What are your Salary Expectations?

23 April 2014

At some point during the application or interview process every potential new recruit will be asked what his or her salary expectations are.

Firstly, it’s a quick way for employers eliminate candidates with overly high expectations, and secondly it lets them know what they will need to offer you if they decide you’re the person for the job.

Negotiating a salary offer is therefore something you should be prepared for. If you say a figure that’s too high you may be dismissed from the running, but if you give a number that’s too low you will have undervalued your experience and potential contribution to the company. Who wants to be working for less than their value?!

No one likes to be put on the spot. In an interview situation you can postpone answering what your salary expectations are by focusing on asking the interviewer for more details about the position. Try to get a feel for the scope of work involved and the level of responsibility you will have.



  • Look at your current salary and job role then compare it to the one you are hoping to move to. If it is a promotion then consider increasing the figure, if you are changing industry and demoting to a more junior level then also take this into account.
  • How competitive is the market for your specific skill set? If the market is saturated then you don’t have as much leverage, but if you are unique in your field that carries a certain significance
  • Determine your walk away figure and put down a salary 10-15% higher
  • If you feel it is appropriate list a range, but make sure that the lower end of the range is a number you are still comfortable with
  • Do your research; take a look at what similar positions are demanding in salary
  • Take into account the total compensation package. You could try to negotiate more holiday, better health benefits, etc.

Be confident in your answer, but flexible in your approach until you reach the stage where an official offer has been made.

 There is also some great advice here and here.