How to answer What are your Salary Expectations?

How to answer What are your Salary Expectations?

Anaëlle Guyomard

Talented International

How to answer “What are your Salary Expectations”?



When it comes to job interviews, one of the most dreaded questions for job seekers is undoubtedly, “What are your salary expectations?” It can be a tricky question to answer, as you don’t want to undervalue yourself nor ask for too much and risk losing the job offer. In this blog post, we’ll explore some strategies for answering this question confidently and effectively.



  • Do Your Research



Before you walk into the interview, it’s essential to have a good understanding of the salary range for the position you’re interviewing for. There are a few different ways you can do this, including for example, looking up the average salary for the position in your geographic area or industry.


Checking job postings for similar roles at other companies to see what they’re offering is a very important step that should not be skipped. It will give you an idea of what you can bargain for and what you are worth of the job market. To make sure you are not over nor under evaluating yourself, make sure your research is made properly and don’t forget to check important information, such as certifications, skills, experience, and tasks.


This will come in handy and give you the necessary assets to bring to the table to impact your salary negotiation. Having this information at your fingertips will help you feel more confident and informed when the salary question comes up.



  • Be Prepared to Give a Range:



When the interviewer asks about your salary expectations, they’re usually looking for a ballpark figure. When the dreaded question “What are your salary expectations?” arrives, you should be able to give the recruiter a range, and not a precise wage.


Doing so will first show the recruiter that you are aware and made research prior to the interview but also show your willingness to negotiate. So, instead of giving a specific number, it’s often better to provide a range. For example, you could say something like, “Based on my research and experience, I’m looking for a salary in a range from X€ to Y€”.



  • Consider Your Priorities:



When deciding on a salary range, it’s important to think about what’s most important to you. Is it to have a high salary, or are you willing to accept a lower salary in exchange for other benefits, such as flexible working hours, additional vacation time, or a better benefits package? Knowing your priorities can help you determine the minimum salary you’re willing to accept.


You should also prepare alternative solutions in case your request cannot be met. Sometimes, you really want a specific position, but unfortunately the proposed salary is not really living up to your expectations. In this case, you should be able to negotiate for other benefits, or incentives. Some jobs, especially in certain fields like recruitment or sales, will also focus heavily on performance bonuses. This is why doing your research before going to the interview is such a crucial step.



  • Be Confident:



Even though it is easier said than done, it is essential to be confident during salary negotiations. Remember that discussing salary expectations is a normal part of the job interview process. You have skills and experience to offer, and you deserve to be compensated fairly for your work. Be confident in your abilities and your worth, and don’t be afraid to negotiate if necessary. But remember to approach the negotiation in a professional manner and be open to compromise without giving out too much.




  • Avoid Discussing Salary Too Early:



The final piece of advice is to avoid discussing salary too early in the interview process. You want to wait until the employer has had a chance to learn more about you and your qualifications. If the interviewer asks you the anticipated question too early, you could try to deflect the question by saying something like “I’m more interested in learning about the job responsibilities and the company culture at this point, but I’m open to discussing salary once I have a better understanding of the position”.


On the other, if the question does not come before the end of the interview, it is important to ask it yourself. It is always important to have an idea of what you can expect so you don’t get bad surprises at the end of the whole interview process. Furthermore, recruiters are used to answering this kind of questions and they also know, salary remains one of the most important criteria so you should not be scared to ask the question yourself if you didn’t get the chance to talk about it previously.




In conclusion, discussing salary expectations can be a nerve-wracking experience, but it’s important to approach it with confidence and a solid understanding of your value in the job market. By doing your research, being prepared to give a range, considering your priorities, avoiding giving a firm number too early, and being confident in your abilities, you can navigate this question successfully and set yourself up for a successful job negotiation. Good luck!


Talent Sales Account Manager

Talented International – Artificial Intelligence Recruiting

Barcelona – Berlin – Dublin – Paris

Phone : +33 1 84 88 97 97


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