What are your salary expectations? Your answer to this question can very much be a make-or-break factor when it comes to landing a job. Asking for an unrealistic pay package means you can kiss that job goodbye. While asking for something too low might become a financial burden or you could come across as lacking confidence and feeling the need to undersell yourself.
So what is the happy medium?
Knowing your worth is key, but it also helps to be aware of the average pay-package your experience, skillset and the role you are applying for entails.
The topic of finance can be a delicate and personal matter so when it comes up in an interview, it’s best to be prepared and have an answer ready.
It’s a given that before any interview, careful preparation and research is important.
Part of this process should involve comprehensive research to find your market worth:
- The job description is a good starting point and will tell you a lot about what will be required of you in the role.
- Some job listings might not advertise the exact wage on offer so try checking out similar job advertisements to gauge the range of salary packages in the market.
- It’s no surprise that a larger company will likely offer higher salaries and benefits than smaller ones. Salaries also vary from region to region and both these factors should be something you consider when setting your salary expectations.
There are numerous ways this question can be answered:
- You can be direct with a pay bracket but make sure you are happy with the lower-end of the bracket as it is possible that will be the wage your potential employer decides to start you on
- Alternatively, you can indirectly answer the question, which can still show you’re eager and encourage negotiations further down the line. One example of this is:
“I would like to know a bit more about the role so I can make an informed decision regarding my salary”.
- When asked, smile and maintain eye contact. This portrays your confidence and will make your eventual answer come across stronger. Being self-assured enables you to show that you believe you are worth your expected salary and are not ashamed to ask for it.
- Remember that employers value great communicators and answering this question effectively enables you to do just that. Structuring your sentence so it is clear, polite and straightforward is key.
Building confidence for an interview can take time and almost everyone will experience pre-interview jitters at some point. Here at INS, we can provide comprehensive job interview coaching to help prepare you for tricky questions such as this one and build on your confidence throughout the interview process.
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