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How to Deflect Job Salary Discussions

If you aren't prepared for a salary discussion during a job interview, there are several statements you can make to deflect the job salary discussion. When an interviewer presses for the salary discussion before you’ve established your value, you can smoothly circumvent revealing a dollar figure.

Choose from the following samples of job salary stall tactics:

  • I’m sure that money won’t be a problem after I’m able to show you how my qualifications can work to your advantage because they closely match your requirements.

  • My salary requirements are open to discussion. Your company has a reputation of being fair with employees, and I trust you would do the same in my case. I don’t think salary will be a problem if I’m the right person for the job.

  • I’m aware of the general range for my kind of work, but I’d feel better talking about pay once we’ve established what specific performance goals the job calls for.

  • I’d be kidding if I said money isn’t important to me — sure it is! But the job itself and the work environment are also very important to me. I wonder if we can hold the pay issue for a bit?

  • I’m a great believer in matching pay with performance, so I can’t speak with any certainty about the kind of money I’m looking for until I know more about what you need.

  • Money is not my only priority; I’d really like to discuss my contributions to the company first — if that’s okay with you.

  • I can’t answer that question until I know more about this job.

  • The amount of my starting compensation is not as much of an issue to me as how satisfying my filling the position will be for both of us. Can we talk more about what the position entails?

  • Before we get into the compensation issue, can you tell me more about the kind of skills and the type of individual you’re looking for to help you reach your goals? What do you expect the person you hire to accomplish within the first three months?

  • All I need is fair market value for the job’s demands, which I’m sure you’ll pay, so is it okay if we talk about the details of the job first?

  • Before we can come to an agreement, I need to know more about your strategy for compensation, as well as confirm my understanding of the results you’re looking for. Can we hold that question for a bit?

  • Since pay includes so many possibilities for compensation, I’d like to first know more about your compensation plan overall and how it relates to the position.

  • I’m sure that you have a fair salary structure, and if I’m the best candidate for the position, we can work something out that we’ll all like.

  • I’m not used to talking money before a job offer; are you making me an offer?

  • My requirement is market within the area — shouldn’t be a problem. Can we put that off to the side until we decide if there’s any need to go further down the money road?

  • I will consider any reasonable offer. Should we talk about it after we’ve wrapped up the details of the job, and I’ve been able to show you what I bring to your company?

  • I’m paid roughly the market value of a (occupational title) with (number of years’) experience and the ability to (manage, or do something special). If you’re competitive with the market, there won’t be a problem with salary.

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