Answer: You should not beat yourself up for flubbing the question. It is a very hard question, especially when one is coming from a large firm, for two reasons. First, large firm associates are paid under a "lock step" system so the question has probably never arisen for you in the past. Second, it is unlikely that you know anything about the pay scales at small firms and (even if you did) the pay scales at small firms vary widely.
- See Top Ten Interview Questions for more information
There is no "right" answer, but you may want to - politely - turn the question back to the interviewer by stating an obvious point - he has infinitely more information than you have regarding some key issues. He knows much more about the position, the firm's pay scale, and the benefits that they offer to their associates. What is the firm expecting in terms of hours? Do they pay each associate at your level the same or has each associate negotiated his compensation? What types of benefits do they offer? In order to effectively answer the question, you might say "Well, you have much more information that I do about your pay structure and the value of your benefits package so perhaps you could tell me what you believe is a fair salary for a candidate with my skills and experience?"In this way, you state a simple truth, and in doing so, ask the interviewer to be fair. He does know a great deal more than you with respect to this issue.
- See Interviewing Tips for more information
See the following articles for more information:
- Top 23 Law Firm Interview Tips: How to Excel in Law Firm Interviews
- 21 Major Interview Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs
- The Best Way to Prepare for a Job Search and Interviews
- How to Talk About Other Interviews in Your Interviews
- How to Answer the Tell Me About Yourself Interview Question
- How to Answer the Do You Have Any Questions for Me Interview Question
- Had a Great Interview But Have Got No Response to My Thank-You Emails
- What Does It Mean if I Haven't Heard Anything Back from an Application/Interview in a Couple Weeks?
- What to Wear to a Lunch Interview?
- How to Effectively Interview Lateral Candidates: Pointers for Law Firms
- The Interview Post-Mortem: Don't Forget Your Thank You Notes!
- The Secret to Effectively Sharing Concerns about Your Current Employer without Committing the Most Common Interview Blunder
- How to Conduct Yourself During a Lunch Interview