Answer That Interview Question: What is Your Salary Expectations?

One of the most challenging interview questions to answer is the question of salary expectations.

Interviewers always ask an applicant’s salary expectation to see if they can afford to hire you or not. It is also a great way to know if you value your work and yourself.

While it sounds straightforward, answering it is tricky because you don’t want to push yourself out of the running because of your answer. It is also misleading to assume what salary is best if you do not know the job responsibilities completely. 

If you want some help in how you can answer this tricky interview question, here are some tips to guide you:

Research The Best Salary Range

Before you go into an interview, always make it a point to research the best salary range for your industry, experience and location. Many job search sites like Glassdoor and Indeed have the salary data for many industries and locations.

You should also consider the company’s size because it may play a role in determining the best salary range when asked.

Delay Answering It And Sell Yourself As An Ideal Candidate

Many experts say that it is ideal to delay answering the question as much as possible when asked by the employer. Instead of answering it directly, you can take the opportunity to sell yourself as a valuable employee.

By letting them know your skills, you will give them the chance to get their respect and get a very reasonable salary offer. Not directly answering the question will also show that you aren’t that desperate for higher pay but must be paid accordingly and on time.

You are also giving the employer the idea that you are a very savvy negotiator who can help them with their other ventures.

Don’t Be Afraid To Be Flexible

You can also delay answering the question by saying that you are flexible in your salary. This will give the employer a leeway to haggle for a fair salary rate. If they ask for an actual amount, provide them with a range you researched and think is just suitable for your skills and offerings.

If you believe you deserve something higher than what you believe is being offered, don’t be afraid to add 15% more to your salary range. This will give you more incentives to move to another company that can pay a higher salary.

Always Be Ready For A Negotiation

Some often fear asking for more money for their salary because they feel it can be a reason for an employer to drop them from the running. However, if you are open to a more flexible salary range and haggle, you may be able to reach a compromise.


It is never easy to talk about money, especially if you are asked about your salary expectations during your job interview. But, you can prepare by researching and being open for negotiations if the employer gives an offer. Always remember to be respectful at all times, and you’ll be able to reach an agreement to score that job offer.

Enjoy our interview question series? Here are some of them that you may have missed:
Answer That Interview Question: Why Do You Want to Work Here?
Answer That Interview Question: What are You Passionated About?
Answer That Interview Question: Why Should I Hire You

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9 Comments Add yours

  1. netdeduessel says:

    I will be pleased if I were a employer to know min. and max.

    Min. is what she/he actually needs monthly and Max. is with which she/he will be very happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kally says:

      Will you give in the middle? Or will you make them very happy?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. netdeduessel says:

        I would suggest to offer min. in the first 6 months as trial and if both are happy, max. from the 7th month.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Kally says:

          Sounds like a good advice.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. netdeduessel says:

            Thank you so much.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Very difficult.. but, I’d love to be in a position where pay was commiserate with performance vs just job level.


  3. Great information! I never looked at it that way when having an interview. I will be revisiting this post.


  4. I like the tips on how to delay answering the question about salary! That one still intimidates me, so finding a way to use it for highlighting what value you can bring instead sounds great!


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