Host: What do I say if I just can't dodge a question about salary?
Karen James Chopra: Sometimes when you are interviewing with the person from Human Resources or the in-house recruiter, they have their list of questions and they are not going to move you forward until they have got an answer to everyone of those questions and so you can dodge and avoid the question all you want, but at the end of the day the Human Resources person is going to say, "I still need to know what your salary requirements are?
" In this case you are going to use a formula that I took from John Lockett who wrote -- writes a passage 'A Hundred Thousand to a Million', it's a wonderful book on career change for executive and his recommendation is to describe what your compensation has ranged over in last five or six years. So compensation is not just salary, it's all the other benefits and bonus and everything that you have been given by employers over the years.
What you are looking for is four or five years ago, everything stripped out of that number, so it's pretty much your salary and not a lot else and then everything loaded in for your highest salary including bonuses and other benefits that you have gotten and what we are looking for here is a nice big range 50,000, in some cases it would be 75,000 between the lowest compensation number and the highest compensation number. The objective here is to bracket the number that they are thinking of, so that they can say, "Okay, well we can probably stretch up to that number or we can probably reach down to somebody who was making that," so that you are not eliminating yourself from consideration by giving them a single number, you giving them a range and it's more easy for them to fit themselves into that range.