What Are Your Salary Expectations?

So you’ve spent hours preparing for your interview. You’ve brushed up on your knowledge of the Party Wall etc. Act, the latest measurement standards and your valuation matrix technique, but have you missed something crucial?

An interview won’t all be about your skill set. There’s one big elephant in the room and many interviewers will be happy to talk about it openly.

What Are Your Salary Expectations?

An incredibly tricky question. Do you go in high and be bold? Will that put them off? What even is high?

Start by understanding the job market and knowing what the benchmark is. What do other companies pay for the exact role you’re interviewing for? Check out websites like payscale.com, glassdoor.com and salary.com to see what the industry averages are.

You’re likely to find some conflicting answers there, but you’ll at least be able to establish a reasonable range to work within.

Delay Tactics

Remember, an interview and what follows is a form of negotiation. It’s a timeless principle of negotiation that the person who responds to an initial offer has the upper-hand, which is one of the reasons why an interviewer is likely to ask you this question – having simply stated ‘salary competitive’ in the job description.

To avoid being the first to give the game away, you could respond with something like:

The most important thing for me is that I find a position that’s a good fit for my skills and interests. I’m confident that you’re offering a salary that’s competitive in the current market.

By maintaining a strong negotiating position, you tell them that you’re a tough negotiator (a useful job skill) and that you’re open to a fair offer, but expect to be reasonably compensated.

Use That Range

If pressed for a specific, number you can say something like:

“According to my research, someone of my experience would be looking at between £xx and £yy for this sort of role.”

Again, the emphasis is on them to make you an offer.

Or be confident

If you genuinely feel that you are the best candidate for this job, then be confident and put a figure on it. Don’t be arrogant with it and feel free to state a range, not a specific figure – but be sure that you’re happy with the lower end if you do.

The counter-offer

So assuming you successfully push the boot onto their foot, and do well in the rest of the interview, you should have an offer to respond to.

But how do you handle that response?

Be willing to walk away

Hard, but crucial. If you’ve received an offer, then this employer thinks you were good enough to hire. That being the case, you are bound to receive offers in the future if you continue the search.

As with any negotiation, being able and willing to walk away is essential to getting a good deal.

Be flexible

Flexibility is a desirable trait in employees. If you present a range within which you would be happy, you show the employer that you’re willing to be flexible for them – that you value the position and would take a hit to secure the job.

Don’t expect to be offered the top figure, and choose your range accordingly.

Think beyond salary

Salary is just one part of a package. The net benefit on your life and income of other elements of a package can be just as valuable, so don’t be afraid to negotiate for better benefits if an employer won’t shift on the basic salary they can offer.

Consider the following as just some of the malleable parts of the negotiation:

  • annual leave
  • company shares
  • health benefits
  • flexi-time
  • future guaranteed pay rises
  • performance bonuses

BBL Property are the UK’s leading property recruitment agency. If you’re seeking a new role in the property sector, you can register your CV with us today (for free). We’ll be in touch to explore the options we have available.

Greg Coyle

Head of Property Recruitment at BBL Property
Greg created and developed the BBL Property brand from scratch when he joined the wider BBL group in the late 90s. With unrivaled levels of experience in his chosen recruitment specialisms, he is widely regarded as the leading residential surveying recruiter in the UK. Greg writes our expert articles in collaboration with his experienced team.

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