“What Are Your Salary Expectations?” | Tips and Examples

Your job interview is going great, but suddenly the interviewer asks one of the trickiest questions that stop you short. “What are your salary expectations?” Even though the question sounds straightforward, the answer to it is usually complex. How can you answer it so that you receive a job offer that’s beneficial for both you and the company you want to work for?

Below you can find helpful tips and examples of how to answer salary expectations-related questions. They will help you crush your first interview and get called in for the second important interview

Why does the interviewer ask about salary expectations?

There are three reasons why the interviewer asks you about your salary expectations:

Company Budget: The interviewer wants to find out whether or not they can afford your help. If they notice that most candidates ask for more than anticipated by the company, the interviewer will request a larger budget for the position.

Your Worth: You should know how much your skillset is worth in your market. A good candidate will share this info confidently. If you want to discover how much you are worth, pay attention to the market value, your years of education, experience, and career achievements.

Your Professional Level: A candidate who mentions a higher amount than others may be too senior for the role. The one who asks for a lower amount has a lower experience level than the job requires. 

Accordingly, try to think of a golden middle before the interview. Remember that the answer to the salary expectation question is the beginning of salary negotiation.  Make sure you provide a response that is well researched and analyzed.

How can you research job salaries?

Research job salaries

Before attending the job interview find more information about your market and average job salaries. Remember that your answer should not only be based on your wishes but also on real data. 

So, how can you find information about the job salaries? Luckily, it’s easier than ever nowadays. There are hundreds of free salary calculators on the internet that can help you discover all the information in a few seconds based on your location, industry, and experience. 

Tips on how to answer salary expectations

Many people find it hard to talk about salary expectations. Below you can find the tips to help you answer the salary-related question more confidently:

Aim high but not too high: After the research, you’ll know the average salary for your applied job position. The company usually wants you to start at the lower end of the provided amount. So, if your target number is $55.000, never say you’re looking for a job between $50.000 and $60.000. Instead, mention a range of $55.000 to $60.000.

Don’t hesitate: Most interviewers pay attention to how you answer the question about salary expectation, whether you’re confident in your answer or show unsure gestures or facial expressions. Always stay confident and know your worth. For instance, if you know you deserve $55.000, don’t hesitate to tell the interview about that amount. Even though you may be open to negotiations, show them that you will not accept less than you deserve.

Tell them the reason: Of course, you shouldn’t dive into the details, but you can reveal how you came up with that salary expectation. How can you do that? You can talk about your career achievements, experience in that market, or educational level to justify your salary expectations. Also, such external factors as the COVID effect on salaries should also be taken into consideration. You will need this especially if you ask for a salary that is higher than the average in your area.

Be ready to negotiate: When you aim for a higher salary, you should also be ready to negotiate with the company. Remember what amount is beneficial for you and stick to it, but if the company offers more benefits you can negotiate with them. Even if the amount you are offered is too low for you, don’t be negative or insulted. Answer politely and ask if they can negotiate with you.

Examples of the best answers about salary expectations

Examples of the best answers about salary expectation

Example N1:

I am flexible in my salary range. Of course, I would like to be paid fairly for my eight years of experience and career achievements in marketing. But, I am also open to discussing specific numbers with your company based on the details of the position.

Why does this answer work well for the candidate? That’s mostly because the candidate mentions in his/her answer about the experience in the required sphere. Other than that, the applicant also gives some room for negotiations by mentioning his/her flexibility.

Example N2:

I am usually flexible in my salary requirements. However, I would like to mention the significant experience in my field that adds more value to my candidacy. I would be glad to discuss more details about the responsibilities I would have as a Marketing Manager at your company. After that discussion, we can determine a salary for this position. 

Before telling them the specific salary range, it’s always good to ask for more information about your responsibilities at the company. 

Example N3:

Well, I’d love to know more about the responsibilities I would have at your company. However, I know that similar positions pay the range of $ to $ in our area. 

Accordingly, my salary expectation would be something in the range of $ to $ based on my previous experience, skills, and achievements.

With the following answer, you can show them that you know what similar positions usually pay in that region. Answering the salary expectation question with a range is a good idea as it provides more room for further negotiations.

Example 4:

I am more interested in discovering a perfect position fit for my skills and interests. I am sure that you will offer a salary that’s competitive in the current market.

With that answer, you show them how confident you are in your skills. It tells the interviewer that you’re not desperate and expect to be compensated for your time and effort.