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Discussion on: Q: What is your salary expectation? A: I don't have one, make me an offer!

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Cliff

They will take no for an answer, trust me. If they won't, you probably don't want to work for them, because if they won't be flexible with people they're trying to recruit, how do you want to bet they treat employees? That said, if you're really pressed and have to, go in with a decent idea of what you should get, then give them a number significantly higher. This is a well-proven negotiation strategy called "anchoring". If they say "that seems kind of high," say "Well, I'm negotiable on that, but I'd have to see an offer with the full benefits package and everything included to decide." I've had companies offer me nearly $20K less than my "requested salary" when I used this tactic, so it won't block an offer. But by starting high when pressed, you've set the negotiation around a higher target value, which is to your benefit.

One catch is on black-hole application systems that won't let you leave it blank. If you can put words, just say "negotiable". Otherwise put $0, because it's an obvious non-answer. If that's not allowed, try something else obviously dodging like $1, $1000, or $999999.