Cleveland State University

Career Services Center


Salary Negotiations -- Frequently Asked Questions

How should I reply to questions about salary history or salary requirements in an advertisement for a position or during the initial telephone call from a company representative?
Always state that salary is negotiable or the established range in the local market is acceptable. By listing a salary requirement or history you may be knocking yourself out of a position since your requirement may be seen as to high or too low for consideration.

Your goal is to obtain an interview and to have the opportunity to sell yourself and to learn more about the company and the position.

What if the representative insists by stating they need to know the pay you would accept?
You can reply by stating that since you do not know all of the requirements of the job and the details about the benefits, you would rather delay salary discussions until you had a chance to meet in an interview to see if there is a mutual fit. "I am confident that we can reach a mutually agreeable rate of pay."

What if they continue to persist on a salary figure early on in the interview?
Throw the question back at the interviewer by stating, "What is the range you have in mind?" The goal is to have the company representative to name the dollar figure first. If they give you a pay range, you can state that the upper part of the range will be acceptable based on the benefit package. You always want to select the upper part of the range due to the education and experience that you bring to the company.

What if I feel I must provide a salary figure or risk upsetting the interviewer?
Provide a wide salary range with a statement such as: "Based on my research of local salary websites and job postings the current salary range for this position in our market is $50,000 to $70,000. What is your salary range?"

Once I receive an offer, must I accept it on the spot?
There is no need to accept the offer on the spot. Simply thank them for the offer and request that the offer be emailed or faxed to you to review. Ask for at least 24 hours to get back to them with a decision. Make sure you have a complete understanding of the benefits and associated costs. In the mean time you can go back to other company(s) you have been interviewing with to determine how their search process is progressing and inform them that you have an offer. Tell the company that you are very interested in their opportunity and you are delaying your decision until you can fully explore this opportunity.

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Office Hours
Monday - Friday
8:00a.m. - 5:00p.m.
Mailing Address
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Avenue, RW 280
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
Campus Location
Rhodes West, Room 280
1860 East 22nd Street
Phone: 216.687.2233
Toll Free: 888.CSUOHIO

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