18 January 2024

How to Answer Salary Questions in an Interview

Career Advice

How to Answer Salary Questions in an Interview

You’re dreading a certain question, you’ve been racking your brain, and you can’t think of how you should answer it, but before you know it, here it is… “So what is your salary expectation?”

We get it, it’s an awkward one, isn’t it? You’re trying to show the interviewer you’re the right person for the job, but it can be difficult to gauge what they are thinking. It’s never an easy thing to talk about yourself, it can take some practice! But we’re hoping these tips will help you to find it easier to answer questions about what you are worth correctly and clearly in your next interview.

Discussing Your Salary Expectations

When discussing salary expectations, you want to be honest but also be aware of the role you are applying for and the compensation that is likely to be on offer or that a comparable employee would receive.

So, the question on everybody’s lips… how DO you answer that question?

How to Answer Salary Expectations

1. Provide a salary range

Some companies will include a salary range on their job adverts, though most won’t which makes it important for you to know roughly what someone in the role you’re applying for is paid.

To provide a salary range, you must first do your research before your interview. Some ways to do this include looking at similar job adverts on LinkedIn, Indeed, and recruitment sites (like ours!), talking to colleagues in similar fields to you or discussing with an expert recruiter to determine a fair minimum salary.

Once you’ve decided on a range you’re comfortable with, state it clearly with reasons why you’ve determined it and perhaps if relevant share some of the research you’ve done. It’s also important to show flexibility in your answer but take into account things such as your travel costs to not undercut yourself.

Example answer: “Based on my research, my experience/expertise in this area and the responsibilities of the role, I would expect a salary in the range of £X to £Y. Of course, I’m open to discussing the details of this, and I’m intrigued to hear about the other benefits you offer your employees. I know I’d be a great asset to the team and look forward to learning more about growth opportunities here.”

2. Reverse the question

Instead of answering directly how much you are willing to be paid in your new role, ask them what their budget is for hiring.

If your hiring manager is open about the budget, they will most likely ask you whether this fits into your expectations. At this point, if there is disparity, you can say something along the lines of “Thank you, that’s useful to know. Would there be room for negotiation should you offer me the role?”

3- Offer room for negotiation

It’s important to note that you don’t need to finalise your minimum salary expectation during your interview. A sensible approach is to answer the question in a way that opens the door for further negotiations, such as:

“I am looking for a salary of between £30,000 and £34,000, however, I am open to discussing further based on the benefits offered to employees and bonuses included.”

Why do Employers ask about Salary?

If you are asked about your salary expectations, it will generally be for one of the following reasons:

  • Your experience level: candidates who suggest a higher salary than others may be too senior for the role. This goes the other way too, if an applicant suggests a salary on the lower end, it may indicate they aren’t as experienced as the job role requires.
  • Budget: The hiring manager wants to ensure that your salary expectations are in line with the budget they’ve set aside for the role.
  • How you see yourself: A candidate who knows their market worth, shows confidence, that they have experience and has taken the time to research similar roles.

Top Tips When Negotiating Salary

Things to Do

Explain yourself: Backing up what you are suggesting with research and reasons linked directly to your current skills, knowledge and experience and how these relate to the role you are interviewing for makes for a more convincing argument for your salary expectations.

Be confident: When answering salary expectation questions, it’s essential that you are confident in your answer and clearly articulate your requirements so your interviewer is clear of your expectations.

Things to Avoid

Don’t arrive unprepared: Prepare yourself with research about the role, your potential employer, and the industry and consider your own cost of living.

Don’t provide an exact number: This leaves you unopen to negotiations, so it’s best to stay vague with a salary range rather than commit to a set amount.

Don’t go too high or too low: Don’t accept a salary that’s too low, or price yourself out of the position by going too high!

Need some guidance on how to ace that interview? Click here for our interview tips!

Why Choose Us?

At ARM, we understand the significance of securing your dream job and the challenges that come with the job-seeking process. As a leading recruitment agency with years of experience, we stand out for several compelling reasons:

1. Expertise: Our team of seasoned recruiters possesses extensive knowledge across various industries and job sectors. We leverage this expertise to identify the best job opportunities tailored to your unique skills and preferences.

2. Personalised Guidance: We believe in forging strong connections with our candidates. Our personalised approach ensures that we understand your career aspirations, strengths, and areas for development, allowing us to guide you effectively through every step of the job search.

3. Vast Network: ARM has developed an extensive network of top employers and companies, giving you access to a diverse range of job openings. This network allows us to match you with employers that align with your professional goals.

4. Interview Preparation: Our dedication to your success goes beyond connecting you with job openings. We provide comprehensive interview preparation, offering valuable tips, insights, and mock interviews to boost your confidence and performance during the real interview.

5. Long-term Support: Our commitment to your career doesn’t end after you secure a job. We maintain long-term relationships with our candidates, ensuring ongoing support and assistance to help you excel in your chosen role.

6. Confidentiality: We understand the importance of privacy in job-seeking endeavours. Rest assured, all your personal information and job search details are treated with the utmost confidentiality and discretion.

Choosing ARM means entrusting your career goals to a dedicated team that will be with you every step of the way. Let us guide you towards a successful and rewarding professional journey.

Contact us now!

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