Handling the salary question

By Sabina Trench, Career Coach, Sli Nua Careers

WESTPORT - Sabina Trench
Sabina Trench – WESTPORT, 087 453 5227

We have talked here before about kicking to touch if asked the salary question in the first interview.


LD (via email) asks if we have specific phrases she can use if she finds herself facing the salary question. Generally, we discourage the learning of lines, but take the spirit of her question, and, accordingly, would suggest the following:

  1. “What’s important to me at this point is not so much the salary, but whether I am the right person for the job. I am certain if we both end up agreeing that I am the right person for the job, we’ll be able to come to a fair agreement, don’t you think?”
  2. “I’m negotiable, what do you have allotted for the position?”

Option one is a real kick to touch job. Option two gets them to open the negotiations with a figure – and there is a school of thought that you should never be first to mention a figure. Either way, you are trying to get around the question so that you remain focused on proving that you’re the right person for the job.

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Sabina Trench is a Career Coach with Sli Nua Careers, who have offices in Galway, Limerick, Athlone, Sligo and Mayo, plus a full online service. Their services include CV preparation, interview training, personal statements and application forms.