RE: How To: Tactfully deal with salary questions in TW job interviews?

Subject: RE: How To: Tactfully deal with salary questions in TW job interviews?
From: "Wilcox, Rose" <rwilcox -at- ssqi -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2005 15:15:24 -0700

-----Original Message-----
These were both temp posts, so hourly. One was W2, I couldn't find out
what the other was--the interviewer wasn't sure about that herself.
I liked the suggestions from everyone, especially the statistical quotes
and the suggestions to ask for the rate being offered.
One of the reasons I'd like a tactful way to deal with the situations is
that both those interviews devolved from the salary conversation. In the
future, I'd like to handle things so that they progress rather than
devolve, if at all possible.

I mostly work contracting through job agencies in my areas. Basically I
talk rate up front *often* -- especially technical writing, but also
Business Analyst jobs.

This is because the rates are often locked in the temp agencies clients
and they may not even be offering enough to make it worth my time to
talk to them.

Going into these discussions, I do know a few facts:
- What my range is
- How negotiable that is right now
- What is going on in general in the area with rates

To find out the third item, I scan ads regularly. Although many don't
list rates, you can see the range in those who do -- realizing that the
range is often somewhat higher than the highest listed. I also do my
homework online about national pay ranges and "listen" with interest
when pay range is discussed on this list!

If you already know your range, and the hourly is $10 lower, you know
you're not going to even try for the contract. Other good facts to find
out about a contract before going in include the availability of
benefits from the consulting company and the intended length of the

Also if a surprisingly similar contract is offered by another company, I
sometimes talk to them to find out their hourly rate. If I'm already
submitted at a lower rate, I don't jump consulting companies, but I file
it for future information. Some consulting companies skim more of the
top than others and/or bid low on contracts to get in.

I would suggest though if the discussion devolved after you refused to
set a rate that you might've gotten a couple of inexperienced or perhaps
even burnt out recruiters. For the most part, recruiters MAKE THEIR
MONEY OFF OF SUCH AS I. If they cannot be at the very least polite,
they are NOT GOING TO MAKE ANY MONEY. Therefore, they won't last long
in the industry. Either their company will fail or they will be fired.

If they won't tell me their rates before I tell 'em mine, they might be
in the business of low-balling their contracted employees to make a
buck, and y'know, I don't want that type of contract much anyway!

Rose A. Wilcox
Senior Technical Writer
480-580-0530 (cell)
Rwilcox -at- ssqi -dot- com
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