During a job interview, an applicant may ask you a question like, “Is there a salary ceiling” or, “Is there a wage ceiling for this position”
The applicant asks this to determine whether there will be a chance for raise should he take the position, and if there is a cap on the position’s salary. Knowing this information will help him determine whether or not he can expect to earn salary increases with that particular job title.
Points to Emphasize
When you answer this question, you’ll want to be as honest as possible while also reassuring the applicant as much as you desire.
- Say that there is a tentative ceiling in place, with room for negotiation at a later date.
- Reaffirm the company’s commitment to pay its employees well.
- Mention scheduled performance evaluations that could result in salary increases for qualified employees.
- Mention any limitations set in place that are outside of the company’s control, such as governmental regulations.
Your can answer this question by reassuring the applicant of the salary’s fluidity or flexibility under appropriate protocols.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
Many applicants won’t ask about salary, so when you get one who does, it might catch you off guard. Follow these guidelines in order to avoid common mistakes and pitfalls:
- Don’t answer definitively one way or the other unless you’re sure.
- Don’t mention a particularly low ceiling without also mentioning perks that come with the job.
- Avoid sounding condescending or belittling in your answer, as you may lose the applicant’s trust.
- Refrain from stating that you’re not sure unless you also say you’ll find out.
The applicant is looking to you to provide accurate information, so avoid any untruthful statements that may have repercussions in the future.
Below are two examples that can help you answer a question about a salary ceiling:
While we currently have a maximum salary in place for this position, our company is always growing. We’re very aware of the importance of keeping up with changes in cost of living and competitive salary ranges. Just last year one of our current employees was able to receive a salary increase past the maximum range due to his continued success with the company.
We do have a current salary ceiling for this job, but our employees also earn commission on every sale, which greatly increases their overall earnings. We also offer perks like movie and ballgame tickets, yearly bonuses and company-wide events.
During an interview, an applicant tries to learn as much as he can about the job, including its compensation. This question is just one of the ways he can determine his interest in the position.