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I usually find that interviewers ask about expected salary on a first interview, but I usually feel uncomfortable discussing such details at an early stage. I feel that low-balling a figure might result in under-selling myself, whereas going too high might lose me the chance of a second interview. I also like time to reflect on my interview experience before vocalising my expectations. I recently realised that in one interview I prefixed my salary figure with a justification, which made me come across as a little desperate and unsure of myself.

Is there a good way to defer such questions until a second interview (assuming I get one, of course) without hurting my chances or weakening my position?

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closed as off topic by Ryathal, Jarrod Roberson, unholysampler, psr, Walter Nov 20 '12 at 22:19

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Be truthful. State what you would feel comfortable and satisfied with. Anything else would put one party or the other in a bad situation. –  Andrew Finnell Nov 20 '12 at 21:54
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This is a poor fit for Programmers - it doesn't apply to just programming. I am not sure where it would fit well. –  MichaelT Nov 20 '12 at 21:57
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workplace.stackexchange.com –  Andrew Finnell Nov 20 '12 at 21:58
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Sounds like a workplace question, though I think it is probably a duplicate. In any case, it's usually it's a game of trying to be the second party to bring up a number, so oracular answers like "I'm looking for a competitive salary and trying to evaluate employers as a whole" vs. "we offer a highly competitive compensation package because we firmly believe new employees are our future" duel back and forth. If you lose that game, try to have researched a good salary and err on the high side unless you really need the job. –  psr Nov 20 '12 at 22:03
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

One of my principles on this matter is to try to force the other side always to make an offer, try to avoid saying a number, you can say less that what they would offer or maybe too much as you said.

When you're asked how much do you want just ask how much do they offer for the position.

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