Hack your way to a better salary

Interview Tips

1. Would you take a smaller salary if there were a development opportunity?

Valuing development over salary is generally a positive trait. It shows that you’re committed to growing and building a long-term career. However, it’s important not to say anything that might affect salary negotiations. Try to aim for a sense of balance in your answer. It’s good to know in advance what you really want from the job. Are you looking for opportunities to pursue a long-term career, or are your current goals mostly related to salary?

2. Which is more important to you – money or experience?

The phrasing of this question suggests that the interviewer is interested in you establishing your long-term commitment to the role. Experience means that you’re hoping to forge a path for yourself, and that you may be inclined to stick around for the long term. Follow-up questions may focus on the kind of experience you’re hoping to acquire and your future career plans. It’s okay to say money, if that’s the right answer. This is especially true if you know you’re not going to be permanent in the role. Set expectations early so that you don’t leave your employer high and dry when it comes time to leave.

3. What perks have attracted you to this job?

You may have already seen certain perks mentioned in the job ad, or have heard about what’s on offer from a friend. If you’re not sure, you can ask what is available. Lifestyle perks such as gym membership help you to stay healthy, which helps the employer because you’re likely to have fewer sick days, so let the interviewer know if you plan to use that perk. Other perks may affect your working pattern, such as telecommuting or flexible working. The interviewer may ask you some follow-up questions to establish how you would use those perks, such as whether you have a home office.

4. What’s the one thing that would make you say yes to a job offer?

This may not necessarily be part of the salary negotiations. The interviewer may simply be trying to figure out what you’re looking for in an employer.
Talk honestly about what you hoped to find when job hunting. Are you looking for a healthy paycheck? Great benefits? A chance to improve your skills and add to your resume? Stay away from anything that sounds like a deal breaker. For example, if you really want to telecommute and you know that’s not on offer, it’s best not to mention it.

5. Could you live on the salary we offer?

You may require a second job (or, this might be an interview for your second job), which can cause problems such as scheduling conflicts. That is what the interviewer really wants to establish in this question. Be positive but be honest. If you won’t be able to make ends meet on one paycheck, let them know. You never know — they may increase their offer. If you’re talking about your expenditure, make sure to focus on practical things like rent, transportation and savings. Don’t tell the interviewer you need more money because you roll like a VIP at the club on weekends!