How do you answer a salary question in an interview?


I have a big interview for a medical assistant job (im also an lvn graduate) and i was wondering what i should say when the interviewer ask me about how much i would like to get paid or what salary am i looking for, etc.. Last time i was asked this question years ago, i told the interviewer a big amount and she ended up not giving me the job lol. any advice? whats the exact words should i say in my answer? i heard i have to say "negotiable" and thats it?... and then what?:confused:

Specializes in Psych. Has 2 years experience.

What is the normal for your area?


1 Article; 1,905 Posts


Double-Helix, BSN, RN

1 Article; 3,377 Posts

Specializes in PICU, Sedation/Radiology, PACU. Has 12 years experience.

Try something like:

"Since I have an LVN license, I feel as though I am very qualified for the job. So I would expect to start somewhere in the middle of your salary range for this position. Can you give me an indication of your range?"

That way you don't give an exact number, but you make it clear you don't want to start at the bottom. It also puts the question back on the interviewer and you get more information about the position.

If I were interviewing for a new grad RN/LPN position, I would say something like:

"I'm a new graduate, so I would expect to start on the lower end of your pay scale for this position. can you give me an indication of your salary range for RNs?"

MN-Nurse, ASN, RN

1,398 Posts

Specializes in Med Surg - Renal.

Sometimes they just want to know if you have a clue about the average salary for that area and position.

Find out what it is and ask for something around that.

Nurse Chef

37 Posts

it says around $18 hourly in my area on the website. how would i tell the interviewer?


80 Posts

Specializes in Long term care, Rehab/Addiction/Recovery. Has 30 years experience.

After being on too many interviews to count with my fingers and toes, and just not knowing anymore what will get me picked above the 100's (yes, 100's) who are interviewing for the same job.. at an interview this week when asked that question, I replied, "You mean insert foot in mouth?" :uhoh3:..I then stated," I am certainly open to discuss whatever salary range is being offered. I am very flexible. "

netglow, ASN, RN

4,412 Posts

No no, don't use that site it could be way the heck off for your particular facility. See if you can pop the question in your state's specific forum for that facility even as long as it's a big place. Or just ask generally but be sure to narrow to LTC or hospital. You have a better chance that way of getting a good answer.

johnny depp23

218 Posts

After you found out what the average is for your area, tell your future employer you want to make more than that.

ex. the average is 18 hr. tell him/her you want 20 hr. Don't ever sell yourself short. Be confident!

I would tell them honestly, salary is important to me, I would tell them the expected salary I want.


If you stop here, how can you find the beautiful scenery near future----- Karen Millen


199 Posts

Is the $18 per hour for LVN or MA? You're applying for a MA position, so anticipate that you will fall within their MA pay scale. I like how Ashley PICU RN said to word it - that's what I would do. Good luck in your interview!