Very few of us actually feel comfortable talking about our salary expectations, and for many, it can be an absolute minefield of a question when you're asked this in an interview. Just one wrong move and it can all be over! And this is the reason many candidates can end up selling themselves short.
And that's why we created this website. To help you navigate this minefield and come up with the perfect answer to this question.
This is one of the less common interview questions, and you'll usually only find this one in more senior and management positions. Entry level jobs tend to have fixed salaries, but the higher up the chain you go, the more leeway you have to negotiate.
We won't lie, this can be a tricky one. You need to get a balance between knowing your own worth, but not sounding greedy in the process. It helps to benchmark yourself against industry peers and similar jobs, then adjust your expectations accordingly based on your skill.
This is a way for an interviewer to see how you value yourself. They of course have a good idea of what they'll be willing to pay you, but they want to see what you think of yourself. It's also a useful way to differentiate you from other candidates.
Let's use an example of someone with 20 years experience as a finance manager. Now, a finance manager's salary in the US can range anywhere between $50,000 and $120,000. This is a big range, so let's see how our imaginary candidate responds:
"This is something I've thought long and hard about in order to reach a fair figure. Given my long years of experience I've done some research and found that those in similar roles to myself hit around the $90,000 mark. However, I feel I stand above other candidates given I've been responsible for more than 20 staff in my previous role and will be managing even more should I get this role. I would be seeking a salary of $97,000 to match this level of responsibility."
Note how our candidate has done some research beforehand and used a specific example of a skill that would affect the salary range.
Find out what the industry average for your job is and compare yourself to similar roles.
The more skills and responsibility you have, the more you can ask for.
We almost always undersell ourselves, meaning the first figure we think of is usually too low. Go in with a higher figure than you first think.
If you know your worth, be prepared to calmly and politely stand your ground. If you add value most companies will want you on board.
This is also a negotiation, the employer may have other benefits that might mean your salary is lower than expected, but it might work out better in the long run.
Most companies will list a salary range expectation on the job application. Don't go way over this figure.