There comes a moment in any interview where one is asked for salary expectations. it can happen from the very beginning or in between interviews, headhunter, etc… it is obvious that the higher the position is the sooner one is asked for. not only because one of the possible motivations to change would be salary but also because directly a salary range can get out a candidate from the recruitment process and executive salaries show quite big ranges.
What happens if the firsts interviews one is asked for ideal salary range? Prepare and be ready for an answer. One must be realistic about his/her own skills and benchmark the market. Know your own salary how high it is (in case you are working, if not you must apply the average range rules). Hays executive, a very much professional company, makes a yearly public salary study by country, sectoral, company profile and job position.
When asked for a salary, the first rule is never give a fixed value or number (unless that value would fully cover your expectations). Give an “estimated range” and remark the “estimation” word. But at the same time convince the headhunter and/or the company that you are worth but moreover that you do not want to lose a job because of money and that further discussions are only worth to continue if the both parties come to a mutual understanding and want to work together. That is to say, the last interview that you like the company and the like you in return. Never, ever lose an interview because of salary when motivation is high, if after all discussions there is no agreement, at least they met you and you learnt about other companies. furthermore it would help you appreciate your current company and furthermore this company, they know you and you leave an open door for future cooperation. some companies follow some candidates with a promising career, their evolutions and for a more senior later approach.
I am not going to write about negotiation skills on how much one must ask or negotiate. I can only tell that I am the opinion that everything has a price and that one must evaluate not only the work done in the past but also the work that will be done in the future. Think about also that once a company accepts your conditions, and may you be in the highest salary range for your position in the market, there would be no salary increases. Once said that, a common practice of inflating your salary can be a good move only for extreme experienced people in the market. a friend of mine was offered a job and he asked an extremely high salary and he got it because not only the company evaluated the salary competition of finding such a high profile n the market, his own motivation and his possibilities of growth in the future company…. But they were looking for someone like him for years. It was a win to win for both. So the conclusion is be pragmatic, know your real salary in the market, play your cards but do not ever limit a job because of salary, be ready to give in if the company and position overall is an opportunity for you.