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How do you answer Interview Questions about Salary: Top Tips


Negotiating salary is a challenging part of any job interview. You should know the right approach to deal with questions related to salary. You should be wise to answer the questions while not giving hints about your desire or need. Speaking about your salary expectations can be difficult in any job interview but it is the toughest when you are a fresher.

answer questions about salary

When you do not have any prior experience dealing with interviewers, they can easily trap you in a web of questions to which you have no answers. Interviewers usually possess the knack to confuse freshers. Here we have listed out a few tips and guidelines that will help you answer questions related to salary easily.

Tips to Answer Salary Requirements and Expectations Question:

The following mentioned are few tips on how to answer salary requirements and what are your expectations.

When you are looking for the first job:

When you head for the first job interview, there are several challenges you need to cope with. You could be nervous or tense when you are heading for your first interview. You have no prior experience of attending a job interview. The curiosity and anxiousness add to the trouble. This makes it really difficult for you to frame the right answer to questions like these.

When you are asked about your salary expectation, you need to state a fixed amount. The amount has to be researched after checking the present job trends and the minimum salary  requirement for your present qualification. While some job consultants may advise you not to state an amount and instead ask for required salary as per industry standards, it would not be a sound choice. When you state a fixed amount, you may be asked to justify your quote. If you are able to state a clear reason for your pay expectations, there won’t be further questions. On the contrary, if you do not state an amount, the recruiters may try some cost cutting by offering a lower salary as you are a fresher.

When you are planning to switch a job:

A salary hike is expected when you are switching a job. Yet, if you change your job too soon, the recruiters may not be willing to pay a higher salary. They may even bombard you with questions like ‘why do you wish to leave the job?’, ‘you haven’t even completed one year in the job then why do you want to switch?’ and similar other questions. They may doubt your loyalty or may even regard you as a moody person who cannot stick to an organisation even for an year.

You must be prepared to answer all the questions that are posed to you. When you ask for a standard rise in salary, there maybe counter questioning. They may ask you why they should pay you such a high salary. You must justify clarifying your skills and abilities that make you an ideal candidate for the specific job profile. You may also enumerate the benefits of hiring you for the job. Try to make your recruiters realise that it is worthwhile investing on a higher salary for you as you are sure to help them improve or make profits.

When you have been fired from a job:

This is one of the most challenging cases. If you have been fired from your previous job, getting a new job itself is a challenge. There are firms who may try to exploit you because of the weak resume. You may come across recruiters who may quote a lower salary than you actually deserve. There could be people in your family or seniors who may advice you to take any job and then switch to a better option when possible. Do not get disheartened or carried away by these statements. If you have been fired from a job for lack of performance, try to understand where you were lacking. Make sure you won’t make the same mistake again and clarify this to the interviewers. Ask for the salary you deserve based on your qualification and take a job that offers you what you deserve. In the meanwhile, do not stay idle and try to take up freelance projects that you can handle from home.

When you are trying to change your field:

Changing a field brings forth several challenges. One of the biggest challenges is surely to find a job that offers you the same salary that you had in your previous job. In the new field you are a complete fresher and some recruiters may hesitate to give you a high pay in the very beginning. Before you head for a job interview related to a new field, do a complete research on the various abilities and skills you need to possess to do well in the new field. You need to acquire the new skills and prove to the recruiters that you deserve the job. If you appear to be trained in the required skills, the recruiters may be willing to hire you for the job at the salary you quote.

The Risks of Being Modest About Your Salary Expectation:

There are several risks of being modest about your salary expectation. If you are unable to present your quote in a proper and professional manner, the interviewers may have misunderstandings regarding your attitude towards work as well as your work ethics. Here are some of the common misconceptions that result from such misinterpretations:

You Maybe Regarded Mercenary:

People often jump to conclusions fast and if you come straight to the salary, some of the recruiters may regard you as mercenary or money minded. That is the reason why it is essential that you clearly explain how you deserve the salary you have quoted. Do not hesitate to enumerate your skills, certifications and qualifications that add value to your profile.

The salary for the first job decides your remuneration later and hence make sure you make a good start. If the recruiters offer a pay that is less that what you deserve, be open and frank. Tell them that you deserve more and you do not wish to be hired in a firm where they do not respect your degrees, qualifications and skills.

You Maybe Considered Overambitious:

While most of the recruiters know the present salary trends, they would still hesitate to pay a huge salary especially if it is a fresher. They may refer to you as overambitious. Such assumptions can weaken your resume and also delay the job seeking process. You must thus know the amount you are quoting is thoroughly justified.

These are all points and suggestions that will help you deal with the question about salary during the interview. There are other situations where the salary question needs to be answered. One of the most common example is surely the job application. Here are some suggestions to help you fill the salary expectation in a job application:

Research About Job Scenario:

It is always a good idea to check the present job trend and see whether there are sufficient jobs in the market. If there are ample jobs, you can be a bit stubborn about your salary expectation from job. If the market is down and the jobs are few, it would be wise to take up a job that offers a decent remuneration rather than waiting for the best opportunity.

Check the Current Salary Trends if this is Your First Job:

People who are in search of their first job are always confused what salary they should expect. You may find a solution to this problem by doing a thorough research. Read through the different job portals and gather information. Another way would be to ask your seniors and friends about their salaries and get an idea. Quote a salary based on the research that would suit you too.

Assess your Previous Salary if you are Employed:

If you are employed and are looking for a job change, ask for a 30% rise as that is usually justified. Always quote a desired salary range rather than a fixed amount. The lowest amount in the range should also suit you.

Fill in a Salary Range Expected that Suits your Requirement:

In any job application form, if you are asked for the salary expectation from job, make sure you fill in the range. If you leave this point blank, some firms may not even respond to your application. It is vital to have a range decided even before you start your job hunt. The range could be different for different professions and only thorough research will help you fix the correct range.

There are very few individuals who manage to bag the job of their choice and get the salary of their choice too. At times you may have to strike a balance between your choice and your need. If you are getting a good job of your choice and the salary is a bit lower than your expected salary, do not neglect the opportunity completely. It may offer you better chances of growth so you need to have an open mind.

Success in job happens only if you are satisfied in your job. Salary is one major factor that contributes to job satisfaction. Sometimes, right answers to interview questions can help you get the right job with the right salary.