That Awkward Pause When Asked For Your Salary Requirements Gives Me Nightmares

The SRQ breaks my little heart

Oh yes. The dreaded salary requirement question: in a second, you will go from feeling great about the interview to double-thinking every single moment of your short life. What should you ask for as a recent college grad? If you came here for answers…sorry. I just wanted you to know you are not alone.

I recently interviewed and the SRQ (salary requirement question) made me nauseous. We’re in an economic crisis, 19.8% of people below the age of 25 are unemployed…it is a mess. So what should I have done? If I answer too high, I sound uppity. If I answer too low, I am selling myself short. I was lucky enough to be asked this question twice for the same position. The first time I was asked the SRQ, I did nothing short of sell myself short. I went home, did some research on the title and what similar positions. I learned that I undersold myself by nearly $15,000! DO NOT DO WHAT I DID! I am talented, I have experience and I just spit out the first number that came to mind!

Do your research before a job interview, because I then looked like a fool when I had to correct a previous salary range.

But then came the opposite extreme. According to (which I have now made my bible), I should have been asking around $47,000. For some unknown reason, I feel too terrible asking that much and I am not sure why. I could not bring myself to say that number. Usually I am not one to turn down money, but I could not fathom asking for anything greater than $40,000. According to Ronnie Ann, author of the blog “Work Coach Cafe”, women always ask for too little during negotiations. Come on, ladies…we deserve more than what we’re getting.

I just need to figure out how to get around this inexplicable guilt trip I experienced during negotiations. Solutions? Comments?