Jump to content

the dreaded desired salary question for your dream job...

Guest321574 Guest321574 (Member)

Has 5 years experience.

I had an interview today for what I would consider my dream job - the right specialty, manager seemed great, and staff were friendly and welcoming. The problem is I met with the recruiter after, and she basically insisted on my giving a number for desired salary. I tried to dance around it, and gave my current salary, but that I was flexible. In the end I had to give a number, and I decided to state something lower than I'd like, but that I thought was likely to be acceptable to the hospital (I didn't have much to go off of in what their rates are, just a general idea based on the location).

I guess I chose to "lowball" because I really want the job, and a figured losing out on a couple of dollars would be worth this opportunity...

Just wondering what others might do...would you do the same? Give a number that isn't necessarily what you think you are worth, because you really want the job, or go off of principle, and quote what you truly think is fair?


Specializes in geriatrics. Has 10 years experience.

I wouldn't know what number to give where I live. We have moved to a smaller area and apparently I automatically became worth 4.50 an hour less.

If it was somewhere I knew I was going to love I would lowball a bit. But not so much that it would hurt my family.

Edited for spelling

I've noticed average RN pay is generally based on what county the job will be located. My neighboring county pays almost $4.00 more per hour for base pay for the same jobs. You can call human resources of any facility and ask what their pay scale is without telling them your name. Payscale.com can be useful, too.

If asked again, maybe you could say that you've done research for the average pay rate in the county and this is what you came up with and you are interested in the same compensation.

I did my best to turn that question around at interviews. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it did not. The onew thing it did do, was make the interviewed dance around answering as much as I had to .

How much were you looking to make?

ME-What range is this position?

Well, I was just wondering how much per hour you were looking for....

ME-From my research it appears new grads here typically make about xyz, right?

them-spilling all their secrets lol

I've got this weird awful knack for bs-ing at an interview. I usually am successful in getting them to tell me first. Of course, I already know the answer you gotta do your research.

wish_me_luck, BSN, RN

Has 6 years experience.

Well, actually, my dream job right now has a lower salary than other jobs that aren't in what I want. I have classmates making like 22-24 dollars starting out as a new grad. My dream job pays like 18-19 dollars an hour. But, it's what I want (the field) and it has it's trade offs.

So, I am willing to take lower pay and my advice would be that you did good in low balling it if it's what you want. Remember the saying of "do something you like and you'll never work a day in your life". It's the same. If you are happy and can afford to take a lower pay, then that's what I would do.

OnlybyHisgraceRN, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC and School Health.

I usally tell them what I'm making currently but state that I'm flexible. I went from working 32/hr to 26/hr to have a better opportunity as a new grad.

I knew that LTC paid more and that I wouldn't make 32/hr as a new grad in a hospital setting.


Has 5 years experience.

Thanks for the replies :) I kinda think I made the right choice too, in playing it safe. At this point I've gone from being mildly annoyed at being made to give a number first, when there is little choice in the matter anyway (I know some argue that staff RN pay can be negotiated - I'm not sure how true that is, but that is another story). And now I am in full-blown stress-mode just waiting to hear if I've got the job! If anyone has tips on how to relax during this waiting game, I'm all ears :lol2: Did I mention this was THE job! I'm freaking out, almost literally, LOL!

whichone'spink, BSN, RN

Has 3 years experience.

I put "whatever is appropriate for a new graduate nurse". What else could I put.


Has 5 years experience.

Thanks, I'm not a graduate nurse though, and I didn't have an opportunity to just write something, it came up in the conversation with the recruiter. She kept pushing after I gave the salaries for my current positions (which by the way are $10/h difference since one is per diem). I'm coming up on 3 years licensed (that feels really weird to say, because I still FEEL like a GN), but since I have no experience in this specialty I wasn't sure if my 2+ years counted. So I grudgingly told her what I had heard was a starting for new grads there. Oh well :bugeyes:


Has 3 years experience.

I was nervous with this question too. I don't believe they asked me in person, but you had to put it on the application. When I graduated, I had absolutely no idea what RNs made. I already worked at the same hospital, so I asked other RNs what I should put. Once I moved to another job, I put my old salary. However, it was in the same town and I didn't have to account for cost of living or pay difference according to city. Its easier to scope out before the interview if you can find someone that works there, or look online.