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scotts28 asked
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Last Modified: 2010-04-02
I was wondering if anyone could help me.  I have been working as an intern as a programmer for 6 months now and I FINALLY got a call for an interview.  The lady I spoke with asked me to bring in my salary requirements.  Now I would have no clue what I should do or say. Thanks before for any advise.  Scott
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Rather depends on location.  No good asking in Berlin to be paid in groats.  

Where will you work?
What is your experience?
What are your qualifications?
I would be honest and say that you don't know what the going rate is: just say that you just want the market rate for someone with your experience.

In my experience, companies usually compare you with somebody in a similar position, and like to offer corresponding salaries.  

It is quite easy to price yourself out of a job - if your salary expectation is not what the company is prepared to pay for you, then there is little point in turning up for an interview.
My advice is to focus on convincing them that you are the best choice for this position.  After that's done, then begin salary negotiations.  You don't want to be eliminated from consideration over a salary discussion before they even know what you can do for them.

I always like to detail things I've done and accomplished.  What problems were encountered and how I resolved them.  Don't feel you need to take credit for solving all problems.  Employers are also looking for team players who can work with others to solve problems.

Never ever overstate your qualifications or background but don't be afraid to let them know what you know.  Also be sure they understand how well you learn new things.  As always, most of the stuff you now know is not what they need.  You'll need to learn lots of new stuff and being someone who is flexible and a fast learner is a big asset to any company.

When it comes time to talk pay, it's always best if you can get them to make the first offer.  But don't go in blind.  Be sure you know what others in your area are getting paid at this or similar companies.  Then you'll know if their offer is where it should be.  Knowledge makes for a much stronger negotiating position than ignorance.

If you must make the first move, be sure you've done your homework and give them a salary request that is a little higher than what you know is typical.  When they say "Hmmm, that's a little higher than we were thinking..." take another opportunity to remind them of how excellent you'd be there.  Talk like you're already solving their problems.  Be confident that you're the BEST candidate for this job (even if you're not).  From YOUR POINT OF VIEW, you want the job so you are the BEST!!

Good luck.


thanks for the advice

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