Five Tips to Answer "What is your Expected Salary?"

Updated: Aug 18



Interviewing in a new position or an organization is a bit challenging since every opportunity to answer a question is an advantage to score on why you are the best for the organization. In an interview situation, applicants aim at achieving high scores that can earn them the position they applied for in an organization. In most interviews, recruiters usually ask this critical question about your salary expectations to understand whether you value your skills or whether they can afford to hire your skills according to the industry average (Ganderton, 2018). Therefore, answering this question requires attention and a sound mind to hook the recruiter's interest in your service. However, most candidates' most intriguing part of an interview is negotiating the payment. Although the salary discussion is a critical part of the job-hunting process, you should avoid asking hiring managers about the compensation right at the beginning. The following tips can help you answer the question, "what are your salary expectations?"


1- Conduct thorough market research on the position you are applying for.

Doing rigorous market research on the job you are applying for can help you estimate the range of salary most companies offer. Hiring managers may ask about your expected salary to ensure you are not overqualified for the position or whether their salary average can afford your skills (Highhouse et al., 2003). Market research will help you answer the question most appropriately by analyzing what other people in the position are paid with the same experience and education level you have. Being knowledgeable about the job and your services cost to the company will give an excellent impression to the hiring managers.


2- Consider additional expenses for the job.

Unlike entry-level employees, candidates shifting from one job to another may incur additional expenses such as transport and rent. While answering about your salary expectations, include the additional expenses that may result from job shifting. Be courageous enough to include the amount that can cover the additional expenses and within the market range in your state.


3- Deflect the question.

Some hiring managers may ask you about your salary expectations at the start of the interview even before deciding whether the organization's standards truly fit you to hold the position. However, in such a scenario, you need to avert the question to avoid giving a vague answer until you are fully convinced (Highhouse et al., 2003). For example, you may ask the hiring manager to elaborate more on the roles and responsibilities associated with the position so that you can decide on the appropriate salary amount. Averting the question will allow you to learn more about the organization.


4- Answer with a salary range

Ensure you avoid giving the exact amount of money that you expect. Based on your research on the organization's salary range, answer the question with the range within the organization's capabilities for the position. Similarly, before giving out the range, you must be comfortable with the least number of the salary range you start with, depending on the previous salary you received in your last organization. For example, if you aim at earning $35000, you can give a range of between $30000 to $40000. You should also indicate that you are flexible and would like to work for this company to grow your knowledge and skills.


5- Give room for discussion on other benefits.

The new company may offer a salary less than the previous company. However, answering the question about your salary expectation should be open to discussions on the other benefits that may accrue. These benefits may include vacations, health compensations, additional overtime payments, and paid leave. These compensations may be an additional benefit that may not be available in your previous company (Highhouse et al., 2003). Given all that into consideration, you may come up with a fixed amount within the range you have indicated before that you think your services are worth for this company.


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