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How to Answer “What Are Your Salary Expectations?”

what are your salary expectations

When you are interviewing for a new job, one of the questions you are likely to be asked is what your salary expectations are.

This can be a tricky question to answer, since you do not want to price yourself out of the job, but you also do not want to undersell yourself. However, a salary goes beyond a monthly paycheck; you should also take into consideration the perks or benefits a company can offer.

To help you prepare, I decided to discuss exactly How to Answer “What Are Your Salary Expectations?” in a job interview.

how to answer what are your salary expectations

Preparing To Answer, “What Are Your Salary Expectations?”

There are a few things you can do to figure out what to say when asked this question. The first step is to do some research and find out what the average salary is for the position you are interviewing for. This will give you a ballpark figure to work with.

You also need to take into account your experience and skill level. If you are a new graduate, you will probably make less than someone with five years of experience under their belt.

Have an idea beforehand…

Lastly, consider what the hiring manager thinks your salary expectations are going to be. You do not want them to lowball you from the get-go, so it might be a good idea to answer the question with what you would like to make.

how to answer what are your salary expectation

Compensation Apart From Your Salary

While there are many benefits that an employer may offer, the most common type of benefit is compensation. Compensation can come in the form of money, but it can also come in other forms, such as benefits or perks. Here are some of the common perks you may come across.

Pension Contribution

Pensions are a form of worker investment. They provide investment funds that help increase the value of your compensation in the long term. Pension contributions can vary in their rates, but they are a valuable addition to any worker’s compensation.

Flexible Working Hours

As your responsibilities change in the office, you may find it difficult to work from 9:00 am to 5;00 pm. It can be hard to balance work and home life. That is where flexible hours come in – you can work the hours that are best for you.

Performance-linked Bonus Scheme

Performance bonuses are an attractive benefit for employees. They offer the ability to increase compensation while keeping budgets in check. This type of bonus is usually based on the employee’s individual or team performance.

Medical Insurance

Medical insurance can be a form of compensation not measured in the direct salary. In many instances, employers will offer medical insurance as part of an employment package to attract talent. By accepting a job, you are also implicitly accepting the medical insurance that is associated with the role.

Travel Benefits

Travel benefits can include free or subsidized flights, train passes, or free travel insurance. Some employers will also provide an allowance for these costs. These benefits are offered to help employees with the cost of travel to and from work.

how to answer what are the salary expectation

Gym membership

Gym memberships are another type of benefit that is often offered as part of an employment package. If it is offered, there is usually a ‘subsidy’ for the cost of the gym membership as part of the overall benefits.


Telecommuting is the ability to work from home, at least some of the time. This is often offered in conjunction with other benefits, such as flexible hours.

Office Perks

The office could provide additional benefits such as a free lunch, snacks, or drinks. These perks can make the workday more enjoyable and help you to focus on your work.

Maternity and Paternity Protection

Maternity and paternity protection can be considered as a form of compensation, as you are entitled to certain periods of leave. In some instances, these periods of leave equate to a pay increase.


An employer may offer additional holidays as part of an employment package. These holidays can be used as a substitute for pay.

Removal of a Financial Hardship

In some cases, an employer may remove a financial hardship, such as removing a loan from an employee’s paycheck or waiving late payment fees.

Employee Assistance Program

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is an employee benefit that provides employees with access to counseling. This can provide support for financial or emotional difficulties, stress, or addiction.

Childcare Vouchers

Childcare vouchers are a form of compensation that pays for childcare. In some instances, this can be equal to the cost of childcare. Employers will often offer these vouchers as part of an employment package.

Share Save Scheme

A share save scheme allows employees to save money each month towards their shares. This can be done through direct payment or payroll deduction (employer dependent). Employers will typically provide a percentage of the contribution to their employees as an incentive.

Car Scheme

A car scheme is an employee benefit that allows employees to lease a car at a discounted price. The employee typically pays a monthly fee, and the employer will pay the rest. This allows the employee to have a car without having to worry about the initial cost.

Retirement Savings Plan

A retirement savings plan is a type of savings account that allows employees to save for their retirement. Employees will typically contribute a percentage of their salary, while the employer will match this contribution.

Education Vouchers

Educational vouchers are a financial benefit that allows workers to use the vouchers for education-related expenses. This can include school tuition, textbooks, and other course materials.

Cycle to Work Scheme

This is a government initiative that allows employees to purchase a bicycle from their employer. The benefit is typically set as a loan, which is then deducted from the worker’s paycheck.

