December 28, 2021

How to you answer the question about your salary expectations

Your job interview is going well, you have presented your background, your experiences, the recruiter has described the company, the position, the work environment. Everything is going well. You start to reach the final part of the interview. And suddenly the question comes up: “What are your salary expectations?” 

Your hands are sweaty, your eyes are glazed over, you have an irresistible urge to run to the bathroom… And you know that your answer is crucial for the rest of the recruitment process. But how do you answer this famous question? How can you be sure that you are not mistaken about the salary level?  

Salary expectation can be defined as the compensation a candidate wishes to claim for a position. This question is generally addressed by the recruiter during a job interview, which is why the candidate must have worked on it beforehand so as not to appear disoriented. So how do you answer the question? We tell you everything in the next article of Talent2Win. 

The best ways to answer to “What are your salary expectations?” 

What are your salary expectations

The importance of this question for a recruiter 

Whether the recruiter is a recruitment agency, a company director, an HR manager or other, the objective remains the same: to recruit the best possible profile with a salary level that can be supported by the company. So, remember this:

1. Give an amount followed by a question

This is the answer recruiters expect. But do not just give an amount. The goal of any salary negotiation is to get the maximum the employer can give you. If you give a fixed price, a priori, there is no opening for negotiation.

To avoid cutting off the dialogue (which is the opposite of negotiation), avoid ‘I want’ or ‘I’m asking for’. It is better to answer a sentence such as: “a salary of xxx dollars gross per year seems legitimate to me, what do you think?” Answering with another question opens the dialogue.

2. Offer a salary range

This is a valid option. But be careful: if you give a range, the low salary must be the one you want and you must be able to justify why you are asking for more, otherwise you lose credibility. Do not be tempted to put an under-rated salary in the low range because you can lose the job if you are not expensive enough and you cannot sell yourself better by lowering your rates. 

For young graduates, or if the recruiter does not have the budget to offer you a salary in line with your experience and achievements, but you really like the position, it may be worth trying and negotiating downwards. “On the condition that you negotiate a salary re-evaluation at the end of the trial period or after 6 months” that is something you can say. 

3. Do not ask: “How much are you offering me?” 

The mirror answer is the worst answer you can ask. Recruiters want candidates to have an idea of how much they are worth. To find out, you can look at the salary surveys available online, or ask for about 10 percent more than your current salary if you have experience. That is the acceptable increase for an experienced profile. 

You might also like: What to do after a job interview?

What happens next? 

Salary discussion

Once you have opened the salary discussion with the recruiter, you have several options: 

If you are happy with the recruiter’s proposed compensation, you can accept it immediately. But you can also try to negotiate further by not deciding right away. You can come back to it later, during a future interview. 

One of the most common mistakes is to believe that you have to accept the first number that is offered in a negotiation for fear that the possibility of getting the job you want will go away. If you are not happy with the amount offered, or if you understand that the recruiter has no intention of offering you more, do not push it either.  

The best attitude is to continue the discussion on something else. By continuing, for example, with: “Can we reconsider the job position?”. By doing so, you multiply your chances of being retained. You can then mention again the salary. 

At Talent2Win, we strive to align your company’s business objectives with the best Talent Acquisition strategies available. If you want to learn more about the services we offer, do not hesitate to contact us. 

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