​How to Answer “What’s Your Salary?”

​How to Answer “What’s Your Salary?”

Posted on 29 April 2024

When you begin the job interview process, you will be navigating through many sorts of questions aiming to impress your potential employer while showcasing your skills and experience. But one of the most daunting but important questions to be asked is one on the topic of salaries.

How do you handle this delicate inquiry effectively? In this guide, we’ll explore the importance of handling this question effectively and tips for answering the salary question.

The Importance of Addressing the Salary in Interviews

Handling the salary question is an important question, not only does it significantly impact the outcome of the negotiation process and the compensation package you will receive. But fumbling this question could lead to accepting a salary below market value or missing out on any opportunity to negotiate at all.

It is key to remember the salary question isn’t just about how much money you’ll be earning, it’s a chance for you to demonstrate your professionalism and understanding of your worth in the market. Having a well-thought-out response shows your confidence and strategic thinking.

Hands holding cash

Challenges Faced by Candidates

The salary question is challenging, and many candidates find themselves struggling with answering this question during a job interview. It's hard to find a balance between acting too eager or undervaluing yourself and your worth. Without proper preparation, candidates may find themselves underselling or overselling their worth which can potentially impact their chances of securing the position.

Guidance on Approaching the Salary Question

Approaching the Salary question with confidence and knowledge is key, consider the following strategies:

Research the Market Rate:

Before you head into any interview or discussion, make sure to take the time to research the average salary range for the role you are interviewing for. This means understanding what the industry standards are, and whether there are regional differences. Websites like Glassdoor, LinkedIn and PayScale can provide valuable information when it comes to salary benchmarks for similar positions across the UK.

Person being interviewed

Avoid Giving a Specific Number First:

It is best practice to avoid naming a specific figure right away when you are approached with this question. Instead, deflect the question by changing the topic to express your interest in learning for about the responsibilities and expectations associated with the role. Once you have a deeper understanding of what the role entails you can then transition the conversation back to discussing salary.

Focus on the Value You Bring:

Instead of focusing on figures only, highlight the value that you can bring to the company. Highlight your skills, experience, and achievements and demonstrate how you can contribute to the overall success of the company. Showcase your worth and you can potentially swing the conversation in your favour.

Provide a Salary Range:

Once the time comes to answer the salary question in an interview, give the figure based on the market research you conducted. This can demonstrate flexibility while still having a negotiation within a reasonable bracket. Make sure to provide a range that reflects both your desired salary and one that fits within the market rates.

handing cash over

Leave Room for Negotiation:

Make sure you are leaving room in your expectation range for negotiation, you don’t need to offer up the lowest salary you would accept. If you were to reveal the minimum salary you would take, you would leave little room for negotiation, and this could impact your bargaining power. Instead of this express openness to continuing a salary discussion further once there is an offer, this shows your willingness to engage in a collaborative dialogue.

Answering the salary question in an interview is essential for securing an outcome that you are happy with. By following these tips for answering the salary question you will be able to confidently tackle this question. By conducting research into the market, learning your value and being able to change the topic when needed you can position yourself as a confident and desirable candidate.

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