Unless a salary or pay rate is explicitly stated beforehand, you will be asked about your compensation expectations during the interview process.
There are a handful of reasons hiring managers ask applicants this question. In many instances, the business has a set budget for the job, and the hiring manager wants to ensure a candidate’s expectations are in line with that budget before continuing the process.
Hiring managers also ask this question to gauge the expectations of each candidate and compare those expectations with what they can bring to the table. If two candidates have the identical skill set, experience and cultural fit potential, one candidate with lower salary expectations suddenly becomes more appealing
You can put off answering this question for a bit, but at some point, you’ll have to get down to brass tacks.
Know Your Value
Prior to revealing your salary requirements with a prospective employer, you should research and consider what you should be earning, including base salary, types of benefits you want and any other benefits. Then, use your homework to set a practical target for what type of compensation you should expect.
If you’re shifting career tracks or seeking a job at a business that’s organized differently from your last company, you ought to be capable of spelling out what you’re gaining or sacrificing in terms of potential value to the prospective employer.
Don’t Feel Pressured to Respond Immediately
When you are asked about salary expectations, it’s OK not to give a specific answer right away. Instead, you could say you want to learn more about the position, including its responsibilities. Once you have a full grasp of what you’re responsible for, you are in a good position to talk about salary expectations.
Provide a Salary Range
At some point, you’ll have to give an answer and a good approach is to provide a range of salaries that you would be comfortable accepting. Your range should be based on researching what other companies are offering for similar jobs. It should also be based on the scope of the position.
For less-experienced applicants, determining a salary range should be pretty straightforward, mostly based on location, industry and the position. Those living in high cost-of-living areas should expect a higher rate than those outside these areas. Job seekers with in-demand skills should expect to earn premium pay for their abilities.
For more experienced applicants, those in the middle and later stages of their careers, determining a range can be a bit more complicated. These folks are typically taking on more responsibility and possibly a supervisory role. The scope of these responsibilities should weigh heavily on your salary expectations. For instance, if the role involves a lot more supervision of other employees than you expected, you should increase your compensation expectations.