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When asked about “salary negotiations“ how do you respond without pricing yourself out of an opportunity?


Derric Thomas Saginaw, MI

I’ve participated in a couple of interviews where I was told that I was the right candidate for the job, yet when I provide my salary expectations I didn’t receive much feedback. I was even told I would be receiving an offer letter.

I wonder if I responded appropriately by stating “I would like to be fairly compensated for the role I would be filling”. I adjusted prior to my second interview and provided a salary towards the upper limits (Glassdoor estimates) because I felt as though I met all of the prerequisites for the position.

Anyone have advice on this topic? Also, should I consider my security clearance when negotiating salary?

3 January 2019 10 replies Interviews



Bob Farmer Atlanta, GA


I can understand and appreciate your question. I would suggest that you emphasize your interest in the position and are confident that the company would see the value you add.
In terms of salary, I would suggest saying " I feel that my skills are a good fit for the company" and you are very interested in the job. You should have some idea of what the salary range is IF the job was posted or you use a recruiter. Then you could say, that your understanding is that the position has a salary range of XXX to XXX, and you are confident that you can work something out that is fair/acceptable to you and the company.

Best of luck.
Bob Farmer

14 January 2019 Helpful answer


Emanuel Carpenter Alpharetta, GA

Demerick - When I transitioned out of the military, I went on three interviews for a position and I did not bring up salary. When they finally made me an offer, it was basically for minimum wage. I vowed never to go through that again.

First of all, know exactly how much money you need to make. During the phone interview phase, there is nothing wrong with asking what range the company has in mind for the position. I usually phrase it like this, "Just so we don't waste each others' time, what compensation range do you have in mind for this position?"

Also, it is quite alright to list the salary you earned for each position on your resume if that is the salary you expect to earn at your next job. But if you're willing to accept less than your last held position, it's not a good practice. For me, I was making a handsome salary at one job. Then I got laid off. After the layoff, I just wanted to make more money than unemployment benefits paid and access to health care benefits.

One last point, when you get an offer, don't be afraid to negotiate for a higher salary. The company has basically committed to hiring you. They want to make sure you stay too. So negotiate. They won't pull the offer if you do. If you know exactly what you need to earn, you have nothing to lose.

Hope this helps.

5 January 2019 Helpful answer


Jo Prabhu Long Beach, CA

Getting in front of Hiring Managers is itself a victory over scores of others who have applied- but losing out is something that haunts you with the inevitable question: What could I have done differently?
Applicants are not skilled in salary negotiation and its best done through a Recruiter. A meeting however is an opportunity to connect with the interviewers and a key in determining whether you fit in with their branding or corporate environment. Likeability is a huge factor and skills can be learned, but if they like you they will make it happen.

I suggest you don't box yourself in or out by asking for a salary number. Instead, state the truth about your past salary but let them know that becoming part of their company and contributing to its growth is of primary importance and you are willing to consider any offers given the opportunity to prove yourself.

Before you exit, ask for their business cards and thank them for their valuable time with a firm handshake and a winning smile! Once you get home, immediately send thank you notes to each interviewer individually and let them know how you enjoyed meeting with them. Attach a reference by a past manager with a quote on how s/he enjoyed working with you, and look forward to hearing back.

3 January 2019 Helpful answer


Greg Andrew Plano, TX


One thing to keep in mind is that sometimes you do want to be priced out of opportunities. It doesn't make a ton of sense to invest time, effort, energy into a job opportunity, and then get to the end and find it's paying 33% less than what you can afford to live on.

Here's a podcast that does about as well of a job as anything I've seen at laying out what should be your process:

You need to provide a number, but at the end say, "But I'm always willing to discuss other opportunities."

Finally, your security clearance shouldn't impact the process. Either it's a requirement, and it's priced into the offer; or it's not a requirement, the company doesn't need/want it, and they won't pay extra for something they don't need.

Good luck,

3 January 2019 Helpful answer


Susan Kernan Murfreesboro, TN

Hi Demerick, I've been a corporate recruiter for 20+ yrs, and a lot has changed over the last 2 yrs when it comes to discussing compensation. 1st. The laws in several states now prohibit employers from asking question about your compensation. 2nd the labor market has become much tighter. I think the advice others posted is good. As a recruiter, I don't want to waste a candidate's time nor my hiring manager's time, and I believe discussing comp up front is a good idea. However, I would recommend continuing to look at ranges on Glassdoor and before your initial conversation, and give a range when providing numbers to an interviewer, and add that you would take into consideration the company's entire compensation package including: benefits, bonus and any other incentives. (I used to work for a company that offered $500 per year towards physical fitness, gym membership, shoes, weights, etc...) You never know what the total package may look like until you get to the offer stage.


Katherine Verhasselt Saint Paul, MN

Hello Demerick. I'm so glad to hear you will be getting an offer soon. Sorry I'm late to the responses here, but wanted to reiterate that - no matter the offer - you should ALWAYS negotiate. Even if they tell you their offer is the highest salary they can offer you, negotiate a sign-on bonus or more vacation time. Having hired many people in my nearly 20-year HR career, it always amazes me when someone takes the first offer. The first offer is usually the company's "starting point." They always leave wiggle room for negotiations. If you do happen to get a hard "no" on anything you ask for, at least ask to have your salary revisited at your six-month mark on the job.

Best of luck to you and thank you for your service!

Katherine Verhasselt


Jerry Welsh Middleville, MI

Have you looked at It is good to know what your general salary expectations are prior to opening a decision. Keep in mind <30 year olds change jobs every 3 years- source Dept. Of Labor, so maybe your competition is undercutting you.


Jerry Welsh Middleville, MI

Have you looked at It is good to know what your general salary expectations are prior to opening a decision. Keep in mind <30 year olds change jobs every 3 years- source Dept. Of Labor, so maybe your competition is undercutting you.


Derric Thomas Saginaw, MI

Thanks for all of the responses everyone. I have since adjusted my response and things seem to be headed in the right direction now! I’m expecting an offer letter in the next week or so. Once again, thanks for investing in me.

Best regards,



Aubrey McDonald II Fayetteville, NC

Good morning Demerick. 1st and foremost the hiring manager should recognize the VALUE you bring to their organization. You have extensive knowledge and skills that most don't have and should be fairly compensated for that.
When I transitioned I found that most employers were not willing to compensate me for these same skills and experience.
Fortunately I've always paid myself 1st, before creating any debt that would rob me of the ability to make sound decisions when it came to trading my time for money.
I started my own Business and thanks to God I've been very Successful in it. My Busuness allows me to set my own schedule/hours and Mentor others to Discover the Greatness within them. There's more to life than Money.

Give me a call and I'll tell you my story and hopefully it will benefit you in your search for your second Career.

910 578 9860

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