Don’t Know Your Target Salary?

The biggest mistake people make when going into an interview with respect to salary is not knowing the typical salary range for the position — overlaid with the individual’s specific expertise and talent that they bring to the role. Without this solid knowledge, they have no starting position and no initial platform from which to negotiate.  graphic of human pushing green quarter of circle into place

Many job seekers think they can go into a job interview and wing it. The reality could not be further from the truth. They often say that if only they had a good resume, they can thrive in any interview. In the current economy, especially with virtual interactions being more the norm, job seekers need to prepare their resumes and, based on what they know about themselves and their future roles, to know their own floors/ceilings for salary and benefits expectations.

Your biggest interview mistake is not knowing your market value

From the start of a good job search, candidates should know where they fit into the employment marketplace. They should hone their resumes to that ideal set of opportunities for which they know every single parameter. Then, when they are confident about where they ought to be looking, and, ultimately, landing, they will more easily answer that dreaded “what’s your expected salary” question. The role’s fit into the company, its requirements, and its expected leadership should determine the salary range (not, incidentally, the job seeker’s previous salary). Using salary tools like,,, and can help a job seeker determine what the salary range for the role should be. Also, deep investigation into a particular company’s cultural norms for salary, benefits, and even equity can influence a full compensation package, so monthly paychecks definitely won’t be the only point of negotiation.

With deep knowledge coming from strong research, an interviewee can be prepared for that dreaded salary question. When an interviewer offers up the salary question (which never should come from the interviewee), the job seeker can confidently state that based on their research the role should fall somewhere between their ideal lowest compensation and their ideal highest compensation, and that when the appropriate time arrives to negotiate those details, they are certain that the terms will be equitable and honor the needs of the role plus the person’s expertise, but for the moment, talking about the ways the candidate meets their expectations for knowledge, experience, and culture fit is a better path.