Job Interview Tips: Earnings Goals

Job Interview Tips: Be Wary of Questions About Earnings Goals

By: Peter Egan

When interviewing for a job, you naturally always strive to put your best foot forward while remaining honest and accurate about your credentials.

Confidence is key when interviewing, and it's not just the answers to the questions themselves upon which an employer basis his or her hiring decision, how the applicant answers the questions is every bit as important as what they say.

There are certain questions that could be described as "trick" questions. The most common of these is: How much money do you want to make?

Thinking that by replying with a high monetary figure the applicant may turn off the employer, many interviewees low-ball the figure they'd actually like to earn. However, the correct answer to that question is always going to be "as much money as I can."

Think about it, if you're the business owner, you want to surround yourself with people who are ambitious and have a desire to succeed beyond societal expectations. The employer is not going to gain an advantage on his or her competition by hiring mediocre people. She'll gain that advantage by hiring the best, brightest and those with the most ambitious goals, as study after study show a correlation between one's goals and their actual achievements in life.

For example, take my medical equipment business. I was once hiring for an open position in sales, and the three candidates were so close that the actual hiring decision came down to the candidate who answered with the highest earnings figure.

Just remember that employers are not all out to get as much work for as little pay as possible. Successful businesses recognize the need for employees to be motivated in order for their companies to succeed, and if the company is doing well, there will be excess money to share with employees. When asked about earnings goals, always answer in such a way that your answer implies that even if the company does not currently have the resources available to meet your goals, that you're willing to do your part to change that, provided the employer is willing to agree to performance-based stipulations. If they're not, you may want to reconsider whether or not that company is right for you to begin with.