Do’s and Don’ts for Discussing Salary Expectations in a Job Interview

Salary is one of the most important job satisfaction factors. Young people usually dream of making outstanding careers and contributing to some greater cause. But at the end of the day, we all work to get some money and that’s completely natural. I turned to my friend Olivia Ryan for some advice.  Here’s what she has to say…

It’s very important to learn how to wisely discuss your salary expectations at the job interview. You need understand the basic principles of negotiation and put them into practice when talking about financial compensation. In this article, we will present you the 9 most practical suggestions in that regard.

Get the most out of your job interview

Salary negotiations are a complex process with a lot of different factors included. According to HR experts at, most candidates don’t know how to handle job interviews and they miss the opportunity to get a lucrative offer. Using our tips, you will avoid this problem, so let’s give them a closer look.

Do the research

The first thing you should do is to research the average salary for this position on the labor market. It will provide you with a realistic estimation and give you the starting point for negotiations. You can ask around and discuss this issue with your colleagues but it’s even easier to check it out online.

There are many digital tools that can calculate average salaries in different sectors and you can use them to eliminate doubts before conducting an interview.

Calculate your own market value

Average salaries in any given sector are one thing but your personal market value is something completely different. Bearing this in mind, you need to calculate your value according to personal skills and qualities.

Take into account your professional and academic background and previous work experience. Of course, you can use one of the digital services to do it for you. Pay Scale is successfully measuring human capital and it will give a precise estimation of your market value.

Don’t reveal your cards immediately

A job interview is all about details and delicate moves, especially when it comes to salary negotiations. That’s why you don’t want to say an exact number right away. Let the recruiters talk about the numbers first. Even if they ask you directly to tell them your financial expectations, you should try to avoid it.

For instance, you could ask them back: It depends on various factors – could you let me know what is your policy in that regard? Of course, potential employers will always propose the minimum amount but you should demand some 10-15% more than you actually want. You will probably find a solution somewhere in the middle, which is what you had in mind in the first place.

Think about the minimum

You must have personal plans and financial duties that you have to deal with on a monthly basis. For that reason, you need to calculate your own expected minimum that you don’t want to go under in any case. Consider all elements of the budget to determine the right amount. Personal budget calculators can help you with that and remind you of every little item on your list of expenses.

Compare offer with current status

Salary negotiations largely depend on your current position. Are you a freelancer looking for the full-time job or maybe even unemployed? Are you a well-experienced professional who is just looking for the new challenge in career? This is important because your negotiating position is completely different in each one of these situations.

If you already work in a good company and earn a fair portion of money each month, then you should not settle for anything less than a decent raise. But if you currently don’t have a job, then it’s probably best to lower expectations. Keep this in mind while discussing your salary.

Analyze employment trends

Personal value usually depends on your own traits and qualities but still, you should take some time to explore the situation on the labor market. Analyze trends in your field of expertise and see if demand is much higher or lower than supply – you can find official data online. If the offer in your sector is scarce, it gives you the chance to ask for a more fruitful financial compensation.

Discuss the growth potential

On some occasions, recruiters are strict about their offer and they could try to calm you down promising a raise sometime soon. This is not unusual and you shouldn’t run away from discussing this issue. Take their words seriously and ask them to clarify their proposal. You need to know when and under which circumstances you can expect the raise.

Ask for other benefits

Although the salary is by far your biggest concern, you should bear in mind that there are many other benefits that you could demand during the job interview. If you are not completely satisfied with the financial offer but consider it to be close to your expectations, you can fight for many other perks.

From health insurance and vacation to work from home, there are numerous benefits that you can ask for to compensate somewhat lower financial compensation.

Follow your intuition

All these suggestions are the product of real-life experiences and they proved to be very useful in practice. However, no one can predict precisely where your job interview is headed and sometimes you need to make improvisations. In such circumstances, it is best to follow your intuition and seize the opportunity to make the most of the job interview.


Financial compensation is an essential precondition of professional satisfaction and engagement. However, most people don’t know how to negotiate their way to the decent salary. That’s why we presented you 9 ways to discuss financial expectations at the job interview. Make sure to use our tips and let us know in comments if you have more valuable suggestions to share with our readers.

About the author:  Olivia is a young journalist who is passionate about topics of career, recruitment and self-development. She constantly tries to learn something new and share this experience on different websites. You can find her on Twitter.

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  1. Yes sir, you are correct about that think about the minimum because you have to cover your basic needs first so according to that you should ask for salary, you have provided very nice points sir which are surely going to help me.Thank You.

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