Here’s a gut-wrenching scenario during a job interview (at least it is for me): it’s when an employer asks “what are your salary expectations?”
Your answer could sink you.
As Alberta goes through one of its worst recession in decades, that question is more than difficult to answer. Should you cite how much you made at your previous job? Should you undersell yourself given Alberta’s current economic situation? Should you give the potential employer a wide, vague range of your salary expectations.
For me, all of those questions run through my mind as I am in the middle of a job interview. When I get asked that, I freeze. I don’t know what to tell the potential employer, especially if the job ad didn’t specify a salary.
I have so far answered that question by telling the potential employer how much I earned during my last position. Given my lack of success in nailing a job offer, I have recently given a range after getting some advice from BGS Career and Corporate Services.
As BGS points out, knowing what your salary expectations are and what you’re actually worth is all part of the prep work before going to a job interview.
I don’t think there is a wrong or right answer when it comes to salary expectations. It all depends on the employer and how competitive you are willing to be among hundreds of applicants who applied to the same position. Welcome to Alberta in 2016!
However, it’s not all doom and gloom. A good place to start — if you live in Alberta — is to check out alis.alberta.ca. The government website is a great place to find out what the average salary is for any type of position.
Knowing the average salary for a public relations professional, I gave a potential employer during a pre-screening phone call a range around the average listed in the government site. The employer also asked a few follow-up questions in relation to the salary and that is when I pointed cited the info from the government website. It must have worked as I now have a second job interview.