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Will you be willing to take a salary cut?

6 Answer Examples

By: Rachelle Enns

How to Answer

Hopefully, this question is being asked of you upfront, and not during your second or third interview. Depending on the interview stage, your answer may vary.

Salary negotiation is real and sometimes an intimidating topic for interviewees, primarily if you have not yet established a sense of trust and rapport with the interviewer. Are you interviewing for a position that you know pays less than what you currently earn? Maybe the selling factor is that there will be less time to commute, weekends off and more time with your family, or less responsibility and decreased stress. Sometimes these reasons mean more to you than the bottom line.

Professional Answer Examples
General
Answer example

"Currently I'm making approximately $20K more per year than you are offering for this role. I would be open to negotiating salary with you; however, at this point, the gap remains too significant. I am open to creative compensation packages such as added vacation time, better health benefits, or a car allowance."

Admin
Answer example

"For the right opportunity, and better hours, I am willing to discuss a few options; however, my overall compensation including benefits and perks need to make sense to my career goals before I would make a move."

Manager
Answer example

"I understand my base salary is $15k higher than what you are offering, so I am willing to look into creative solutions if the overall earning potential is there. That is, I'd love to hear what kind of equity you can offer, as well as a guaranteed year-end bonus. I do not doubt that I'll exceed metric expectations, and blow you away, and look forward to figuring out a compensation structure that would be beneficial to both of us."

Marketing
Answer example

"I'm motivated to come to your company and exceed expectations. That said, I need to ensure that with the added responsibility of leading a junior marketing team, that my pay commensurates with these new tasks and effort. I would be open to learning more about your compensation plan and how we can make it a win-win for both parties."

Retail
Answer example

"From what I understand, the hourly wage offered here is less than my current position, but your commission percentage is higher than I currently earn. I would like to learn more about your metrics such as average purchase value and items per purchase before I agree to any cut in my hourly wage."

Sales
Answer example

"I could only take a reduction in my base pay if my overall spending is lower in this new role. For instance, if you offer a counterbalance by way of benefit premiums, gas costs, mileage, cell phone allowance, and more, then I am more than willing to discuss some options with you."

Written by:

Ryan Brown
Ryan Brown, is the creator of MockQuestions. He has over ten years experience creating interview questions. His website has helped over 10 million job seekers in their interview preparation.
Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is an executive head-hunter and job search expert. Utilized by top executives from Fortune 100 & 500 companies like Fitbit, Microsoft, General Electric, Nestle, and more, she helps professionals position themselves in a competitive marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume, a company that focuses on helping job seekers get their edge back. Renovate My Resume creates stand-out resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles and professional summaries for new grads, all the way to corporate executives. Rachelle spends much of her time training career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers. She also holds interview workshops for students and interns, globally. For great tips and tricks, follow Rachelle on Instagram @_rachelle_e or @renovatemyresume.
First written on: 04/06/2018
Last modified on: 06/29/2018
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