I always go for option #2. It’s done great things for my salary over time. You never know, they just might bite.
Oh and you should ask the interviewer “How many candidates have you looked at? How long has this position been vacant? Why is there a vacancy?” The answers to these questions can have a dramatic effect on what they are willing to pay.
Anchor the conversation with the value you add to the job. Minimize the conversation about the pay.
Curious to know how asking those questions to the interviewer helps you? For e.g if they say we interviewed 5 candidates before? What is the takeaway?
Also, personally I feel I wouldn't ask how many you have interviewed before? If you were the employer, would you be willing to answer those all 3 questions? :)
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