What’s your expected salary? How to answer

What's your expected salary? How to answer

A question such as “What are your salary expectations?” can cause you to become anxious while you are in the midst of a job interview. You don’t want to say anything too high and end up priced out of a position you need or want, nor do you want to say something too low and not end up getting paid as much as you could or should.

"What are your salary expectations?"

The primary goal of the salary question was to determine a job candidate’s hopes in light of the funding available for the position. Therefore, in contrast to many other frequently asked interview questions, your answer to “What is your desired salary?” may automatically rule you out of contention for a position. However, since you might not be able to accept or appreciate a job that doesn’t pay enough for you, this isn’t necessarily a negative thing.

Discussing your estimated pay

In this article, we’ll go over three methods to respond to the question, “What are your salary expectations?” as well as dos and don’ts to bear in mind when talking about salary expectations with a potential employer. We’ll also go over example scenarios.

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Discussing your estimated pay

Even though discussing money during a job interview is one of the more straightforward things employers ask, it can still be nerve-wracking. However, you can reduce this stress by planning your responses to inquiries about salary.

Before your interview, do some online research to see what others with this position are making for their salaries using tools like Indeed’s salary search tool, Salary.com, Payscale.com, or Glassdoor. Depending on your location, degree of education, and experience, you’ll likely discover a wide range. This can give you a starting point for what you should indicate as your preferred salary.

Along with considering your salary expectations, you should also think about your expenses living. If the topic of pay comes up during the interview, you should adjust your wage request if you currently reside in an expensive city or intend to relocate there.

Related: How to describe work experience on a resume

Determine Your Approach to the Question

Describe the pay range

When it comes time to give a number during the interview, you might choose to provide a range rather than a singular value. However, keep in mind that the employer might choose to pay you at the lower end of your salary range, so make sure your goal number is as close as you can get to your lowest salary. Maintain a somewhat narrow range with a variation of no more than $5,000 to $10,000.

Giving a salary range demonstrates your willingness to be adaptable and collaborate with your potential boss. You are also “voicing the value you bring to the table” by providing any numbers.

Of course, disclosing wage information during a preliminary interview has some disadvantages. Waiting until you’ve received an employment offer might give you more negotiating power. You might also be concerned about missing the chance by going too high or leaving money on the table by going too low. Going too high indicates the job wasn’t a good fit for you while going too low means it’s less likely.

“Try to keep the bottom of your range toward the mid-to-high point of what you’re looking for,” the advice goes when discussing your wage range in an interview. For instance, you could state a range of $92,000 to $100,000 if your range is $85,000 to $100,000 and your best estimate of the company’s budget is $80,000 to $95,000. This way, even if the company negotiates below the range you stated in your interview, you’ll still be pleased.

Related: How to prepare for a job interview

Reverse the Question

What are your salary expectations?” can also be answered by merely inquiring as to what the business is hoping to pay. “That’s a great query; it would be helpful if you could share what the range is for this role, for example.

After the interviewer responds to your question, they’ll be looking for you to state whether the salary suits you. You still need to do your research, but at least you can now adjust your answer to fit the company’s budget. It’s fantastic if the interviewer provides you with a number or range that falls within or exceeds your expectations. You can mention how ideal that is for you. But if the response is lower than you’re happy with, you have to come up with a plan to respond.

For example, if the interviewer says a job pays $55,000, and that’s a bit below where you were hoping to make, you might say something like:

“I was hoping for something more in the $60-to-$65K range, but I’m open to negotiating based on the entire compensation package.”

Delay Answering

When you’re still learning the scope of a position and what benefits the company offers, you might prefer to delay answering questions about your salary expectations.

If you choose this strategy, you might say that salary is important to you, but a well-rounded offer and opportunity are more important, and you’d prefer to share your salary expectations later on.

It may look like this:

“At the moment, getting the ideal job for me is more crucial than pay. Before we discuss the figures, I’d love to learn more about the position, the business, and the full range of benefits.

One word of caution: Don’t automatically resort to this tactic just because you’re worried about passing up a job. It might be tempting to accept the lowest pay you can get when you truly need a job, but in the end, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

Keep in mind that you are valuable to any business you work for. Finding that value and sharing it with prospective employers will only help you, in the long run, to get paid what you earn. In an interview, Crawford notes, you are asked, “Why should we invest in you?” Knowing the value of that investment is crucial information for both you and your prospective employer.

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Remarks to Avoid

  • Don’t donate a fixed sum. Negotiation will go better if you can hold off on bringing up a particular salary until after the employer does.
  • Do not overcharge for a task. If your study indicates that the job is only worth $50,000, don’t request a $100,000 salary. If your price is too high, you might not get the position.
  • Be favorable. Respond politely and inquire as to whether there is space for negotiation, even if the amount being offered seems insultingly low.

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