How to answer: What are your salary expectations?

How to Answer what are your salary expectations
A guide on how to answer salary based questions in an interview. How to answer: What are your salary expectations?
How to answer: What are your salary expectations
Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay 

“what are your salary expectations?”

This Question in an interview can definitely put you in the back seat. No matter how good your interview was going or how good you thought it would turn out to be. How to answer salary based questions and crack a job interview with a great salary package is like a dream come true for everyone. But questions related to salary can always be tricky. You need to pay attention while preparing for an answer when asked about your salary expectations. You need to make sure you don’t have too high expectations nor too low as well.

Tell the interviewer what he really wants to know

Employers would always ask you what are your salary expectations? To know whether they can afford you and your help or no. So you should be always prepared with an answer that not only satisfies there expectations but also determines your worth hiring you. Answer in such a way that he or she gets to hear what they really want to hear from you.

“I am open to discuss what you believe to be a fair salary for this position. However, based on the basis of my experience level and knowledge of the industry I expect a salary from rupees x to y. But again I am open to discuss the numbers with you”

Craft your answer in such a manner that it covers all the ground from being flexible about salary to explaining why do you think that you deserve what you expect. They want to test you by asking you such questions about salary to see how much you worth yourself and how confident are you about yourself.

Why salary questions are important and tricky as well?

Salary based questions in an interview will not only help the interviewer to test your self-confidence but it will also help them to see how much do you worth yourself for the service or the job.

Always be confident with the salary you are asking. It can be a tricky to make the hiring manager realize that the compensation you are asking is proportionate to the value you bring. Research and analyze the type of position you are applying for before disclosing your salary expectations to them. Salary is not an easy topic so you need to be prepared with all your answers and possibilities to stand out as a bright candidate. Also, selling yourself for the job can be tricky and difficult as well but that’s what you need to do to fulfill the salary expectation you are demanding from the employer.

How to answer salary expectations questions?

The questions related to the salary expectations take many forms. For example:

  1. What are you looking to make?
  2. What is your current salary?

Your employer’s greatest satisfaction is when he or she thinks that you are a well-qualified candidate and also flexible regarding salary requirements. For both the questions; you need to be prepared for counter questioning.

The best way to answer is by researching the industry and having an idea of an average salary. This will help you to have a reasonable salary range for the job. Remember that salary might differ based on the experience level, location or company size. 

So how to answer the” What are you looking to make? ” question

This question seems like an innocent and easily answerable question but its not. Your response to this question will determine whether the employer can afford you or looking to make any negotiations.

My salary range is flexible. All I want is to get fair compensation based on my experience levels and past work. So I am open to discuss specific numbers once we’ve discussed the details of the position

Such a response will let them know that you’re confident of your abilities and respect yourself. Also, it will help you to win employer’s confidence as well.

When asked “What is your current salary?

Generally, employers believe that offering a salary of 10 to 15 percent higher salary will result in a win-win situation for them. Many candidates won’t be comfortable answering this question straightforward because of the fact that they might be underpaid or overpaid. So answering this question straightforwardly might force the employer to think that you are either over-qualified or maybe they can’t afford to hire you.

So the best thing you can do is you can either delay the answer or just put it off altogether:

My position in the previous company was not exactly the same as my current job, so lets discuss what my responsibility would be at this company and lets work together to determine a fair salary for this position.”

In both the questions, your response will determine whether your candidature is worth enough for them to hire you or no. While answering salary based questions you need to remember that your answer should cover all of your positive points such as being flexible about salary, experience level, and expectations.

What not to say in an interview?

You need to keep hold of your self in situations when employers may tend to negotiate way too much or offer an salary package that may make you feel underpaid. You need to be graceful and ask if there is room to negotiate and move forward.

Tips on Negotiating

  1. Keep the negotiation positive and progressive. Show gratitude for the offer and a great deal of interest in the position before moving forward towards negotiation. Don’t be stubborn towards the employer’s offering because this would end up in a way that the employer might lose his interest in your candidature.
  2. Always make a counteroffer that is reasonable and with an explanation behind it. Providing a fair salary range as a counteroffer will help you prove your worth in the negotiation. A fair salary range also indicates to the employer that you are quite flexible with the salary and don’t have a set amount in your mind.
  3. Some companies might have a limit on their salary packages but that doesn’t mean they can not offer compensation in other ways. If you feel salary is the only pushback and rest all the aspects such as your job role, environment, working hours are great then try negotiating for other benefits which can be a deal-breaker for you:
  • Performance bonuses
  • Signing bonuses
  • Retirement contributions
  • Health benefits

Here are the takeaways

Answering in the right way: Wheather it’s your salary expectations or current salary status; answer in such a way that your answer wins the employer’s heart and confidence to hire you.

Negotiation- Always be prepared to negotiate and prove your counteroffer is made after “all things are considered”.


How to answer: What are your salary expectations?
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