How to Answer the Salary Question to Get the Job You Want After 50

By Kerry Hannon

Copyright © 2015 AARP. All rights reserved.

To get the job you want after 50, you need to be fully prepared for the interview. When asked about salary in an interview, the best response is to say that although the position is not precisely the same as your last job, you would need to understand your duties and responsibilities in order to establish a fair salary for the job.

If pressed to be more specific, ask what the salary range is and factor that in your response. So if the salary range is $50,000 to $60,000 and you want to make at least $55,000, you’re probably best off asking for something between, say, $55,000 and $60,000.

Sometimes, if you’re working with a recruiter hired by the company, you can be more frank about salary than if you’re dealing directly with the hiring manager. Recruiters know what the market demands and may be able to go back to the employer and say that your salary figure is reasonable.

And finally, think beyond salary. If you’re hitting up against a salary deal breaker, take a breath and think creatively. Try asking for salary review in six months, tuition reimbursement, parking allowance, transportation passes, or extra vacation days.

Don’t take lower-than-expected pay personally. Employers base a salary on the requirements of the job, the availability of qualified job candidates, and their budget, not on what you were paid in the past. Knowing what you’re willing to accept is important; if it’s outside the range the employer is willing to pay, then say so and move on.