How To Answer Salary Expectations? Things To Do And Not To Do

by Job & Career 29 September 2023

How To Answer Salary Expectations

Entering the interviewer’s cabin, you can already feel the heavy atmosphere. But, as a confident and skilled candidate, you must have an answer ready to a few inevitable questions. One of them is –

“What are your salary expectations?” sitting in the interview room and having no answer ready for this question does not help. So, how to answer salary expectations? There are a few tried and tested methods most of the candidates applying for a job follow. As a confident candidate with a clear vision, they always have an answer ready. 

Do you have your answer ready for this question? If not, go through this article to find out your answer. 

Why do employers ask about salary?

Before you understand how to answer salary expectations, you need to know why employers ask this question in the first place. Here are some common reasons why the interviewer might ask you about your salary expectations –

Budget Fit

Most employers have a budget that they want to align with their positions open for employment. Sometimes, they have a budget that does not align with what the employees are asking for. When the interviewer sees that the candidates are asking for more than the company offers, they need to revise their compensation package. 

Your View Of Yourself

A good candidate knows their worth in the job market. An interviewer asking about your salary expectation is their way of checking your confidence level on your skills and your self-evaluation. This question helps them determine your career level, your experience level, and your achievements.

Your Experience

Interviewers ask questions about salary expectations to understand the experience levels of the candidates as well. Some candidates might ask for more than the company has budgeted for. On the other hand, some candidates might ask for a lower amount. Lower salary expectations can also suggest a lower industry experience level.

How To Answer Salary Expectations?

What are your salary expectations? Answering this question has a lot of impact on your career and your lifestyle. But, if you are going to answer this question, you have to research and understand your skills and competencies. The research and self-awareness of yourself as a qualified job candidate reflect your response. Here are a few ways you can respond to one of these queries. 

Count The Question: You Don’t Have To Respond Immediately

If It is still too early in the hiring process for you to answer this question, you do not have to answer. You can deflect the question and gently ask the employer about the job role. When the interviewer is asking questions about your salary expectations, they are trying to gather information about you. 

It would be better to keep the answer for the end of the processes. Try replying something like this –

Before I give you an answer to that question, I would request you walk me through the position and the responsibilities associated with it. That way, I can provide you with an accurate answer. 

Discuss The Entire Company’s Compensation

Salaries are not the only benefits employees get from their employers. There are other benefits involved as well. Ask your employers about other perks and benefits related to the job and how that will affect your career going forward. 

Sometimes, a manager might not have a specific package ready for the candidate in the interview. But they might also be willing to provide a portion of the company’s equity as an attractive compensation package. 

It is best to ask your employer about the entire compensation package they might have to offer. Here is an example –

I am open to considering the company’s entire compensation package, including bonuses, equity packages, stock options, and other opportunities. 

Provide A Salary Range

It will eventually come to a number where the employer asks about the number you expect from them. Here, you have to provide the employer with an average figure. However, it is better to provide them with a range of salary you expect as an employee. When doing so, ensure that the gap between your top and bottom range is not more than $5,000 to $10,000.

Here is an example –

“I am looking for a position that pays around $55000 to $60000 annually. 

Things to remember

So, how do you answer salary expectations? It will come naturally to you once you remember the different pointers above. But there are a few things you can remember. Some do’s and don’ts of answering questions related to your salary expectations are here to help you come out with a better answer–

What To Do

  • Aim for a higher target than you require. If you aim higher, your employer might at least allow you a package that you have a target in mind. 
  • Always provide a confident answer. When you are straightforward and clear about your answer, your employer sees your confidence through it. Your delivery and clearness have much to express about your salary expectations. 
  • When discussing your salary expectations, it will be a great benefit if you walk your interviewer through your experience level and your educational skills. What justifies your expectations is your skill, experience, level, and your education. So be clear about them. 

What Not To Do

  • Committing to the interviewers’ queries is one mistake many candidates make. Do not commit to the queries so early on and wait and discuss more about the job and the role before you come to terms with a salary package. 
  • When you already set an amount you want from the employer, you leave all your chances for negotiation. So, do not commit to any exact number so early on. 
  • When you are going for an interview, go prepared. It is always important to know about industry standard salary and base your expectations on that. 
  • You cannot go too high or too low on your expectations. Both can cause you to lose an opportunity or a good salary package. 

Bottom Line

When you are in a scenario to answer a question like this, it would be best to have a range in mind. This range should help you determine the kind of offer you say yes to and the kind that you back out from. But once you have taken all the three pro tips provided in this article into account, you will be ready to provide the interviewer with an answer. 

Hopefully, this article was helpful. Please let us know if we can help you with any similar queries. Thank you for reading.

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Shahnawaz is a passionate and professional Content writer. He loves to read, write, draw and share his knowledge in different niches like Technology, Cryptocurrency, Travel,Social Media, Social Media Marketing, and Healthcare.

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