How To Best Answer “What Are Your Salary Expectations?”

How To Best Answer “What Are Your Salary Expectations?”


what are your salary expectations?

We all run after an undefined term ‘job satisfaction’. However, most of us find satisfaction in a job that not only challenges us but also pays well.

A good pay is often the primary criterion people look at when opting for any particular job. Yet, when confronted with a question like “what are your salary expectations?” during the job interview, many people find it hard to compose a decent answer.

In this article, we will look into the nitty-gritty of this question and what the interviewer really wants to know or hear when they ask you, “what are your salary expectations?”.


Understanding the question

Often when the interviewer asks you, “what are your salary expectations?”, that is good news. It shows that they are considering you as a serious candidate and want to know whether they can afford you or not.

Another thing that the interviewer might be trying to determine through this question is how much value you put on your skills and work. They want to see whether you are confident enough to know and ask for what you deserve or you can be meek and submit to any figure they offer.

Of course, “what are your salary expectations?” is undoubtedly one of the trickiest interview questions but it is also an open chance for you to communicate what you want.



Do some research beforehand

You can go through the jobs portals to see what companies are paying for people with your qualifications, experience, and skills. If you are sure that you are an exception and you deserve the highest of the packages then go for a higher figure.

A safe bet to play is to quote a number a little higher than the average. This will sound very reasonable to the recruiter, especially if you are a fresher who is yet to tap into his skills.

Also, be sure to let the interviewer know you have researched on the topic and not quoting numbers out of thin air.



Know what you want

Once you have some idea on what the pay in the industry is like, you can mull over that information to decide what you want. Determine a figure which you at least expect from your job and stick to it.

Seek only those jobs which can meet your salary requirements. However, the number you come up with should be chosen wisely, keeping all your attributes in mind.

Of course, if you have internships or skills certifications (like the AMCAT certification) to back you up, then your value in the job market, even as a fresher, will increase manifolds.



Wait for the interviewer to quote a number

Sometimes responding immediately to “what are your salary expectations?”, might not be the best thing to do. The interviewer might have a higher package in mind for you than you might have for yourself.

So, encourage them to speak first so that you can know your mind. You can then add on to whatever they say to talk about the package you want.



Be open to negotiations

If you are unsure about what to quote, then offer a salary range. This will make it easier for the interviewer to negotiate and for you to defend your requirements.

Also, be open to negotiations. It is always better if you can discuss things and then come up to a mutual arrangement. However, don’t go beyond the value you had already set for yourself.



Look at other factors

A smart thing to do when the recruiter asks you, “what are your salary expectations?”, is to look at what other perks they have to offer.

If your job supports flexible timings, health insurance, has free snacks or lunch and a supportive team, then you might be more open to adjusting the package you want.

A good and healthy work environment is really important to have a fulfilling job experience. Also, take care to ask about other benefits like bonus, increment, and allowances. This will help you draw a clearer picture of things.



“What are your salary expectations?” might be one of the trickiest interview questions but you need to be smart with your answer.

If you are not sure about your tone of voice or body language and think it may come across a bit arrogant or demanding while speaking on your salary, then one thing which can help you dearly with this is a mock interview session. AMCAT offers you MockAI, a machine learning based mock interview session which helps you work on your interview preparation.

Take a practice session from MockAI a few days before leaving for the interview, and fill any and every loophole you find from the feedback report generated from the tool.

The salary you want is the salary you deserve, so don’t be hesitant. After all, if you don’t stand by yourself when negotiating the salary, then who will?



Also read – What not to say when negotiating salary for a new job