Congrats! When someone asks, "What are your salary expectations" this is a clear sign you are nearing the finish line.
All your hard work of preparing a resume, applying for jobs, and phone screens has paid off. Unless you are already a master negotiator, it is important to take some time to prepare for this question before the interview.
In this article, I will show you the best way to answer "What are your salary expectations" without leaving any money on the table.
Use salary checkers
The first thing that you are going to want to do to prepare is figuring out what salary range is realistic. You can take advantage of a variety of websites including Payscale.com, Glassdoor.com, and Salary.com. If you are lucky, these sites will have the exact salary that you can expect from the company you are applying to. This is typically only the case for larger companies that have a lot of salary data. If you can't find the exact company or position, you can look up industry averages based on location. 10 Best Career Sites To Land Your Dream Job
Once you have figured out what the average person is making in your position, it's time to evaluate yourself. Do you deserve a salary that is above average or below average based on your skills? You should be able to come up with two numbers to help you answer what are your salary expectations.
- What is your dream salary that you couldn't turn down?
- What is the absolute lowest salary you could accept before walking away from the offer?
Now that you have just determined a salary range that you can work with, it's time to move on to the actual interview.
Avoid answering first
When you are sitting face to face with a hiring manager who asks you "What are your salary expectations?" it's important to be tough! By now, you should have a range in your mind that you are willing to work with.
Here are some answers that can help you rebuttal this interview question.
"From researching this position on Glassdoor.com I found that 80-95K / year is pretty typical. Is that the same for XYZ Company?"
"To be honest, I am much more interested in finding a long term position where I can learn and grow. I am confident that an amazing company such as yours will offer a salary that is competitive in the current market."
A similar answer can be given for the interview question, "What Is Your Salary History?"
"Well sir/mam, this position is not exactly the same as my previous job. I would prefer that we discuss what my duties would be here and then determine a fair salary for this job."
Salary negotiation is like a game of chess. Each person takes a turn making a move and eventually one player runs out of moves. Your goal is to "pass the rock" back to the interviewer each time they ask what is your salary history.
Provide a range
Many times, you are going to have a lot of success just using the two steps listed above. However, as good of a negotiator you become, there is always a hiring manager that is a little bit better. This means, there are occasions that you will need to provide a range first. You should have already determined a range that you are willing to accept before the interview.
Everybody knows that this question is going to come with a little bit of negotiation. When giving your salary expectations, avoid stating a single number. Don't say, "I would like to make 80,000 per year." If that is the truth, then at least say "I would like to make 80,000 - 95,000 per year." This way you are still within a realistic range of your 80,000 but you might even get offered an additional 15,000 you would never have had if you didn't provide a range!
How do you determine what kind of a range you should provide? First, if you haven't already, answer these two questions.
- What is your dream salary that you couldn't turn down? Answer: 95,000 per year
- What is the absolute lowest salary you could accept before walking away from the offer? Answer: 80,000 per year
So, your range is 80,000 to 95,000 per year. Be honest with the hiring manager. Being transparent with your salary expectations will get you a long way! Let them know that your range is 80,000 - 95,000, but 80,000 is the bare minimum. They should be fully aware that 80,000 is a number that you would have to consider and the opportunity would have to be perfect. If you are an excellent candidate, you will have no problem finding your dream salary.
Get paid what you deserve
Don't settle for the company that wants to find the cheapest new hire. Learn how to negotiate your salary and get paid what you deserve!
If you still need help preparing for your interview, check out Find My Profession. We help people just like you find their dream jobs every day! Never search for a job alone again.