During an interview, most candidates hesitate to be forward about what they want. Often, they fear that being direct will come off as aggressive or may be off-putting to the hiring manager. In some cases, they may also worry that what they have to say will scare the hiring manager off, essentially guaranteeing that they won’t get a job offer.  

Now, it is important to understand that launching into the discussion on your own might not be the wisest move. If the hiring manager hasn’t broached the topic, you might come off as demanding or presumptuous.  

But, if you are faced with a question about your desired salary, benefits, work hours, or anything similar, you might not want to avoid it entirely. There are some benefits to being direct about what you want in an interview. If you are wondering if this more forward approach is the best move, here’s what you need to know.  


Finding Out If You’re on the Same Page

Unless information about the job’s salary range, benefits package, and hours were listed in the job ad, most candidates can only guess at what the hiring company plans to offer. While most employers would strive to be competitive, not all companies do. Some dramatically underestimate the going rate for the kind of professional they want to find. Others merely hope that they can get lucky and find a bargain.  

By openly discussing what you want, you have a chance to see if you and the company are on the same page. If you’ve done some research regarding your value based on the role and have data to back up your salary expectations, then presenting that information allows you to see if the prospective employer is planning on being competitive.  

If you don’t want to lead off with a number, you can let the hiring manager know that you’ve done your research regarding the typical range for the work involved and would like to hear their offer or the planned salary range. Once they reply, you can determine if they could potentially meet your needs.  

You can use the same process with benefits packages or various perks, like flexible schedules or telecommuting options, as well. That way, you can determine if the employer is in a position to meet your needs and, if you are too far apart, you can also decide whether moving forward is worth your time.  


Ambiguity Could Confuse the Hiring Manager

While most candidates prefer not to put all of their cards on the table before an offer is extended (and the negotiation begins), not being clear about what you want if asked could make the process more difficult. If you downplay your need for a particular salary, aren’t open about the benefits you require, or don’t mention which hours work best for you, the hiring manager may assume that you aren’t focused on those areas.  

Similarly, if you make it seem like a lower salary than your comfortable with is acceptable, you’re probably going to be faced with a lowball offer. Then, you’ll get stuck having to negotiate more ground, and that might not yield the best result.  

Essentially, ambiguity isn’t going to do you any favors. If you are directly asked about what you need, being forthcoming can save you and the hiring manager a lot of trouble. Plus, if you’ve done your research, you know what a reasonable offer looks like, so being coy isn’t necessary.  

Let them know what you discovered during your research and use that as a jumping-off point. Just make sure to leave yourself a little wiggle room if they don’t drop the first number. That way, you have space to negotiate to a point where you can both be happy.  


If you’d like to find out more, the skilled staff at PrideStaff can help.

 Click to see our open job opportunities or contact us to speak with a member of our experienced team today and see how our interviewing expertise can benefit you. 



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