Have you ever been at a job interview and suddenly felt unsure about how to discuss salary expectations, or unsure about whether it is even appropriate at all to mention if the employer does not bring it up?
Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Talking about money is anything but easy, and it’s even harder when you’re speaking to an employer that you’re trying to impress. The issue is that if you approach the topic and start too low with your salary proposal you may undersell yourself and your ability, but if you start too high you’ll likely price yourself out of the opportunity…
So then what is the best way to tackle this sensitive but crucial issue? If you want to learn how to tactfully approach this topic in a way that will both be able to give you a satisfactory answer to the salary question and avoid putting off the employer in the process, continue reading!
1. Know your market
In order to ensure that you’re appropriately prepared to pose this question in an interview, make sure that before you set off for the interview you’ve done thorough market research on what realistic salary expectations for the particular job look like. Feel free to do a Google search around the topic – but make sure that you remember to be as specific as possible and to look for the exact salary banding.
This is important because the salary levels for a particular job role can vary widely by location and industry. Take the example of a regulatory affairs professional, there are big differences in salaries between RA professionals in the medical device, pharmaceutical, food, or chemical industries. It’s no good answering the salary question in an interview quoting a salary survey for regulatory professionals in the chemical industry if you’re applying for a job in medical devices – knowing the market well will convey to the employer that you’ve done your research and understand your value and have realistic salary expectations.
Do you know what’s even better than doing a Google search? The best thing that you can do to make sure your expectations are realistic is to talk to a recruiter specialised in your area that has spoken with hundreds of candidates and will be able to help you understand your market value and what your expectations should be. To supplement this, if you work in QA/RA in Europe, you can download Elemed’s handy Medical Devices Salary Report for country-based salary benchmarking.
2. Impress the employer
Now that you’ve done your market research for the interview and have an accurate idea of what you should be aiming for, the next step is to take the question of current salary off of the table. In some places like California in the US, it’s illegal for the employer to ask for your current salary package – they can only ask for your realistic expectations.
In your interview, when the salary topic arises, start by reassuring that your primary motivation for being interested in the job is the role and opportunity. After this, tell them that what you’re looking for is a fair salary being essentially what the market pays for the level of experience and knowledge that you bring to the role. If you provide an answer like this, often companies won’t push you further, but if they do, respond with that you’re looking at a couple of roles that are offering the market rate of the figure that you have researched.
Finally, a key thing to remember for your interview is that delivery matters! When it comes to answering the salary question, you need to keep in mind three things – be courteous, be charming, and above all – be confident. If you can confidently address the salary question, with a realistic figure for the particular job you’re interviewing for, and without needing to state your current salary in the process, you will have been able to present the best case to the employer that you do understand your market value.
Learn more: If you would like to get in touch with one of our experienced recruiters to discuss your salary expectations for RA/QA/CL roles, you can contact us here. We’re here to help you find your dream medical devices job!
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