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How to Talk “Money” When Interviewing

Addressing the "How much money are you looking for?" question in a job interview requires careful consideration to present yourself professionally and align your expectations with the role and industry norms. Here's a guide on how to respond truthfully, succinctly, and factually:

Overall Rationale:

1. Research: Before the interview, research the industry standards and salary ranges for the position you're applying for. Consider your experience, skills, location, and the company's size when determining your expected salary.

2. Align with Market: Your response should demonstrate that you're informed about the market value of the role and that your expectations are reasonable.

3. Value Proposition: Focus on how your skills and experience will add value to the company. Your response should show that your expected salary is in line with the value you'll bring.

4. Flexibility: While stating your desired salary, convey flexibility. You want to create room for negotiation and show that you're open to discussing other compensation components.


1. Provide a Range: Instead of giving a specific figure, offer a salary range. This shows flexibility and acknowledges that you understand compensation can vary based on factors like benefits, bonuses, and responsibilities.

2. Highlight Research: Mention your research on industry standards and the company's reputation for fair compensation practices. This demonstrates your preparedness.

3. Emphasize Value: Explain how your skills and experience align with the job requirements and how they contribute to the company's success. Showcase the value you bring to the role.

4. Express Openness: State that you're open to discussing the entire compensation package, including benefits, bonuses, and growth opportunities.


1. Avoid Specifics Early: Don't give an exact figure right away. It's better to discuss this later in the interview or during negotiation.

2. Don't Undersell: Avoid undervaluing your skills or asking for a salary significantly below the market range.

3. Stay Positive: Don't express frustration or impatience if the question makes you uncomfortable. Stay composed and professional.


1. Range Response: "Based on my research and experience, I believe a competitive salary range for this role would be between $60,000 and $75,000 annually. I'm also open to discussing the complete compensation package, including benefits."

2. Value Emphasis: "Considering the responsibilities of the role and the value I can bring to the team, I believe a suitable salary would be within the range of $80,000 to $95,000. Of course, I'm open to further discussion."

3. Benefits Focus: "I'm excited about the opportunity to contribute to the team's success. In terms of salary, I'm looking for a fair and competitive package that aligns with the industry standards for this role. I'm also interested in exploring the benefits and growth opportunities the company offers."

Remember, the goal is to engage in a constructive conversation that sets the stage for a successful negotiation. Be confident, knowledgeable, and open to discussing all aspects of compensation.

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