How to Answer the Interview Question ‘What are your Salary Expectations?’

During a job interview, one of the most common questions that candidates encounter is about their salary expectations. This seemingly simple question can often catch individuals off guard and leave them unsure of how to respond effectively. However, understanding the importance of handling the salary expectations question is crucial for successful salary negotiation and overall job satisfaction. Now let’s delve into how to answer ‘What are your salary expectations?’

what are your salary expectations

How can Using a Recruitment Agency Help?

When it comes to negotiating a salary, a recruitment agency will do this for you. This is one of the biggest perks of using a recruitment agency when finding a new job. Your agency will have already done the research and know what the market rate is for the job you are applying for.

Your recruitment consultant will assess your skills, experience, and qualifications. They’ll consider factors such as your education level, years of experience, certifications or specialisations that set you apart from others in the field.

Moreover, your recruitment consultant will need to know about achievements in previous roles. Quantifiable accomplishments such as meeting targets, increasing revenue or implementing successful projects demonstrate your ability to deliver results. These achievements provide tangible evidence of your value and justify higher salary expectations.

With all this information at hand, they will then set realistic expectations for the salary negotiations which they will conduct on your behalf. It’s important to strike a balance between aiming high but also being aware of what is reasonable given the current market conditions.

Interview Question What are your Salary Expectations

Strategies for Responding to the Salary Expectations Question

The first strategy is to be certain of what salary range you should expect and answer accordingly. If you use a recruitment agency to help you in your job search, they will advise you on the salary range you should be aiming for based on your experience and the current market. If you aren’t using a recruitment agency, you will need to research the market to see what salary you should expect.

There are a few different ways of answering:

Example 1: “While I’m flexible, I am looking to receive between £32,000 and £35,000 annually. Due to my skill set and experience level, I feel that this is an appropriate range.”

Example 2: “My baseline salary requirement is £42,500. I feel that the value and expertise I can bring to this role support my compensation expectations. Is this in line with your thoughts?”

Example 3: “Let me start by reiterating how grateful I am for the benefits this job offers such as generous paid time off and health benefits. I am expecting my salary for this position to fall between £45,000 and £48,000 annually.”


One effective strategy is to deflect the question initially. Instead of providing a specific number, you can respond by highlighting your skills, experience, and the value you bring to the role. This allows you to shift the focus from your salary expectations towards what you can offer as an employee.

Example 4: “Thank you for asking. I feel that my skills and experience level meet the needs of this role. My background in client services specific to this industry can play a role in strengthening the organisation. I am flexible and open to hearing about the company’s compensation expectations for this position.”


Another strategy is to emphasise future growth opportunities. By discussing your long-term career goals and how this position aligns with them, you can demonstrate that your focus is on career development rather than just monetary compensation. This shows the employer that you are motivated by more than just money and are committed to adding value and contributing to their organisation.

Example 5: “I’m committed to growing within this role and adding value to the organisation with my proven sales skills. I believe this role will help me to achieve my long-term goal of being in a management position within this organisation. I can see myself achieving this within the next 2-3 years.”

Remember, approaching the salary expectations question with confidence and professionalism is key. By employing these strategies, you can navigate this conversation effectively.


Now you know how to answer the interview question ‘What are your salary expectations?’, contact us to find out what job roles we have for you.

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