. Perform research on the potential employer prior to the job interview to determine the average salary range. Investigate publicly traded companies' financial records, and scour through the U.S. Department of Labor's salary reports to uncover what professionals in your field make annually.

Determine Your Worth

Your skills and experience significantly impact your potential salary. Conduct a skills inventory to prepare yourself for the job interview and show the hiring manager that your abilities are worth the salary you seek. Spend time reviewing your career goals, too. Job seekers should look for opportunities that pay what they need to survive, as well as compensate for the skills they possess.

The Right Time

Timing is everything when discussing salary with a potential employer. While it may have been taboo in the past to negotiate with hiring managers prior to a job offer, hiring managers now expect to embark on a discussion about salary. The ideal time to bring up salary is commonly during the second job interview, suggests Liz Ryan with Forbes. If the hiring manager does not bring up the topic, inquire if it is a good time to discuss negotiations or a salary range toward the end of the interview.

Avoid narrowing your salary desires to just one number. Instead, provide a range that highlights your target salary and bottom line. You do not need to reveal what you were making in past positions if asked, because it is none of the employers' business nor is it relevant when embarking on a new opportunity with vastly different responsibilities. Simply direct the conversation toward what figure or salary range you desire within this position.

Avoid selling yourself short when negotiating salary during a job interview. Instead, investigate average salaries in the industry, and evaluate your skills and experience that justify the target range you seek. Discuss salary negotiations in a cordial and professional manner while also displaying your confidence in your overall worth.

Photo Courtesy of Ambro at


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