How to answer your salary expectations in an interview

Drake Editorial

Whether you’re dealing directly with an employer, or using a recruitment agency like Drake International, eventually you will be asked about your salary expectations. Your answer to this question can be the beginning of the negotiation process, and you want to make sure you’re providing a well-researched response. 

It can be challenging to know what to say to receive a job offer that's both a win for yourself and the company. Employers may ask this question to get a sense of whether they can afford your help, and gauge how much you value your work. Though some people feel confident when speaking about their salary expectations, others find it hard to talk about the money.

Luckily, you can prepare yourself ahead of time and feel confident in your answer prior to your interview. Here are our top tips for answering your salary expectations.

Prepare your answer based on real data

The first step is to get a sense of what someone in your industry and geological area typically earns. Websites like Glassdoor, Indeed, and SEEK, all have live salary data available for all users which will allow you to quickly determine a reasonable salary range for the job you want. 

Tips for giving the best answers

Try to offer a range, and not a fixed price

Even if you’re flexible with salary, most employers still want to hear a specific number. Offering a salary range based on your experience and industry will allow you to remain flexible while still giving the employer a clear answer. 

For example: “Based on my experience, I am currently seeking a position that pays between $75,000 and $80,000 annually.”

Highlight your skills

Demonstrate why you're a good fit for the position and salary by reinforcing a positive message about yourself and your skills. This helps the interviewer quickly understand why they should offer you a salary before mentioning any numbers.

For example: “My salary requirements are flexible, but I do have significant experience in this field. I am open to discussing the salary in-line with my my 10 years of industry experience, which I believe will translate well within your company”   

Strong ‘soft skills’ like communication, adaptability, time management, and executive leadership are also highly valued in today's candidate market. With the ongoing staff turnover and the great reshuffle underway, employers want to hire staff that reflect their core values more now than ever. 

Make sure the salary is relative

Don’t ask for a salary that doesn’t match your research. You may price yourself out of a job offer if you start too high or end up feeling discouraged with an offer too low.

With this in mind, it is still a good idea to aim high. Some employers are interested in your answer as well as your delivery, and if you’re confident and self-assured, it will show you know your worth. Don’t sell yourself short in an attempt to move forward or you could end up with a salary that is not in line with the role.

For example: “I'd like to learn more about your company and the specific duties of this role. I understand that positions similar to this one pay in the range of $A to $B in our region.”

Even in a challenging job market, you’ll find some companies are prepared to offer better pay to hire top talent.

In conclusion, by researching salaries and preparing to negotiate a range, you can feel confident in your answer to land the position and salary you’re happy with. 

If your interview is digital, you can find our prepare for a VIDEO interview like a pro article with tips around best practices behind a camera.

Now is the perfect time to apply for a job, so don't be afraid to apply for roles that are normally out of your comfort zone. You might be surprised by the success you find in today's market if prepared. 



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