The A-Z of "What's Your Salary Expectations?" Job Interview Question


"What are your salary expectations?"- it's one of the most frequently asked job interview questions that may cost a job offer if you don't know how to answer it professionally.

Like getting ready for the interview process by preparing yourself for the interview questions, listing your top skills and qualifications, and selecting the perfect outfit, you've to consider discussing all the money questions while arising during the interview.

If you're wondering how to answer this tricky question, here are some bonus tips from Drjobpro on how to handle salary expectation questions:


Why do Recruiters ask This Question?

You may be asking why recruiters ask this question? It has great importance as it shows many signs. It can help one candidate stand out among others; it can also help the candidate get the job even if he isn't fully qualified. Answering this question may turn your interview from a good one to a waste of time.

Why do employers inquire about salaries while interviewing prospective employees? HR professionals ask this question to decide if they can afford to hire you or not. It's a trial to save both you and their time from interviewing you with no common ground.

Sometimes companies look for "good deals." Although there's a standard market salary range for some positions, they play it differently. They may offer lower or higher salary ranges depending on the importance of the job to the company.

Additionally, this question measures how much you see your value in the position? What you'll bring to the table? Do you know what you deserve, or you accept any amount of money?

It's your way of highlighting your skills that will help the company.

Why It's Difficult for Many Candidates To Answer This Question?

For a variety of factors, many candidates will find this issue difficult to answer. Many applicants are usually low-paid or overpaid in their present positions. They are concerned that an excessively high or low number would result in an unappealing bid or will exclude them from consideration. Others could be changing careers, going from commission-based to salaried jobs, or any other cases where there's no comparison.

Also, many people prefer lower-paying occupations for a variety of reasons that is relevant to work ethic or success opportunities, such as:

  • Incentives for bonuses and commissions
  • Working at home or working fewer hours
  • Better benefits — housing allowance, education allowance, longer vacation days, etc.
  • The location (cost of living, local job market, etc.)

When/How The Recruiter Ask This Question?

The salary question usually comes after discussing:

  • What are your current job responsibilities?
  • What would you add to the position?
Each one has its own set of difficulties. They may be asked at an early stage during the interview or by the end after discussing your skills, experience, and talents.

This question is a double-edged weapon as it reflects that the company is interested in hiring you to be one of its team. On the other side, if you don't give the ideal answer, you may not get the job.

What Problems You May Face While Answering "what Is your expected salary?"

It seems to be a simple enough query. Understandably, prospective employers want to have a rough estimate of your salary goals, correct?

Not quite so. It would help if you were mindful that mentioning your salary requirements frankly in the interview process can create many obstacles during the interview process.


When recruiters ask this question early during the interview, they don't ask it to decide when hiring you. They ask you to set a comparison between you and other shortlisted candidates to make the best deal. So, you'll have more negotiating power later if you don't name a particular number at this early stage.


The interview is like a "theatre stage" where you've to perform that best show. So, offering a low salary expectation during the interview may convey that you don't realize your value or accept any amount. That would be a red flag for professional companies that understand the typical market value for each position.

Do you want to work for a company that hires who offers the lowest price or for a company that values its employees?


Setting a high salary range may push the company to take you out of its consideration even before proving your competency, as it shows that you care only about money. In this case, try to be innovative and find a tricky solution.


Setting a very low salary expectation is bad also so that you may be accepted for the position, but this conveys that you're too desperate to get the job. Receiving a meager salary ends in a toxic work environment by the end.

How & Where to Research Salary Ranges to Set Expectations?

It's crucial to research the market rate for your position in your target location before setting an expectation. You can conduct this research on job portals like Drjobpro.

 Do some research on this site to know everything you need about the position: salary range, top employers, required qualifications, and finding more jobs.

You may sometimes come across some contradictory details, but as said before, you'll form a public image that may differ from one company to another.

You aim to develop a realistic pay level based on market demand and your latest salary. If pushed, you can mention specific ranges based on actual statistics and pay scales according to the market scope, rather than saying what you hope to get.

This helps you to take a final decision whether to say yes or no while comparing to your industry and other companies.

How to Delay Answering "What's Your Salary Expectation?"

Career experts advise deferring discussing the salary range for as long as possible.

This is an excellent way to market yourself and push the company to make a lucrative salary.

This demonstrates how confident you're and how you fully recognize your value in this competitive job market.

You're also letting the recruiter know that if he hires you, he'll be having an innovative and powerful negotiator who fights till the end and respond right away.

This also may push the company to offer you a higher salary.

6 Practical Tips to Get the Salary You Deserve

Show Flexibility

Convey your flexibility and adaptability. You can attempt to avoid answering the question by saying something like, "My pay goals are according to my skills and expertise." "I'm sure we will reach a salary agreement that is ideal for both of us," or "If this is the ideal opportunity, I'm sure we can reach a salary agreement." This will demonstrate your willingness to compromise.

Provide A Variety of Options

Even if you begin by highlighting your adaptability, almost all recruiters would want to hear precise figures. In this scenario, please give them a range (about 6k to 9k AED). That will encourage you to be agile but also providing a straightforward response to the employer. It would help if you made this range depending on your skills and prior research.

Consider Your Current Salary

You can mention a salary range according to your current salary as a reference. Assume that your current income is following business demands unless your previous employer was known in the industry for paying poor salaries. Of course, if you're moving abroad, keep any increases in the cost of living in mind. Knowing your worth salary in the new job market is still a smart thing.

Make A Promotion for Yourself

Think what a decent increase from the present boss will be, and it might be a good kick start for the new work. Alternatively, increase your current salary by 10% to 20%, which would provide you with an opportunity to move industries while remaining within an adequate level with your field and experience level. Offer a salary range that would make you happier personally and professionally.

Highlight Your Unique Skills

It's your opportunity to utilize your unique skills and expertise. You can say things like, "Based on my 20 years of experience in this industry, I would expect a salary in the range of AED A to AED Z." Before saying any figure, give a brief on why you deserve this amount.

Leave A Room for Negotiation

Many job seekers feel afraid while discussing salaries as they think they will get rejected if they mention a higher salary. Keep in your mind that recruiters always leave room for negotiations in and after the interview. Be confident as much as possible to seize your opportunity.

What to Avoid Saying …

Don't offer a fixed number-  Negotiation would be more in your favor if you delay discussing a particular salary until the recruiter does.

Don't put yourself out of a career by overpricing yourself- If after research you've discovered that the work is worth half that, don't ask for an AED 100,000 salary package. If you come in so high, you can be turned down for a role.

Don't be pessimistic- Even if the recruiter offers a low salary, answer graciously and inquire if there is space for agreement.

Examples of Best Answers to "What's your salary expectation?


My pay is negotiable. Indeed, I'd like to be equally paid for my fifteen years of experience and technical field achievements. However, after we've gone through a detailed discussion about the vacancy, I'm willing to talk about concrete figures.


I'm flexible regarding my salary expectations, but I do have considerable industry expertise that I think would help your business grow and expand. I'm looking forward to exploring my duties at this organization in detail. Then, we negotiate on a reasonable salary for this position.

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