salary expectation in job interview

How to answer: “what is your salary expectation?”

Conversations about money can be uncomfortable at the best of times, let alone when talking to a potential employer during an interview. But when you make the short list for a job, chances are that at some stage you’ll face the inevitable question, “So, what’s your salary expectation?”

When faced with this query, it’s easy to forget your worth and pitch a salary that is below your experience and skill level. This can often be due to the fact that candidates become nervous that if they ask for a salary above the employers’ expectations, they won’t be considered for the position.

The conversation surrounding your salary, however, doesn’t have to be difficult. By understanding that this question will come up and learning how best to approach it, candidates can be confident talking about salary expectations with their potential employers.

Here’s what you need to know about handling pay negotiations.

Do your research

Before setting foot in an interview, it is important to do your research about the role you are applying for and the average salary that comes along with it. This will give you a realistic idea of the benchmark you should be pitching at. Aim too high and you stand to look oblivious, but go too low and you could be seriously selling yourself short.

Take a look on job sites to see how the job you’re applying for is performing with regards to salary, how saturated it is and where there’s demand.

Remember to also factor in considerations such as the size of the company, whether it is privately or publicly owned and its location, as this will also all play a role in the salary that will likely be on offer.

Know what you’re prepared to accept, and what you’re not

Just as with bidding on a house, it pays to know your limits. Knowing what salary you’re willing to accept will make you seem more confident, and give the hiring manager the impression that you’re perhaps worth more than they have initially offered.

If you have done your research and have a clear understanding of where your skills and experience sit in the market and you are still being offered a salary well below the going rate, then you will need to take stock. Weigh up your desire to work for that specific company and earning a lower salary, versus working elsewhere with the opportunity of receiving the market rate.

Look at the big picture

It is important to remember that when you begin working for an organisation, it may not just be a salary that is on offer, but also other benefits that come along with the job. Does the company provide you with learning and development or career transition opportunities, or direct financial benefits such as a company car or phone, or discounts on things such as health care or shares? Look at the big picture of what you’re being offered and assess the offer from there.

It will also be beneficial to understand the frequency that bonuses or pay rises typically take place within the company. While an employer might offer you a slightly lower salary than you were initially hoping, if you receive a generous pay rise or bonus each year, this could result in you earning much more than remaining on a slightly higher salary for a few years.

Provide a range

If an employer is pressing you to give them a number, it is usually best to provide a range. This makes you seem reasonable and open to negotiation. When choosing your range, make sure to take into account your research of the role’s average salary, as well as your current salary.

Choose a range that you would be happy to accept the lower end, and where the higher end is reasonably above what you are currently earning, depending on the new job you’re applying for.

The important part of negotiating is that it’s a two-way discussion. Remain calm, confident and professional throughout the discussion and you should be able to come to an agreed upon salary that is the best solution for you and your potential employer.

If you would like more information about performing well in job interviews, or are searching for a job, get in touch with the team at Bayside Group today.