Imagine you have an interview and everything’s going well until this one question!

“What are your salary expectations?”

If you didn’t expect it, you may feel like you got the short end of the stick. But rather than being afraid, you can learn to tackle this with research, preparation and practice.

Find out what you need to handle the salary expectation interview question to negotiate your desired salary.

  1. How to Answer What Are Your Salary Expectations

  2. What To Keep In Mind For The Salary Expectations Question

  3. Bargain Your Way To Your Next Job Offer

How to Answer What Are Your Salary Expectations

It’s not every day that you get a chance to interview for a role you’re interested in. It’s also not every day that you can discuss salary or compensation with your interviewer.

Answering the salary expectation question depends on three factors:

  • How prepared you are with your research

  • How confident you are about your own strengths and abilities

  • How badly you want the job

Here are some sample answers for the salary expectation interview question:

  1. For a young professional:

“In terms of salary, my expectations are flexible. Ideally, I would like to be compensated based on my experience and skills in the field. It’ll be clearer once we’ve established my role and responsibilities.”

  1. For a seasoned professional:

“I would say that my salary expectations are flexible. With my years of experience, I bring unique insight and perspective to the role. So, I would like to be compensated fairly based on my responsibilities within the scope of the organization.”

  1. For someone who’s aware of compensation for specific skills:

“I would like to find out more about the level of responsibilities I would have in this role. From what I understand, someone in a similar profile is usually compensated in the range of [amount] or with my experience in the industry, I expect something in the range of [amount].”

These are sound answers to the question because they show that you’re flexible and that you’ve done your research. Don’t go too low or too high, unless you’re absolutely sure about what you want. Your answer can vary depending on your experience, knowledge of the industry and job role.

What To Keep In Mind For The Salary Expectations Question

It’s important to approach the matter as ‘open for discussion’ rather than stating hard numbers. You’ve done a great job in your interview process if you’ve reached this stage. Now, to seal the deal, all you need to do is know your worth.

Here are a few tips to note:

  1. Don’t Be Too Specific

It’s tempting to state the exact number that we’re expecting but it’s not the best idea. You may be going too low or too high for the organization. What they want to know is whether they can afford you or if the salary is in line with your skill set. Be flexible and mention a range, if you do want to add numbers.

  1. Use Your Current Salary As The Base

When we change jobs, we obviously want to get higher compensation. Using your current salary as a base will help you determine the pay increase you want. It can be in the range of 10-20% or by industry standards.

  1. Determine What Your Services Are Worth

Before you discuss salary with someone else, you should be clear on what you want for yourself. Establish a preferable range based on what you currently get and set a higher value based on your research. Pitching these numbers to the interviewer will show that you’re well aware of what you’re worth.

Negotiating your salary is critical for your career progression. It may seem daunting because of the fear of offending someone—or that you won’t get selected. A job offer can seem too good to be true at times. But you must remember that your time and effort are valuable for the organization. Salary is subjective and varies with each case. So, even if you do your research, you have to put yourself first.

Bargain Your Way To Your Next Job Offer

Sometimes, an interviewer may ask questions that can completely throw you off. Harappa’s Ace The Interview course will teach you how to frame answers on the spot! With quick thinking, you’ll learn how to develop impactful responses to impress your interviewer. Understanding how to answer what is your salary expectation will help you establish your bargaining power. With careful thinking, you can deliver careful and impactful answers to the questions.


Explore topics such as General HR Interview Questions, What are the Common Questions to Ask an InterviewerHow to Reply to “How are You”, “Why Do You Want to Work Here” & What is a Group Interview from Harappa Diaries and crack your next interview.

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