Best Answer to the Question: What are your salary requirements?

Best Answer to the Question: What are your salary requirements?

You can use sites like Payscale, and Glassdoor to determine the expected salary range for a new job or position but you can’t always determine how much the company values the position for which they are interviewing you or how valuable your unique skill set is to a particular company, making it difficult for you to determine your requirements, and for some, an uncomfortable question to answer “on the spot” during an interview.

[Related: 5 Career Industries With the Largest Wage Gap]

According to the Pew Research Center women are making stride to position themselves into leadership positions in the workforce, increasingly taking jobs in managerial positions. In 2013, over half of managerial and professional occupations (52.2%) were held by women, up from 30.6% in 1968.

But, the even with positive strides in the managerial direction, women in mid to high level positions still aren’t making equal pay in comparison to their male counterparts.

Black women in particular, make significantly less than white males even when possessing equal levels of education.  According to the Black Women in the U.S. report, African American women with Bachelor’s degrees , on average, earn about $10,000 less than white men with an Associate’s degree ($49,882 vs. $59,014). It also states that it would take nearly two Black women college graduates to earn what a white male college graduate earns by himself ($55,804 vs. $100, 620).

So, the question arises, how do you best negotiate the salary you deserve? Time says, don’t give the first number during an interview because if you request a salary lower than the range for the position, the interviewer will say nothing, and you’ve just lost money.

Ideally you want the interview to give you the salary range for the position, giving you the opportunity to start high and work you way to a sweet midrange spot.

Good negotiators will deflect the question, ping ponging it back into each others court. Remember the interviewer has the companies best interest in mind and will feel no need to offer you more than you ask for. Your goal is to outlast the interviewer until they finally tell you the salary range for the job. Here is how to respond:

Question: What salary range are you looking for?

Your Answer: “Let’s talk about the job requirements and expectations first, so I can get a sense of what you need.” That’s a soft way to ask the question.

Question: What did you make in your previous position?

Your answer: “This position is not identical to my last position. I’d rather discuss what my responsibilities would be here and then determine a fair salary for the job based off my skills and qualifications. ” This answer builds a since of respect and credibility for the position in question.

Question: What are you expecting to make in terms of salary?

Your Answer: “I am interested in finding a job that is a good fit for me. I’m sure whatever salary you’re offering is consistent with the rest of the market and can be negotiated to fit my qualifications.” In other words, I respect myself and I want to think I can respect this company.

Question: I need to know what salary you want in order to make you an offer. Can you tell me a range?

Your Answer: “I’d appreciate it if you make me an offer based on whatever you have budgeted for this position and we can go from there.” This is a pretty direct response, so using words like “appreciate” focuses on drawing out the interviewer’s better qualities and reassures them that you mean no disrespect but are standing firm in your decision.

Standing firm, and negotiating the salary you deserve will show employers you respect your skills, eduction and craft, and that you are willing to stand up for yourself–all very positive character qualities, giving employers more of a reason to make you a great offer.