What Are Your Salary Expectations?

“Job Interview Question and Answer: “What Salary Are You Hoping For?”

Why Do Employers Ask This Question?

Even if a company includes a proposed wage within a job description, interviewers may still ask how much money you expect to make if they hire you. By asking this question, employers are giving you the chance to discuss what you believe your skills and experience are worth. Based on your answer, you may be able to convince hiring managers that you deserve a rate of pay that is higher than the norm.

How to Answer “How Much Do You Expect to Earn?”

Start by doing some research on the average pay for the position in your area. Some entry-level jobs offer the standard minimum wage, while others may pay several dollars more. Once you know how much workers in your field usually make, consider whether that wage is fair for your level of experience and skill.

Even if job hopefuls are untrained in their chosen industry, requesting a salary that is slightly higher than average can sometimes be a good idea. Discussing a higher rate lets employers know that you understand your worth as an employee. However, you’ll need to be prepared to list the traits and abilities that make you deserving of a higher wage.

What Not to Say

When discussing your salary expectations, avoid asking for an unusually high rate of pay. Unreasonable wage requests can make employers think you are overselling your skills to get more money. Also, you may be passed over for the job if you’re unwilling to negotiate about your expected salary. Refusing to budge on your chosen figure can make you seem stubborn and inflexible.

Potential Answers for “What Are Your Salary Requirements?”

Some candidates may feel uncomfortable making their own salary requests. The following sample responses can give you some ideas about how to ask for a reasonable wage with confidence.

Sample Job 1 – Call Center Customer Service Representative

“According to my research, the usual wage for this job is between $10.00 and $15.00 per hour. Though I haven’t worked in telecom before, I have a couple of years of customer service experience from my previous retail jobs. I think $12.00 to $14.00 an hour is reasonable due to my background, but I’m open to negotiation.”

Sample Job 2 – Fast Food Restaurant Team Member

“Since I’m only looking for a part-time position, I’m fine with a salary that is close to your usual starting pay of $9.00 an hour. I don’t have any experience working in food service, but I hope to learn the ropes and maybe switch to full-time hours in the future. Maybe then I would be eligible for a raise or promotion.”

Sample Job 3 – Grocery Store Manager

“My salary package at my last job was between $60,000.00 and $75,000.00 a year, and I would like to keep it within that range. I am confident that my skills will be an asset to the company, and I am excited to prove them to you as well. However, depending on the benefits and healthcare coverage you offer, I am willing to negotiate.”

Know Your Worth and Be Realistic

Many interviewers are willing to negotiate wages for capable and experienced employees. When answering the question, “What are your salary expectations?” be confident and discuss your qualifications and skills to justify a higher rate. Try to remain flexible in your requests so you can come to an agreement that will satisfy both you and your potential employer.

Similar Questions Employers Will Ask


  • JenJen says:

    I agree with you Lana. It is a tough question. I believe I would simply say “I would really like to make such such a week so I know I am able to pay my bills and not have to worry about not having money to put food on the table, clothes on my (or kids) back, or being late on bills because I do not make enough.”
    would that be good?

  • Lisa Saffell says:

    Starting off as minum wage if it is a franchise but would like a raise if I have been there for long enough or if my talents suceed what there expectations are.

  • Markymark says:

    I would probably say that; “Based on my experience, training that I have as well as my research based on the industry standards, I would feel comfortable with top 25 percentile of your company’s pay range for the position.”

  • sharon morales says:

    when i was being asked salary expectations,i say equal to minimum wage or more

  • Scott says:

    ALWAYS defer this question. Say “let’s talk a little more about the position first and then we will discuss salary”. Then hope the interviewer does NOT bring it back up.

  • angela says:

    Scott, I would agree with you but so many prospective employers now really push for an answer. Not to sound old (I’m 39) but I remember a time when pay wasn’t even discussed until the job offer was extended. It’s a different market now, that’s for sure. I’m one of the long-term unemployed (laid off from a professional job) and trying to find ANY type of work. I recently interviewed for a position I know wouldn’t pay anywhere what I used to make but I would be happy to have it. The employer kept pushing me for an exact hourly rate I wouldn’t go less than. This was tough for me because 1) I had no experience in this field and 2) I haven’t earned an hourly rate since college.

  • faby says:

    This is certainly a very tough question. On one side I wouldn’t want to market myself too high, because it happened to me, and I was not considered anymore for this reason. On the other side if I market myself too low, they’ll take me immediately, so I’ll be the lowest paid for the job, which sucks. Honestly, it’s an unfair question. I remember not long ago when the opening came with the salary from the start, so I would apply knowing the salary from the begining.

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