As we tour the Midwest, networking with students and therapists, we are often prompted with questions regarding finding a job and making sure it’s a good fit. However, the most popular question continues to be, “how and when do I have that uncomfortable conversation about money?” You’re looking to find that delicate balance between knowing your worth and not appearing greedy so as to make a good impression on your potential employer. To follow you will find some tips and ideas to help that conversation go a little more smoothly:
1.) Do some research. Prior to interviewing with a specific company, try to ascertain a realistic salary range for the location, setting, and your level of experience. Often times, your professors can share information based on personal experience or feedback from recent graduates. You can also research online and check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ website.
2.) Work with a Recruiter. Nowadays companies employ Recruiters to screen applicants and determine which candidates meet the requirements for an advertised job. Part of determining if the candidate qualifies for the position is to determine if their rate expectation matches what can be offered for a particular opening so they will likely ask you during one of your initial conversations. While you still want to maintain professionalism in working with a Recruiter, these conversations are often a bit more relaxed as they work to establish that you meet the minimum requirements for the position.
3.) Use the first interview to sell yourself. Once you have an opportunity to interview with the person who will make the hiring decision, make sure to highlight why you deserve to earn a competitive salary. Discuss your relevant work and clinical experience and showcase what sets you apart from other candidates. This is not the time for you to bring up salary as the interviewer is trying to figure out if you’re the right candidate for the position.
4.) Talk money during the second interview. If you’ve been invited for a second interview, chances are the first interview went well and you’re a good fit for the opening. During the second interview you may have an opportunity to visit the facility and further discuss the opening. The hiring manager will most likely ask you about your salary expectations during this interview so be sure to have figures in mind. If not, wait until he or she asks you if you have any questions. A professional question might be, “do you have a salary range in mind for this particular opening?”
5.) Evaluate more than money. Be sure you don’t overlook other forms of compensation in making your employment decision including insurance benefits, a relocation allowance, a bonus, continuing education, and 401k opportunities.
We hope you’ll use these ideas to take some of the discomfort out of the money conversation in your future interviews!