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10 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated June 29th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 10
What are your salary expectations?
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How to Answer
In many states, it is now illegal for hiring authorities to ask about your current earnings. A question like this will give the interviewer a solid idea of what you are hoping to earn. When you change positions, you want to see an increase in wage. Most interviewees will typically aim for a 7-15% increase for each time they change jobs. This range offers room for negotiations with the new company. This percentage increase reflects economic inflation, unique skills you bring to the table from the last time you joined an organization, and an increase in responsibilities. The best way to discuss your salary expectations is to use your current earnings as an example if you are comfortable doing so. If this makes you uncomfortable, do give as many indicators as you can. Be open, and honest. Transparency is the best choice when salary based questions arise.

If you are newer to your career, or the area, and are unsure of what a fair ask may be, there are many reliable salary calculators available online.
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Top 10 Salary Interview Questions with Full Content
1.
What are your salary expectations?
In many states, it is now illegal for hiring authorities to ask about your current earnings. A question like this will give the interviewer a solid idea of what you are hoping to earn. When you change positions, you want to see an increase in wage. Most interviewees will typically aim for a 7-15% increase for each time they change jobs. This range offers room for negotiations with the new company. This percentage increase reflects economic inflation, unique skills you bring to the table from the last time you joined an organization, and an increase in responsibilities. The best way to discuss your salary expectations is to use your current earnings as an example if you are comfortable doing so. If this makes you uncomfortable, do give as many indicators as you can. Be open, and honest. Transparency is the best choice when salary based questions arise.

If you are newer to your career, or the area, and are unsure of what a fair ask may be, there are many reliable salary calculators available online.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Currently, I earn a base salary of $45,000 per year, and I would like to earn slightly higher in my next position, as I have additional certifications since my last salary negotiation took place."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"As I am new to my career and this industry, I am happy to negotiate my earnings based on your typical salary for this role. From my research, I see that the average junior administrator in the Chicago area earns an annual salary in the $45K range."
2.
Do you feel performance should be rewarded over experience?
The interviewer would like to know your thoughts on being paid based on your work performance, versus being compensated solely on your years of experience. As millennial employees continue to dominate the work scene, more and more employees are requesting compensation based on delivered results. Do you feel that you should be paid based on tenure, or results? Discuss this with the interviewer and back your answer with an example, if possible.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I feel that employees should be paid, and rewarded, based on their performance. A new employee will find motivation in being rewarded for performance, and it encourages a healthy competition with tenured employees."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"As a high performer myself, I know it feels great to be compensated based on my performance. It's motivating and, in my opinion, a more modern approach to keeping employees happy and engaged."
Anonymous Answer
"I believe that experience should be taken into account when first starting in a position. As you transition into the job, you should be rewarded based on performance. Those who are top performers should get a larger bonus or raise."
Rachelle's Answer
You offer an insightful answer that shows the hiring authority your willingness to reward the hard work of your team.
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3.
How do you feel about performance incentives?
The interviewer would like to know if you are the type of employee to be motivated by financial incentives or rewards in the workplace. If you are not incentive-driven, you can clarify for the interviewer the other ideas in which you are best motivated. Discuss any performance incentives you may have earned in the past.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I feel that performance incentives are a great idea. They keep an employee motivated to do a great job and ensure that they are on top of their KPI's. The majority of people are very enthused about being rewarded for their successes, myself included."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I cannot say that I have been offered performance incentives in the past, but that sure sounds like a nice idea. I am a high-achiever, regardless of an incentive being present but it is nice to feel appreciated."
Anonymous Answer
"Overall I think performance incentives are a great tool to use as most people will be motivated by this. If people know the more they produce, the more they will push to try harder."
Rachelle's Answer
Good! Do you offer performance incentives in your current management role? It may be nice to offer up some information regarding the ways you incentivize your team currently.
Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
4.
How would you prefer to be compensated?
The interviewer would like to know what type of compensation structure makes you the most comfortable. Are you looking for a compensation structure based primarily on salary, commission, or a blend of both? Maybe additional perks are more critical for you, such as vacation time, flex days, a health spending account, a generous medical plan, pension, shares, RRSP matching, car allowance, cell phone allowance, expense account, and more! Discuss with the hiring manager how you would prefer to be compensated but be sure not to pigeonhole yourself. Freely ask the interviewer what they offer, if you are unsure.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am currently compensated primarily on a base salary with the opportunity to earn a quarterly bonus based on the company's profits. I am certainly open to hearing more about your compensation structure as I know every company is unique."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I prefer a base salary, however, if there is a lot of overtime in this role I am certainly open to discussing options such as an hourly rate plus time and a half for any work over 44 hours. What type of compensation structure do you prefer to offer for this particular position?"
Anonymous Answer
"In my current role, I am compensated by a strong base salary with the possibility of a profit-sharing bonus depending on how the division as a whole does. I have never been in a role that has been commission based but would be open to discussing this."
Rachelle's Answer
It's great that you are open to a variety of compensation structures. This shows confidence in your work and performance.
Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
5.
What is your current salary?
It is important to note that this question may be illegal, depending on your geographical location. If you are in a place where it is unlawful for a hiring authority or recruiter to ask this question, you can politely decline by saying, "I am aware that this question breaches my rights as a candidate in the state of XYZ."

A potential employer will often want to base their offer on your current salary. Whenever possible, you should be transparent about your most recent earnings and be prepared to back up any salary requests in states or provinces where it is entirely legal to ask about compensation. Keep your answer simple, and to the point. It is indeed okay to ask the interviewer what they are offering in return!

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am aware that this question breaches my rights as a candidate in the state of XYZ."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Currently, I earn $25/hour with many overtime opportunities. I also have a competitive benefits package and three weeks' paid vacation. Could you tell me what you are offering for this role?"
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