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During a job interview, some candidates might experience additional anxiety when they get a salary question. Prospective employers either inquire about the candidate’s pay expectations, or they’ll ask about their most recent salary. Handling this question isn’t as tough as it needs to be. Here are ways to sail through salary questions during interviews.

It goes without saying that staying calm is key throughout the interview. It might help to remember that the interview is a conversation. It’s a chance for the interviewee to assess an employer’s suitability.

The candidate can turn it around and ask what salary range the company has in its budget. Knowing the range can help the interviewee provide a figure in line with what the company’s willing to offer. This tactic only works if the employer hasn’t already shared this information.

Give a Range
Providing a range can be safer than naming a single figure. Because an employer might offer something on the lower side, a candidate should give a target salary that’s on that bottom end. A salary range should vary no more than $10,000, and the interviewee should provide a reason. For example, “Because of my educational background and prior experience, I’m looking for an annual salary between $84,000 and $92,000.”

A company might not be able to offer what a candidate wants. However, they could provide benefits to make up for the shortfall. The candidate could say, “I’m looking for a salary between $82,000 and $89,000, but I am happy to negotiate. I would be open to stock options or any other compensation you’re able to offer.”

Don’t Answer
If a hiring manager asks about a previous—not desired—salary, one can justifiably avoid this question. Disclosing a figure can lock someone into a low number, a problem for many women because of gender pay gaps. Instead of avoiding the question, the interviewee could tactfully offer to have that conversation at a later stage of the interview process. One might say, “That’s an important question. However, because I’m confident we’ll arrive at an agreement when the time comes, I’d feel more comfortable discussing this during the offer stage.