How to answer “What’s your salary expectation” interview question

During an interview, employers may bring up the salary topic at some point. The question is, what is going to be your answer or how would you answer the salary expectations question? No worries if you don’t know this, we got you covered.

How to answer "What is your salary expectation" interview question

Your ‘salary expectation’ can be the most direct question the employer may ask you, and there is usually fear in giving the answers. However, you can manage this fear by preparing your answers to salary related questions ahead of time.

Just before we show you how to answer salary related interview questions, let’s first look at why employers ask the question.

Reasons employers ask about salary expectation

Below are 3 reasons employers ask about salary expectation during an interview;

1. They have a budget

Employers wants to make sure your expectations align with their budget. If your answer significantly fall above their budget, they many not offer you the job. But in a situation where most candidates are asking for a great deal more than anticipated, they may increase the budget for the position.

2. They want to know if you know your worth

The employer may wants to know if you really know how much your skill is worth in the labour market. You can tell him with confidence.

3. To determine your professional value

They may wish to know whether or not you are at the appropriate professional level. A candidate who asks for a significant higher amount than other candidates may be too senior for the role.

Note: Answering with a low salary expectation could indicate you are at a lower experience level than the job requires. Therefore, your answer can be the beginning of the salary negotiation. This is the reason you need to provide a well researched answer.

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How to answer salary expectations questions in a interview

When the employers ask “What is your salary expectation?”, there are some ways to answer it. Here are our suggestions and examples;

Provide a range rather than giving single figure. To avoid a mistake due to providing a single number, you can choose to give a range instead.

Please, note that the employer may decide to settle on lower end of your range. So, ensure that your low end range is something reasonable.

Example 1: “I’m seeking a position that pays between N70,000 and N80,000 per month but I am open to negotiation depending on benefits, bonuses, equity, stock options and other opportunities.”

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Example 2: “Before I answer, I would like to ask a few more questions to understand more about the position. That way, I can provide a more realistic salary expectation.”

Example 3: “While I am certainly flexible, I am looking forward to receive between N80,000 and N120,000 per month. Considering my skills and experience level, I think this is an appropriate range for my work.”

Example 4: “I think an monthly salary between N40,000 and N70,000 is in line with the company average and reflects my skills and experience level as well. I am, however, flexible and open to hearing about the company’s compensation expectations for this position.”

Tips to answer salary expectation

  • Find out what other company pay to their staff in the same position that your are seeking.
  • You can ask a staff of that same company how they are being paid ahead of time.

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What are your thoughts on how to answer ‘what is your salary expectation’ interview question that we discussed above? Tell us in the comment section below.

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