What to Say When Asked, “What Are Your Salary Expectations?”

There are many common questions asked during job interviews. However, the one that makes candidates most nervous involves talking about money. Keep in mind, discussing salary is a good thing. If the employer can’t offer you what you’re worth, you can move on without wasting additional time. If they’re offering a salary that’s in line with what you’d expect – or higher – then it’s good to know so you can work hard to earn the offer.

That said, answering this question is a tricky act to balance. You want to be candid and realistic, without leaving money on the table. So how do you respond in the best way? Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Do your research.

Don’t sell yourself short in an effort to try and land the job. Instead, make time for researching average salaries for someone with your experience in your area. This way, you’ll walk into the interview with hard facts and figures you can point to. You’ll also know what your skills are worth, so you don’t state an amount that’s well below what you could potentially earn with another company. Likewise, it gives you a boundary, so you don’t price yourself out of contention with a number that’s too high.

Create a range.

Once you’ve done some research for the position, the size of the company, and your skills and experience level, come up with a range. Your goal is to arrive at an amount that’s reasonable and in line with what a company would offer based on the most recent salary data. If the hiring manager balks at the amount you propose, you can point to the data you uncovered during your research. A range also helps to give both you and the company some wiggle room to negotiate.

Frame your response right.

Rather than stating that you want a certain amount, take a different approach. For instance, say something like:

“According to my research and based on my past job experience, it’s my understanding that a salary of 70-80k would be typical for a role that comes with these responsibilities.”

This communicates that the amount is your understanding of what’s competitive for the role; it’s not necessarily what you’re asking. This will give you an opportunity to feel out the hiring manager’s response without committing to a certain number.

In the end, you want to be able to have an honest conversation about salary. While talking about money is uncomfortable, it’s a key part of the job, for both you and the employer. So follow the tips above and be polite and professional throughout your conversation.

Need help navigating your way through your job search?

Future Force is here for you. As one of the leading temp agencies in Orlando, FL, we can connect you with a range of opportunities, from temporary and temp-to-hire to full-time and part-time. We can also help you through every aspect of your search, including discussing compensation. Search our jobs today to get started.

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