How to Answer to the Question “What are Your Salary Expectations?”

Hiring managers may bring up the subject of income at some moment in the interview session. Recruiters may ask this question during a first phone interview, or they may wait until you have met in person before discussing salary. You may be asked directly about your salary expectations, on an application form or in reaction to an employer’s pre-determined compensation ranges.

Furthermore, the job interview is proceeding well. You have the necessary qualifications, a good relationship with the recruiters, and those practise sessions with a partner helped you present fluently and convincingly. You have a good chance of getting this job.

Then comes the uncomfortable question, “What are your salary expectations?”

While one of the most basic questions companies ask during a job interview is about your salary expectations, discussing salary may be unpleasant. You may reduce your tension by planning how you will respond to salary-related queries ahead of time. You may have constructive and informed salary talks with potential employers if you investigate typical remuneration for both the position and your experience level.

Many jobs’ applicants fear being asked about their salary requirements. There is always the fear that you will be leaving money on the table by underestimating a sum. However, if you suggest an excessively high amount, you may be priced out of consideration for the post. That is a difficult situation to make no matter where you are in your career.

The good news is that there are ways for providing figures that are both reasonable to you and within the company’s budget when discussing salary expectations throughout the recruiting process. When it comes to addressing finances with a potential employer, time, tact, and research are all essential.

Why do Employers often Inquire about Salary Expectations?

There might be different reasons behind it as described here:

  • They have a spending plan. The recruiter wants to make sure that your salary expectations match their estimated amount for the position. If they discover that the majority of candidates are asking for greater than expected, they may need to propose a greater budget for the post.
  • They want to see whether you realise your worth or not. A good applicant understands the market value of their talent and can confidently express it. Consider your level, years of experience, and professional accomplishments when determining your market worth.
  • They are trying to figure out if you are at the right professional level. A candidate who requests a much greater salary than other applicants may be too senior for the position. Alternatively, responding with a modest wage expectation might signal that you have less experience than the position demands.

Your response to this question might be the start of salary negotiation. As a consequence, you will want to ensure your response is well-researched.

1. Conduct Market Research and Salary Trends

The job interview is your chance to persuade the hiring manager that you are deserving of top compensation, regardless of the position or level you are seeking. As a result, you should start thinking about your “target salary” research as soon as possible after applying for the position. So, it would help if you did your homework.

Look for reliable sources of information, such as salary ranges and experience in your industry. Also, look at the national average income for the position you are looking for. And only present statistics that are realistic in light of your qualifications, competence, and experience.

2. Instead of a Single Amount, Consider Mentioning a Salary Range.

When submitting necessary forms, job seekers should avoid asking about salary. When you bring up money too soon in the conversation, it gives the sense that you are more interested in the money than the job.

However, this does not rule out the possibility that the employer would inquire about compensation expectations during the initial contact.

If a job posting asks for an expected wage range when applying for a position, indicate a range you are satisfied with rather than a precise amount. “Negotiable” answers may work, but they may also make you appear elusive. If you have done your research, you will be able to determine what a reasonable salary range is.

If the topic of salary comes up during your first meeting with a recruiting manager, you may still provide a range — and perhaps hedge it a little more:

“Looking at what I know about the situation, I believe it will be in the $XXX – $XXX range.”

This type of phrasing demonstrates adaptability, which employers like. It also gives you the flexibility to change the figures later if you learn more about the job and the employer’s expectations for the new talent.

3. Switch the Question Diplomatically

As initially said, there is nothing tricky about hedging with a salary range when the hiring process is still in its early stages. An employer that inquiries about potential salary before considering the position in depth cannot expect a more specific response.

However, at this early stage, you have the option of turning the question. It does not matter if the company asks about your salary during a phone screening or at the beginning of your first video interview: You can smile and say:

“Before we talk about money, I would like to understand more about the role and its responsibilities, as well as the culture of the company.” However, may I inquire as to the salary range you are thinking for this role?”

As you say it respectfully, you will show that your first focus is finding out if the job is actually what you want, which many employers appreciate. It will be tough to reject your subtle offer to communicate the planned salary range.

Try your best to answer the salary question at the end when you have substantial information about your position responsibilities and keep the negotiation intent just like the below example:

“Based on the position’s duties and the number of employees I would be overseeing, I believe $XX is a reasonable estimate.” It is a wonderful opportunity, and I am confident that I am the right person for the job.”

When an interviewer inquiry about your compensation expectations, having a well thought out information response can guarantee that you are neither underpaying yourself or overpaying for the job. You may assist the interviewer in understanding better whether your expectations are aligned and, if everything goes well, what kind of compensation will be appealing enough to get you onboard by delivering an honest, educated response. Aim high, be confident and professionally explain your reasoning.


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