How to answer “What is your salary expectation?”

19 November 2020apna

One straightforward question that often makes us feel awkward during an interview is “What is your salary expectation?” This question is simple yet significant for both the employer and the candidate. It’s also a critical question in finalizing the selection of a candidate. Interviewers ask this question for reasons such as:

  • Whether you fit within the set budget for the position you have applied for

Your answer helps them decide whether the company can afford you or not.  

  • Gauging your awareness about your professional worth

A good candidate knows the value of his/her skill set, experience and qualifications in the market and can share it with confidence. An over-confident candidate may end up quoting a “Very High” expected salary figure, while an under-confident candidate may expect a “Very Low” figure. Either way, the employer can gauge if the candidate knows his/her professional worth or not.

  • Understanding your professional hierarchy

Sometimes, changing jobs can lead to role-based confusions based on the terminologies used in different companies. For example, a team leader in a corporate may be a senior position but in a start-up, it can be a much lower position. Candidates expecting a higher salary may indicate more seniority work-wise while someone quoting a lower salary indicates lesser experience and job responsibilities.

So, how should you answer this question for a positive interview result?

1. Know the market standards

Know the market standards- blog

Check different job review sites to get an understanding of the standard salary prevalent in the market for a particular role. Based on the average salary, fix a sensible figure in mind (quoting a number that is 10% to 15% higher than the market standard is acceptable)

2. Set a range

Set a range- blog

Sometimes, a fixed number as your expected salary can be problematic, especially if you are not sure about what the company can offer. In that case, provide a range with the lower end of the range closer to your expected salary. For example, if you are expecting a salary of INR 40,000/month, quote a range from 40,000 to 60,000.

3. Mention your expected hike percentage

Mention your expected hike percentage- blog

Generally, interviewers are aware of your current salary, especially if you apply for a job online. In such cases, instead of quoting a higher number as your salary, mention an expected hike percentage on your current salary. For example, if you are earning INR 10,000 and expect INR 15,000, then say, “I am expecting around 50% hike on my current monthly salary.”

4. Keep the scope for negotiation open

Keep the scope for negotiation open- blog

Instead of staying fixed on a particular figure, range or percentage increase, try to seem flexible for negotiation as many companies may not exactly meet your expected salary demand, but compensate for it with additional perks and benefits.

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All the best!

Job Seekers