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Proven Ways to Answer the “What are Your Salary Expectations?” in an Interview

This question is often a tricky one because it is a determining factor.

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This question is often a tricky one because it is a determining factor.

Photo credit: Katemangostar

You found this new job and it fits your profile like a glove. It is a job that you are qualified for and you apply for it. Since you really want the job, you put your best application forward. Your chic CV and cover letter get you called for an interview and as you prepare for the interview, you remember that you have to answer the money question. In every interview, the recruiter will want to know how much you want to be paid.

That begs the question, “What are your salary expectations?” This question is often a tricky one because it is a determining factor. If you give a very high figure, the employer will feel that they can’t afford you. On the other hand, if you give a very low figure, you appear fishy or as someone who doesn’t offer quality.

To navigate through the question you need to have done a lot of research. It will go a long way in helping you quote a reasonable number that you and the employer can agree on.

Here are proven responses that have yielded fruit in interviews:

  1. It is negotiable - When you say that the salary you have quoted is negotiable, it shows the employer that you are flexible. Often people give a high number and leave it at that. This leaves the employer thinking that you can’t budge. As a result, the employer looks for alternative candidates with whom they can agree.

  2. Justify your range by stating industry norms, roles to be played, and how similar positions are paid in other companies. This shows the recruiter that you have done enough research. It reveals that what you are quoting is reasonable. Consequently, it will open up room for negotiation. Both parties will end up in a win-win situation because the deal benefits both the candidate and the recruiter. For example: “Having researched about the industry and other companies coupled with my knowledge in the field I expect to be paid in the range of Kes 90,000- Kes 120,000 per month.”

  3. Remind the recruiter of your expertise, experience, certifications, and qualifications. What you bring to the table is enough to use as a significant bargaining chip. The employer called you for an interview because they were impressed by what you have achieved. They also liked your qualifications and they felt that they could work with you. That hiring manager will definitely honor your skill and portfolio and offer you what you are worth.

For instance, “When you take my years of experience, track record of revenue growth, and certifications, I expect a salary range of Kes 230,000- Kes 275,000.”

In conclusion

The importance of research cannot be overstated, negotiations require skill. How you communicate is very important if you want to clinch the best salary. Conduct thorough research on your industry before going into the interview. It will form the basis for a successful salary negotiation where both you, the candidate, and the recruiter can win.


More interesting reads: 

5 important factors to consider when negotiating for your expected salary

Three salary negotiation skills that always work

How to negotiate for a pay rise

Written by

Wahome Ngatia

Peter Wahome Ngatia is an all rounded Marketing Specialist who deals in Graphic Design, Social Media, SEO and Content Writing. My passion is to use my skills and knowledge to help African businesses grow and thrive so that we can create employment for the youth. I also want to churn helpful content that inspires millennials to go hard after their dreams. Mantra: You learn more from failure than success.

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