- On May 24, 2015
When interviewing, you are asked, “What is your desired compensation?” You don’t want to take yourself out of the running with a number that’s too high or too low, and you don’t want to shortchange yourself. Some things to think about below.
I’m gratified to see the New York Times business column The Workologist responded similarly!
- At an early stage of the game, you want to be vague. If it’s a form you are filling out, try to leave it ambiguous like “market.”
- If you are asked directly, try to engage in a dialogue and ask them for their parameters. Sometimes you have to give a number first to avoid stalling out the process. You can try giving a range — first research comp levels for both the company and the industry via colleagues or the Internet. You can also cite your last compensation number if it’s reasonable, or talk about the total package (base, bonus, equity).
- If you want to change practice areas, make it a point to say that you understand you have some learning to do (though you expect the curve to be quick) and signal you have flexibility on compensation.
- The two biggest factor employers take into account in determining your comp are: (i) internal parameters and (ii) your current comp. Having other, higher offers will often make a difference.