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The Best Answer for Employers on “What are your salary expectations?”

The Best Answer for Employers on “What are your salary expectations?”

The Best Answer for Employers on “What are your salary expectations?”

You’ve researched the employer, prepared a list of questions, and practiced your delivery—you’re ready to take on the world! But here’s a question you might not expect. Can anyone handle this well?

Don’t worry. You are about to learn how to easily meet your salary expectations.

This guide will show you:

How to answer salary expectation questions better than 9 out of 10 candidates?
What to include in salary expectations so that the job offer sticks and you get what you want?
How to create reasonable, fact-based salary expectations?
Tips for effective negotiation with smart salary expectations in mind.
Want a stronger resume to negotiate a higher salary? Do you want to update your current CV to reflect your career progression?

Here is some Tips:

  1. Know the company’s reasoning.

Before calculating your salary expectations, it is important to know the employer’s thinking behind the question. It can be a bit more complicated than what people expect.

According to research, employee turnover can cost a company up to 150% of its salary. With this in mind, it’s easier to understand why recruiters spend time screening and evaluating each candidate.

The company’s vision during recruitment is usually threefold. They have to figure out how well:

You can fit into their budget.
You agree with the team.
Understand your worth.
In HR terms, this means that the recruiters interviewing you have to decide if they can pay you (there’s usually a fixed budget for each role).
Your knowledge is relevant to the task (you are not overqualified or underqualified).
You know how to prove your value to the company.
With that in mind, your goal is to do your research, analyze your background and knowledge, and come up with numbers that will come to mind during the interview (including your “walk number“). That way, you won’t be surprised by the question, and you’ll be empowered to negotiate from an informed place.

Not satisfied with the offer? Read our guide: Declining a job offer (example)

2. Research the market.

Some companies offer a salary range when they post a job ad, but this isn’t always the case. Researching similar job titles and positions at other companies can help you understand typical compensation, giving you an idea of your potential salary expectations.

Use the best job search engines and websites:
LinkedIn Jobs section.

Pro Tip: When researching, write down what benefits companies typically offer for the role. This is useful if you have the ability to negotiate.

3. Set your salary range.

Show that you are flexible and open to discussion. Set a salary range vs. an even number. Decide on your bare minimum, but aim higher.


The company is always trying to keep costs low, so make sure you’re not selling yourself short. Ideally, the range should be within $10,000 per year.

Pro tip: Politely saying you won’t drop a certain threshold is a good technique. Saying, “This is what I made at my previous position, and I just don’t want to go any lower than that,” is the perfect justification for your salary requests.

4. Decide if there is room for negotiation.

Many other factors can come into play when narrowing salary expectations. Are there benefits that might make you concede? Is there anything absolutely essential?

Make a list of them. Here are some ideas:

Some benefits, such as insurance or membership,
Ability to telecommute or come into the office
Exemptions from certain expenses (e.g., lunch at the office), etc.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, benefits make up about 30% of employees’ total pay! That is why it is so important to consider them.

5. Avoid or decline before answering

When it comes time for the interview, there are several things you can do to give the best answer possible. And sometimes that means not responding right away.

When the recruiter asks about your salary expectations, you can turn the question around a bit and ask:

Describe the duties in more detail to get a clearer overview of the workload and much more accurate salary expectations.

Before accepting, I would like further information about the role. Could you please describe the typical tasks and working days and how many items you complete on average per week?

Gives you an idea of the budget for the role and how much people currently earn serving in similar positions, or simply provides the current salary range.
Could you tell me the estimated ranges for this role?

Please provide the information for our benefit. Could you elaborate a bit on that aspect so I can make a more realistic assessment?”

These are usually good questions at the end of an interview to help you make an informed decision about the job.

Read more: Salary negotiation

6. Be confident and back up your application with numbers.

Finally, it’s important to listen to your gut and set and justify your salary expectations.

Emphasize your experience and talk about great results from your previous jobs.
Describe how your work led to increased revenue, reduced costs, or superior customer satisfaction.

Key Takeaway:

Let’s explore a strategy for answering the question, “What are your salary expectations?”

Understand where recruiters are coming from.
Make time for homework.
Determine your range of salary expectations and find negotiating points.
Ask more questions, and follow your gut.
Now that you know how to answer salary expectations questions, nothing stands between you and a successful job interview!

We hope our guide was informative! Have questions about setting salary expectations? Perhaps you have ideas for the best answers to the question ” What are your salary expectations?


“Please share in the comments below!”



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