Q: How does one deal with questions about desired salary?
Honestly and tactfully. If early in the stages, defer this to a later time in the interview process when you’re more clear about what the position entails and what its responsibility level would be. Once you know the position, it’s time to synthesize the research you’ve gathered on internal and external markets as well as your own personal needs. It’s best to assign a range that would be workable for you.
Q: How do I establish a salary range?
Establishing a salary range can be a delicate process – you don’t want to shoot too high and remove yourself from consideration, but you also don’t want to sell yourself short and end up working for less than you could have. Research is key – finding what the market value is for your position, but you’ll also want to have personal limits, as well. If you really can’t afford to work for less than $X, and wouldn’t accept a position that pays less, don’t hesitate to state that in the process. If you’ve got a target salary in mind, don’t offer that as the midpoint of your range, but rather around the quartile point. For example, if your research suggests your target salary would be $50,000, you might state your range as $45,000 - $65,000, rather than $40,000 - $60,000. Again, rely on your research and judgment of the situation.