When you’re conducting a job interview, an applicant may ask you a question like, “What are the salary ranges for higher levels in this occupation”
The applicant asks this question to determine how much upward mobility he can expect within the company, as well as to know the discrepancy between what he would make and what those above him make. This information can help him decide how invested he will be in pursuing this job opening, and it may also impact his requested salary.
Points to Emphasize
Your answer to this question can vary depending on just how much you want to reveal.
- Reassure the applicant that the company offers competitive salaries at all levels.
- Let the applicant know that the company promotes upward mobility.
- If you don’t want to reveal specific figures, discuss assets that higher-level employees were able to acquire with their salaries.
- Reaffirm the company’s commitment to rewarding hard work.
You can answer this question thoroughly without getting too specific, depending on your own preferences and those of the company.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
This question could throw you off if you’re not prepared ahead of time. To answer the question to the best of your ability, avoid these common pitfalls:
- Don’t reveal more than you intend to, as salary ranges can remain confidential.
- If there isn’t much upward mobility in terms of salary, refrain from painting a negative picture for the applicant.
- Don’t mention your own salary, or anyone else’s by name.
- Be sure not to say, “I don’t know,” as this could lessen your credibility as an interviewer.
Your answer to this question can greatly impact the applicant, so don’t answer with figures without thinking them through first.
Two great examples of possible answers to a question about salary ranges are as follows:
We offer competitive salaries to all our employees, from lower levels to higher levels. This includes a complete benefits package with a 401(k). We encourage in-house promotions and the higher-level employees do receive quite an increase in pay. We administer yearly evaluations at which point all eligible employees are encouraged to fill any openings within the company.
Our company values our employees and we offer incentives for moving up within the company. The higher-level salary ranges definitely allow those employees the freedom and flexibility to really put down solid roots and stay with the company through retirement. Last year one of the executives was able to take his family to Italy for an extended vacation.
The applicant wants information related to financial security, and this question helps him get the answers he needs.