It seems like a trick question when the job interviewer asks: "How much are you looking to make?" In today's tough job market, your instinct might be to answer, "I'll take anything." But, you can get a more informed feel for the salary range of various positions and a sense for your current market value by doing a little benchmarking on

Plotting Your Market Value

Answer a series of detailed questions and the website will produce a graph indicating where you fall on the pay scale, factoring in benefits and other perks -- health coverage, travel expense reimbursement, the kinds of things that factor into the overall value equation. The site has collected salary and career data from over 23 million people covering 12,000 job titles in more than 1,000 industries in 150 countries.

Whether you have a position or are in the job market, it's useful to know if your current or prospective salary is at, above or below the average. There's no point in wondering -- or stewing, as the case may be -- over whether your colleagues are better compensated for similar work. And, if you fall on the high end of the chart, this little online exercise can yield near-instant gratitude: "I just remembered, I really like this job!" Use Payscale as a guide for asking informed questions in conversations with HR, and in negotiating job offers. Just don't overplay your hand, or you may slip off the scale altogether.

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Greetings Lou

When the first question before this "how much" question is, "What was your last salary?" then do you actually believe that you'll get anywhere near what you think you should be making. For starters, this years crop of new freshly graduated employees will have a larger entry level salary offer than the one anyone in the say late 90's or just the turn of the century. So automatically there's a salary discrepancy there. Alhough this issue is always there regardless of when you enter the work force out of school...this one question always gets asked. Why? do they really care other than financially what you made or are making at your last or present post?....No, there's always a scale of increment and they base it of your last salary. Fair? I don't think so, why should it be only professional sports where you can have these ridiculous salary jumps percentage wise. You could be the greatest player in your sport but should your overall compensation exceed the building you'll be playing in? --- How should you reply to this "what's your salary?" question and not sound "money hungry" to the HR person? -- This is another way of them trying to gauge around the fact that you may have anwered "open or willing to negotiate" to their how much do you want question. This part of the process is a self serving aspect in that unless you're that clueless, the position is Not a volunteer position and that compensation is expected in order to do the job. For even if you love what you one ever made a living on the sheer "love" of what they do. After all when asked that "how much are you looking for?' question, don't you just ever feel like just once saying.......what are you offering or give a salary figure so "sports like" and still be able to negotiate with the company. Unfortunately we cannot and thus must be always be subjected to "salary discrimination" and live with the ridiculously low cost of living adjustment increases.

July 12 2011 at 10:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"More than 5 yen a week and all the rice you can eat. Why? How much to you make?"

July 12 2011 at 9:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hi everyone! I got so tired of clicking on the link "Latest Financial News", and looking at stories that have been there over a month. Their top story has been there since January! And the stories that are actually current, you cant comment on them! I moved over to Yahoo. There pages are much, much better. You actually get current news, and you can even comment! What a novel idea!

July 12 2011 at 6:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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July 11 2011 at 10:46 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

idiots representing HR should offer a fair salaries and NOT try to screw a new hire. A fairly paid employee is a happy employee, it is in the companies best intrest NOT to SCREW OVER NEW HIRES.

July 11 2011 at 9:17 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ultraz2's comment

I got so fed up with HR after one interview I said, "You can't pay me what I'm actually worth so let's just stop all this horseshit dancing around and cut to the chase". The little weasel looked at me and said, "Excuse me?". I smiled and said, "you heard me just fine, Skippy". Didn't get the job (obviously) but a better one came along in a few weeks. Thank God too, I sure was sick of pasta and peanut butter by then.

July 12 2011 at 8:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ilm9p's comment

Remember folks- HR, in any company, is a STAFF function, not a line function. An HR person is not authorized to buy a pack of toothpicks without authorization in most firms. The job of HR, is to fill staff positions, for THE LEAST amount of company money possible. It's not personal. In hiring, the HR person will try to gain a clue as to your previous salary. Any company would be foolish to offer you one more dollar than the amount that will get you on board. HR will also use the amount of salary of your previous job to determine if the interview should proceed. (weed 'em out) Your salary is NOT negotiable with most HR people. If job "X" pays 25,000 a HR person will try to fill that job for 25k..or less.
Your worth, paywise, is subjective when you are paid on salary. As an employers representative, if I can get you in the door for 5 grand less per year than I paid the previous employee...I LOOK my boss. (The real decision maker) I would NEVER walk in to interview unless I had completed MUCH research on the company in question. I would know approximately what my desired position paid in salary and I would be armed with more knowledge about the company than any HR person that I could encounter. That said, the employer understands, and so should you, that unless you are offering to work on straight commission or subcontract your services, you are simply an expense item on the balance sheet. So much for your inflated sense of "worth."

July 12 2011 at 12:17 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down

Enough to eat decent food and pay my bills, which is difficult in todays economic climate and getting harder day by day.

July 11 2011 at 5:11 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply