How to answer “What’s Your Salary Expectation” during a Job Interview

How to answer “What’s Your Salary Expectation” during a Job Interview

Most often than not, candidates preparing for an interview put in so much effort in preparation. They do their underground finding of the institution and also make sure they meet the job requirements. On the day of the interview, everything may be going smoothly as expected to the extent that you feel soo confident until the question “What are your salary expectations” which you least expected hits you so hard that you may not recover.

At this point, the interviewer wants to know how much you may want to be paid when your services are engaged.

To a lot of candidates, this may be the most interesting part of the whole interview process but this stage can equally lead you to fail the whole process. Answering the question about salary can be a tricky trap that most candidates end up falling into.  In this article, we will look at how to go about this question that often pop-up during most interview sessions.


Market research and salary trends;

First of all, during the process of your preparation, it is important to understand that one of the major reasons for trying to get a job in the first place is to earn money for your well-being, therefore it will be absurd not to do your underground findings of the type of job in question and how much people working in a similar role earn as salary. Every company and their financial strength so I will advise you don’t just ask one person. You should speak to at least three or more people in similar roles or make use of job board websites where you may find job listings with salary ranges for similar roles. Calculate the average salary based on the given salary figures gathered and arrive at a meaningful figure for such a job role. 


Salary Ranges, not figures

In addition, mentioning a salary figure is like shooting yourself in the foot. When a fixed figure is mentioned, it’s either you may overstate or understate the actual amount that has been allocated for the position. You should instead mention a range of salaries that you may have gathered from your small findings. Take not companies try as much as they can to cut cost so the possibility that they may decide on the lowest amount on your salary range scale is 95% higher unless its an institution that has a very well organized salary structure. Because of this, you should always begin your salary range with your expected amount.

Time to give a fixed number instead of a range

Sometimes after specifying a given range, the interviewer will keep pushing for a fixed figure to be mentioned. If this continues, you will have to make sure all responsibilities and other extra activities expected of you, bonuses, insurance, holidays etc. have all been discussed. At this point, you can specify a figure which should at least correspond with the responsibilities outlined. 

You should sound professional and find a nice way to present your figures as well. Below is an example of how you may go about it.


  • I’m thinking Ghsxyz. This is a big job, one I’m very familiar with and well suited for. I held a similar position in the past and I’d be very excited to take on another challenge like this!”
  • “I remember the salary range you gave me earlier, and I respect the fact that you have to work within a budget. But I’d like to suggest Ghsxyz as the starting salary considering the job responsibilities.



Discussions about salary expectations during an interview can turn things upside down because the main catch here is “Money”. The interviewer is trying to cut costs and the interviewee is looking to earn more, because of this, the point of salary discussions and interviews is almost like a game of chess. Do your research very about the job position and you will be the checkmate. All the best in your interview.


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