Going for a job interview? You meet the required qualifications, you know the interviewer and build a good rapport with the interviewers, you have a real shot at landing this job.
Everything seems positive then you hear that extremely obvious question: “What’s your expected salary?”
Many job candidates dread this question about salary requirements. There’s the worry that, what should be your answer. If you say less, you certainly leave the money on the table. If you give a high number, that might cost you out of consideration for the role. No matter where you are in your career, answering ‘what’s your salary expectation’ requires calculated moves.
The good news is that when you are discussing compensation expectations during the hiring process, there are strategies for giving figures that will be fair to you and within the employer’s budget, too. Timing, tact and research are all key to your success when discussing money with a potential employer.
The short answer: The employer wants to be sure they can afford you. It’s in their best interest not to waste their time (or yours!). After going through multiple rounds of interviews, when they put together an offer to you, and if they can’t meet your expectations, then probably you might leave them for other high-paying job options.
Employers will always ask ‘what is your expected salary’ because every position is budgeted, and they want to ensure your expectations are consistent with that budget before moving forward. The interviewer typically wants to make sure that the candidate’s expectations around compensation and benefits align with the budgeted salary range for the position.
Additionally, employers may ask why you want to work here to understand your motivation and ensure alignment with their company culture.
As a job seeker in today’s competitive market, negotiating your pay can be intimidating. Before accepting any offer make sure you are given a good range of salary. To compare the salary that your profile is worth for, try to avoid an uncomfortable situation by not accepting the offered salary in the first go. So, the offered salary is often tempting. But if it is not, then you might end up in an unsatisfying job. If you miss watching the market rates about your profile, do some comparison on the websites, which can result in a missed opportunity if the salary doesn’t align with your expectations.
The best way how to answer salary expectations question is to know the running cost in the market of your profile, you need to explore salary comparison tools websites. To get a sense of the salary landscape, especially for high paying jobs in IT, you can use online tools to research industry standards. There are websites like Glassdoor which show you the range of salary you are worth having as per your profile and experience. So, without having to enter your email, you can click on the “Salaries” tab to view and compare salaries for specific positions. Enter your job title and location to receive a salary report and recently shared salaries for your career. You can discover salary information for others in your position, as well as review Glassdoor’s salary advice, to be able to negotiate with confidence.
Companies can provide information about other benefits also, which can be found in the job description. As an additional salary source, some of the JDs include a salary range.
LinkedIn is one of many useful tools or sites where you can discover your salary, as per your experience and position. It is completely free to discover your earning potential; however, you must be logged in to view salary insights. Enter your job title and location to generate an average salary. You can also compare job titles and salaries in other states, view companies hiring for that position, and search top-paying locations for that career.
You can always make use of your network by reaching out to the right people and asking them the right questions You can ask someone working in a similar role and experience the ranging salary they are getting or what is the appropriate pay for the role you have applied for.
While discussing with the HR manager about salary expectations, you may have to discuss your salary requirements at some point while you are sitting in the interview. Knowing how to handle this discussion can help you get invited for an interview and potentially be considered for the job. Employers want to know how much value you can add through your skills and experience. Accordingly, they expect you to give them a number that would reflect how much you think you are worth as an employee. So, search about how much worth is your job profile in the market.
First, write down all your “hard” and “soft” skills. Then rank your skills according to proficiency. This helps you stay honest with yourself when deciding which employer-sought skills to include or emphasize on your resume. List down your accomplishments and rate yourself if you can contribute to the opportunity you are given by the employer. Measure the accomplishments in metrics and see if they are rewardable enough for the salary you are demanding.
Cost of living can be another factor to determine if your salary is sufficient to live in that city. Take a few moments when the employer offers you a salary and then make a decision if you can really survive in the city with that amount. The cost of living varies from state to state. If it is a metropolitan, then the cost of living will be higher. Looking at the company offering you may decide if you want to take up the opportunity or not.
While asking about the company’s mission, vision, and values and when HR asks ‘What is your salary expectation’, do not go with the ‘sample answer as you are an experienced candidate’, but, look if the job will provide you growth opportunity in near future.
Numbers are the deciding factors of your performance in any job. When you give the number of your salary requirements to the employer, it will give them a clearer idea of the level you are at professionally. When you keep your salary requirements low, employers may think you are not as experienced as the job requires. If your salary requirements are too high, they may think you are overqualified for the position. So, avoid giving any specific numbers to the employer. Tell them the range. For example 5-8LPA.
As we said, give them a range that you look forward to rather than giving a specific number. Back it up with a statement like – ‘this is the local industry average for a professional with my level of experience.’ It is the best way to cover the ‘demand’ smartly. If you’re looking for more detailed strategies on how to discuss numbers, our article on how to negotiate your salary with HR may offer additional insights.
Everything, every round has gone perfectly so far and you are excited because you are sure, you will crack it. We understand the butterflies in the stomach. Be patient in the interview and let the employer initiate the salary discussion first. When you speak about your salary requirements, you should include a range and not a specific sum.
Hope our blog has helped you in knowing how to answer salary expectations questions. We recommend you to always support your answers and salary asks with valid reasons why you should receive the salary you are requesting. For example, if the position requires you to travel, then you may need to pay for fuel and lodging. Therefore, you will need a higher salary to pay for these expenses. When your job asks you to move to the other city, ask for relocation compensation. During negotiation, always be grateful and show appreciation to the employer for considering your salary request. Even if the employer cannot meet your request and you have to decline the job, you should remain professional and thank the employer for their time and consideration.