Answering the Salary Expectations Question

Brought to You by our Partners at College Ave Student Loans

Every job hunter is familiar with the inevitable interview question about your salary expectations. If you provide a number that’s too low, you could end up earning less than you’re worth. But if you aim too high, appearing too expensive can end a great opportunity right in its tracks.

So, how can you confidently answer this question during your job search? College Ave Student Loans is sharing advice below.

Do your research.

While some opportunities provide a salary or hourly rate right within the job listing, this isn’t a common occurrence. That’s why doing research is essential. What’s the average salary of someone in your prospective job title? Remember to consider that salaries differ by experience level and geographical location. Try using tools like Indeed Salaries or during your research, which provide the average salary for different job titles based on location, and can even pull some salary insights from specific companies.



Defer your answer if needed.

It’s hard deeming what pay is appropriate before you fully understand the role. You also don’t want to risk being pulled out of the running before you’ve had a chance to demonstrate your worth to the employer. So, what if you’re already asked this question on the job application? Some job experts recommend omitting a number and writing something along the lines of “negotiable” or “up for discussion.” If you have to provide a number on your application, consider the research you conducted previously and provide an appropriate range.


Provide a range.

Once you’re confident you’ve demonstrated your professional capabilities in the job interview, it’s time to deliver your salary expectation with confidence. Provide a range rather than one number to allow for some flexibility. However, make sure you’re comfortable with the number at the bottom of the range, as the hiring manager may just take you up on it. Don’t be afraid to provide reasoning by referring to your research, experience, and expertise.


Weigh benefits.

Employers often have valuable compensation offerings that go beyond salaries, such as paid vacation time, tuition reimbursement, and healthcare benefits. This is definitely something to consider during the salary expectations discussion, as a robust benefits package can often make a slightly lower salary worth accepting. When providing your anticipated salary range, let the hiring manager know whether you’re willing to negotiate based on these additional perks.

Do you have any more questions about answering the salary expectations question? Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. Fallah Willie says:

    Great advice! This question is often required on most online job applications and some of them make it required for the applicant to enter a specific value in this field otherwise you won’t be able to proceed with the application process. I consider the average salary for the position as reasonable but I never got an interview. I sometimes enter the minimum value just to see whatsup yet still nothing comes up. I don’t like answering questions about salaries. It’s a trap.

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