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Pay & Salary

How to Give Your Salary Expectations in an Interview

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

Guide Overview

The importance of salary expectationsWhat are salary expectations?Why do employers ask about your salary expectations in a job interview?What to include and exclude when asked about salary expectations during an interviewExample answers for salary expectations in an interview

Guide Overview

The importance of salary expectations

Whether you are currently filling out a job application or preparing for an in-person interview, you may be asked to provide an answer about your salary expectations. This can be an awkward question because you have to define your worth while also maintaining a sense of flexibility. Check out this informative guide to help you understand why employers ask this question and how you can answer it in a diplomatic way.

The importance of salary expectations

Whether you are currently filling out a job application or preparing for an in-person interview, you may be asked to provide an answer about your salary expectations. This can be an awkward question because you have to define your worth while also maintaining a sense of flexibility. Check out this informative guide to help you understand why employers ask this question and how you can answer it in a diplomatic way.

What are salary expectations?

Salary expectations refer to the amount of money a prospective employee expects to be paid for the position in question. You may be asked about your salary expectations as early as the application phase, or further along in the process during a phone or in-person interview. How you answer can determine several factors including:

  • The salary you end up receiving if you obtain the position
  • How an employer perceives you as a candidate
  • Whether or not you get the job in question

Why do employers ask about your salary expectations in a job interview?

Employers ask you about your salary expectations for a variety of reasons during your job interview. Here are some examples:

  • They want to assess how you view yourself and your previous qualifications
  • They want to determine whether your salary expectations align with what they can offer you based on their budget
  • They want to see if you’re over or under-qualified for the role when compared to other roles within the company and their salary levels
  • They want to be respectful of your needs and qualifications in relation to the position in question

What to include and exclude when asked about salary expectations during an interview

To approach the topic of salary expectations in a professional manner, you need to know what to include and exclude from your answer. Here are some items to include or exclude when answering the question: what are your salary expectations? to help you create a polished answer:

Include

  • Job-focused language that implies your passion for the industry over salary expectations
  • Information about your previous work experience and qualifications that constitutes a particular pay grade
  • Salary ranges to imply openness and flexibility
  • Questions about the company and the type of salary range allotted for the position

Exclude

  • Mentioning strict salary expectations or unwillingness to negotiate
  • Discussing salary range that is well below your current or previous salary
  • Statements that reference your need for money rather than your love for a particular line of work
  • Talking about salary ranges of company competitors

Example answers for salary expectations in an interview

Here are a few example answers to the question: ‘What are your salary expectations?’ to help you come up with your own:

To demonstrate openness

‘Due to my passion for marketing and my desire to work for such an inspiring organization, I am open to negotiating my salary at a further point.’

To demonstrate specific expectations

‘I would be okay with a baseline salary of $45,000 as I have two years of event planning and coordination experience where I earned $44,000 and I am eager to learn more.’

To demonstrate flexibility in salary range

‘My salary expectations are between $50,000 to $60,000.’

To demonstrate an interest in the position while gauging the employer’s budget

‘Can you tell me more about the daily work environment and my roles and responsibilities? What type of pay grade would you assign to this position based on those duties?’

To determine specific needs when asked to come up with an actual number

‘I would like to earn $80,000 for this position because I know it requires working more than 40 hours a week, managing a department and representing this organization. I am ready to dedicate myself to the job and this company.’

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