Ask Mike: Salary expectations.

Dear Mike,

I’m applying for jobs, but they keep wanting to know my salary expectations. How do I answer them?

– Not Good at Negotiating

Dear Really Awful Negotiator,

I’ve been in that position before. At my last job I accidentally lowballed myself. I thought we were just saying random numbers out loud so I yelled “12!” And that became my salary. Not $12,000 … $12. To be fair, that was a lot more money than my last job before that as a professional wishing well pillager.

Based on my experience, I’m guessing you’ll have some sort of standoff for who will say the first number. Make sure you don’t lose. DON’T EVER TALK FIRST, and do not, I repeat DO NOT blink. Blinking is a clear sign of weakness. I once went two days without blinking. I almost got the job too, but apparently you can’t practice medicine without a license or a medical degree. Yet another thing they should’ve said in the job posting.


[ed. note: Do not, under any circumstances, try this at home, take this advice seriously, or think even for a moment that a blinking contest constitutes passable negotiation skills. We post the Ask Mike series because we enjoy making fun of him, not because he has good ideas.]


Author: mazuma

Mazuma is a Kansas City credit union that’s dedicated to banking happy. We’ve got free online banking, low auto and mortgage rates, and of course — you-choose checking. Ready to become a Member?

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  1. Hey Mike,
    Before you sorta got hired, did they do a background check? Any stalking or restraining orders? Those can be pretty tough to explain in an interview.

    Post a Reply
  2. mazuma

    Hi Amy,
    We absolutely did do a background check: “Local Credit Union Sorta-Spokesperson Arrested in Royals Mascot Stalking Case” (or worse) was not a headline we wanted to be associated with. So we made sure that he checked out okay.

    Post a Reply

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