Executive Containment Plan

An executive containment plan is a level of financial protection. In some jobs, the risk associated with a job is high, and an executive containment plan can provide an employee with a certain level of security.

Tips On the Best Way to Answer “What Are Your Salary Expectations?”

There are a lot of factors to consider when answering this question, so it is important to take your time and figure out what is the best answer for you. Here are some tips to consider before answering “What Are Your Salary Expectations?”.

  • Do not let the employer rush you; it will show that they are not interested in having a thorough conversation with you.
  • It is important to have a range in mind before you go into your interview because the employer could lowball you, and it would be difficult to negotiate from there.
  • If possible, do not share your salary requirements before the company makes you an offer.
  • Ensure that you are aware of any benefits that are offered, as these may be more valuable than a salary increase.
  • Be aware of what you would like to gain from your current or potential new position.
  • Be prepared to justify any requests for more money.

how to answer what are the salary expectations

How Much Should I Ask For?

If you have to give a number for salary expectation, a good tactic would be to give a range because this helps the employer know that you are flexible.

However, if you want to be more aggressive in your negotiations, give a higher range that is still reasonable. For example, if you are expecting a salary of $50,000, give a range of $55,000-$60,000. It is always better to be available for negotiations if you are asked.

A starting point for negotiations…

The most important thing to remember is not to be afraid to ask for what you want. A job is a two-way street, and you should feel comfortable negotiating your salary. If you are looking at a new position, ask the potential employer what they can offer in terms of salary. This will give you a starting point for negotiations.

If you are already in a position, ensure that your current salary is reflective of your value to the company. This means that you should not accept a pay cut. If you feel that there is room for negotiation, ensure that you can back up your requests with specific reasons as to why you are worth more money.

Value your skills more?

If you are not expecting to make a lot of money, say that you are looking for a job that values your skills and experience. That will help show that you are not expecting too much, and they might be more likely to work with you.

Example Answers

Here are some example answers you can use and adapt to answer the question “What are your salary expectations?” in a job interview.

Example Answer 1

“I’m looking for a job that will help me utilize my skills and learn new things. I’m expecting to be in the range of $50,000.”

Example Answer 2

“I’m expecting a salary that is reflective of my skills and experience. I’m confident that my skills are a good match for this role.”

Example Answer 3

“I’m looking for a job that values my skills and experience, so I’m expecting something around the average salary for this position. I’d be happy to negotiate if the salary is lower than that.”

Example Answer 4

“I would like to learn more about the benefits associated with this position before I give a specific number.”

Example Answer 5

“I’m flexible with my salary expectations, and I’m eager to learn more about the opportunities available with this company.”

Example Answer 6

“I’m looking for a job that is commensurate with my skills and experience. I would like to be in the higher salary range of the position in your company.”

Example Answer 7

“I’m making $45,000 in my current role. I would like to maintain the same salary or make a little bit more.”

Need Additional Interview Advice?

If you need help preparing for your interview questions, then check out my advice on how to answer my Strengths And Weaknesses For Job Interviews, Why Do You Want To Work Here, and How Would You Describe Yourself, or what about How Do You Handle Stress, What Are You Most Proud Of, or Why We Should Hire You, as well as What Are Your Career Goals, How Do You Handle Conflict, What Makes You Unique, How To Answer What Are You Passionate About, and finally the Best Questions To Ask In An Interview.

For online guidance, these handbooks we found are excellent. So, take a look at the INTERVIEW with DESIRE and GET HIRED!: How to Ace the Interview, Sell Yourself & Get Your Dream Job, How to Answer Interview Questions: 101 Tough Interview Questions, and Get That Job!: The Quick and Complete Guide to a Winning Interview, or perhaps try Amazing Interview Answers: 44 Tough Job Interview Questions with 88 Winning Answers, and Hiring Squirrels: 12 Essential Interview Questions to Uncover Great Retail Sales Talent all available online in 2023.

Lastly, the STAR Interview Method has been proven time and time again. We recommend practicing beforehand using The STAR Method Explained: Proven Technique to Succeed at Interview, or The STAR Interview: How to Tell a Great Story, Nail the Interview and Land Your Dream Job., in conjunction with the STAR METHOD: Interview Journal.

Final Thoughts

Salary is not always the most important aspect of a job, but it is something that should be negotiated. Make sure to do your research into what you are worth and be prepared to explain why you should make more money.

Discussing money and salaries can be uncomfortable, but it is important to establish what you want before you take on a job. You now know how to answer, “What are your salary expectations?” in an interview. Good Luck!

All the very best in answering your Interview Questions!

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