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How to Answer “What are your salary expectations” in a Job Interview?

It is without a doubt the question “What are your salary expectations?” will be asked during the interview process by recruiters and hiring managers. As a candidate this can be one of the trickiest questions to answer. If you answer with a high compensation, you may no longer be in consideration for the role, and if you answer with a low compensation you are undervaluing yourself and provide the organization with an opportunity to underpay for your qualifications. So, what are you supposed to say?

Here are 3 tips to help you answer this question in your next interview. 

1. Do Your Research 

If you are considering a career move and changing organizations, you will have to do your research not only into the organization you are considering but also the role itself. You should be as prepared as possible for your interviews and knowing the current market value for the role that you are considering is part of that preparation. Knowledge is power and it will allow you to answer the question more confidently that you are aligned with the current market, your industry and likely the expectations of the organization. 

2. Answer Confidently

Know your value, your experience level in your industry, and your experience and qualifications as it relates to the role itself. No candidate will tick every single box for a role that is listed in the job description but if you can understand where you fit, you can determine what end of the scale your compensation should be. For example if they are looking for someone with 10+ years experience, but you only have 6 years of experience you likely won’t end up at the very top of the compensation range as you are less experienced. Know where you play in the sandbox and you’ll be able to confidently answer the salary expectation intelligently. In some instances, the salary range is listed in the job posting. This baseline knowledge will help you to gauge where you’ll land within the given range as well. If you are confident in your abilities and are highly qualified for the role, if you are slightly high, organizations may be willing to increase their salary range to what you are looking for. Being confident means that you know what you are looking for and are the right candidate for the organziation and role. 

3. Ask the recruiter or hiring manager

Every role will begin with a salary range in mind for that the organization is willing to pay. When asked what your salary expectations are for the role, you can turn around and ask the same question back to the recruiter or hiring manager to see what the salary expectations are for the role. Use this information to follow it up with what your salary expectations are. Be true to yourself and if it is not aligned with your expectations express it. It is always best to ensure that all parties are aware of expectations as you continue in the interview process to avoid any last minute issues come offer time. 

It can be difficult to properly assess your skills and experience but if it can be clearly articulated confidently, the recruiter or hiring manager will feel confident in your abilities to communicate and perform the duties and responsibilities of the role.