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Conventional wisdom says naming the first number means you lose, but many interviewers won't even talk to you without telling them your salary requirements or current pay. So how do you beat the system? Here's how:
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14 comments
 
I definitely agree with this idea.  It can be an awkward question even when you're prepared.  I knew what my position was worth and when asked by a new prospective employer, I was honest about how much I wanted and why.

The negotiation ended up being very easy because their number was nearly identical to mine anyway.  I got a fair bump and both parties were happy!
 
I say to always ask for higher than your ideal salary because 1) they may have a higher range in mind, or 2) if not, you can leverage a lower salary for other benefits like more vacation days or telecommuting or a flexible work schedule.
 
That's fine when you already know that they are going to consider something in the range of what you need.  I need them to hear salary requirements so I won't waste my time interviewing for a position that I would never accept.  
 
Do you show them the current Average salary for a LIKE position?
YK Tee
 
In my country and in typical procedures, before the interview session starts, we are required to fill in an "employment application form" and expected salary is a must filled entry. 
 
+Steve Arrants How often?  Daily.   I am a Software Engineer in Test.  This means that I write software and assemble platforms to automatically exercise other software and find defects and weaknesses.  My work replaces that of a dozen manual testers.  But because I have "QA" on my resume, and job descriptions and titles are thoroughly mangled by nearly everyone who touches them, I regularly get asked if I would consider positions that are laughably below my grade.

Now I could wait until I get to the technical interview, you know, the one where you find out what the job actually is, to discover that they want a junior manual tester.  But by slapping them with a salary requirement that is a positive integer multiple of what they are looking for, I can end the whole process at the initial phone screen.
 
+YK Tee In the US, for senior or technical positions especially, the "Job Application" form is often one of the very last steps in the process.  And I suspect it is almost ritualistic at this point.
 
I wonder what a good range to give would be.  Is 10k about right?  Is 20k too broad?

+Humberto Gauna - those deflecting responses in your linked article sound dangerous to me.  I don't think I'd have the balls to use them.
 
Personally I have been saying "I made $X at my last position, I have improved my skills in this way and that way and think I should be worth Y% more now.  So I am looking for $Z."
 
Here is a great example of the type of position that I get contacted for: 
----------------------------------------------------------
I have an job opportunity for a Position   Application Tester @ Boston, MA
 
Here is the job description, Please go through it. Kindly show your interest by replying to this Email with your updated resume and can call me on my number 214-269-1511*417 for discussion      
 
 
Title:                                                   Application Tester
 
Requirements:                                  
 
Test Automation (L3)
 
Should be capable to understand the underlying technology on the various automation tools.
Should be capable to evaluate the best tool to the client.
Should be capable to create the required automation framework to the client.
 
Web Testing (L2)
Should have good knowledge &  concepts of UI validations, GUI features etc.
Concepts of Globalization and Localization testing will be an added advantage
 
Application Testing (L3)
Should be able to differentiate the different testing phases like Unit Integration, System, Acceptance, Regression testing and should be capable to perform these tests with the help of ready-test cases.
Should understand Test Plans, Requirement Trace ability Matrix, Orthogonal Array Tool.
Should be able to do metrics analysis and reliability analysis effectively with DFA tool
 
SOA Testing(L4)
Should be able to understand , analyze the business requirements at a higher level.
Prepare overall High level 'Test Plan and Test Strategy' for entire SOATesting
Able to prepare 'Requirements Traceability Matrix'.
Ability to analyze test results, Defect Management.
Ability to prepare various 'Test Reports' and 'Test Metrics'.
.
 
MS SQL(L2)
SQL Constructs Ablility to understand and implement Data Types, Basic SQL SELECT Statements, Restricting and Sorting Data, System Functions, Joins, Sub-Queries, Creating &  Managing DB Objects, Manipulating Data (DML), Constraints, Views.
 SQL Query Tuning Basics:  Understanding of concepts like Tuning Methodology, SQL Statement Processing, SHOWPLAN, Introduction to the Optimizer, Indexes and Basic Access Methods, Gathering Statistics, Optimizer Hints, Monitoring queries, Optimizing queries. 
AdvSQL:  COMPUTE Clause, Advanced INSERT, Transact-SQL conditions and expressions, Dealing with collation sequences, Using scalar and aggregate functions, Multiple Table Queries  Tools Level 1 usage
 
ESB(L1)
Should be proficient in messaging and ESB Concepts    Should know the Roles and Benefits of ESB in SOA   
Having understanding on capabilities of ESB    Should have understanding on ESB Protocol, ESB connectivity and ESB standards   Should have understanding on Quality of service, patterns and scenarios using ESB and Messaging    Capable of code and deploy ESB and messaging applications"
 
Location:                                           xxxx,xx
Client:                                                 xxx
Duration:                                             6 Months
 
In order to submit your profile to the client xxxx,
The following details are mandatory.
 
Please fill them and send me along with your updated copy of resume.
--------------------------------------------------------------

I am about 90% sure that this is a manual test position, but it could just be a really lousy semi automated job description for the type of work I do. 

I could talk to this recruiter, find that I have all those checkboxes on my resume, then get sent to a client HR person who will check the same boxes, then get a Technical Interview where I discover what the job actually is.

Or the initial screener could reveal to me that this is a $20,000 to $40,000 salaried position and we could both save a lot of time.
 
+Skip Huffman I'm on the same page as you.  I design software for things such as help desks, call centers, etc.  Unfortunately, that means I get contacted for jobs answering calls.  I use the same tactic, although I'm usually more sarcastic.  I simply ask them to take their hourly rate and slap a 2 in front of it, and then I'll consider it.
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