ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Answer Questions About Salary in a Job Interview

Updated on May 2, 2014
Make sure you negotiate your salary to one that you are worth.
Make sure you negotiate your salary to one that you are worth. | Source

Interview Questions About Salary Expectations

Interviewers ask a variety of questions to determine how much you want to be paid and what you feel you are worth. Planning your answer in advance of the interview will ensure you remain calm, confident and assured. Here's a few examples.

1. “Tell me about your salary expectations”

2. “Tell me what you are worth”

3. “On a sliding scale from £-£, tell me where you fit in”

4. “What package are you looking for?”

5. "What would a fair compensation package be for you?"

What Salary are You Worth?

Everyone wants to earn a decent salary and at the very least; earn what they are worth.

Before you answer any questions surrounding salary expectations, it is advisable to research your sector and if you can, find out the salary range the company is willing to offer, together with any benefits that may be available additions or included as standard. Many job descriptions detail some or all of this information, but if not; call the company for more information. They may not provide a solid answer, but you should expect them to at least give you a salary range for most positions.

If the company won't give out salary information - many will want to keep this confidential to all except the successful candidate - search online for salary calculators (many job boards provide this service) and type in the job title, area in which the company trades, sector in which it operates and level of seniority if it is an ambiguous job title, such as Duty Manager or Team Leader, for example.

By having the knowledge of what salary is likely to be realistic, you will be in a stronger position to negotiate a reasonable package.

Be Honest With Yourself

Be completely honest with yourself when trying to guesstimate the salary you are worth. Note that here, I am saying "worth" and not need. What you need to get by financially should not be the deciding factor for the monetary figure you choose.

Place yourself on the sliding scale of the salary range according to your transferable skills, experience and expertise. It's no good asking for the top end of the money if you have not worked in that industry before or have limited experience. If you have oodles of experience, tick every requirement on the job specification and have a great reputation, then go in high.

Similarly, if you have perhaps worked for one of the organisation's competitors, smashed all targets and have won awards, then go for it! You deserve it!

Do be prepared for further questions on why you feel you are worth your selected amount. Now is not the time to be shy. If you are completely honest about your salary expectations, you should be able to verbalise your justification for your end figure.

Compensation Package

Most companies nowadays offer in-work benefits to their employees. Typical examples include a selection of the following:

  • Pension
  • Travel expenses
  • Company car
  • Mobile cell-phone
  • Discounted or free meals
  • Product discounts
  • Uniform
  • Gym membership
  • Health or life insurance
  • Medical care
  • Eyesight tests
  • Dental care
  • Enhanced holidays
  • Flexitime
  • Free or discounted training
  • Bonuses
  • Incentive rewards
  • Professional memberships
  • Childcare vouchers
  • Cycle to work scheme

Negotiating Your Salary During a Job Interview

This is where you have to think carefully and thoroughly prepare in advance. Remember that this is about determining what you are worth, however, it is important that you don't sell yourself short and work yourself to the bone without meeting your financial needs to survive.

Money is not the only thing on offer in many jobs, so find out what the in-work benefits are. Many companies offer a selection, which I have detailed in the box on the right.

Whatever is on offer, remember that everything has the potential to be negotiated so talk in terms of the whole package and not just the money, but in order to be effective, you need to have all the facts. Maybe the company just can't budge on the money they offer, but they might be able to give you an extra 10% staff discount or increase your holiday entitlement. If you don't ask, you don't get!

Another consideration is to work out any tax deductions that will arise from salary and benefits packages or if additional money may put you into a higher tax band. Have a look online for tax calculators where you can play around with some figures if you think thresholds may affect you.

Don’t feel pressurised to give a complete answer during the interview. You haven’t got the job yet, and the last thing you want to do is alienate yourself from the running by pricing yourself too high or undervaluing your skills and experience.

Politely give a salary range or indication of the package and say that you will give this your full and informed consideration if you are offered the role. Most interviewers will respect the fact that you are taking this question seriously and are not a loose canon when it comes to financial decisions.

Most hiring managers are just looking for a rough idea to see if they are able to afford you, but if you are pressed for an answer, then go for the mid-range so that you have room for negotiations when the offer is on the table. It is important to realise that no matter what you say during the interview, you can change your mind and negotiate a higher salary or an increase of benefits once they offer you the job as you will be in a stronger position.

Balance your career and salary expectations
Balance your career and salary expectations | Source

Striking a Balance

You may be asked how much you are currently earning or what your salary was in previous job roles. If this happens, make sure that you include any perks of the job or in-work benefits so that the hiring manager understands your full compensation package and not just the monetary figure.

If you have completed an application form where you have included previous salaries or salary expectation, ensure your answer is consistent with the information you have already provided.

Whatever you say during the interview, allow the interviewer to see that you are flexible and talk confidently using examples of why you have come to a particular range of figures. Never be ambiguous or use sweeping statements, such as "I feel I am worth it."

Finally, never raise the subject of salary in a job interview. Leave it to the interviewer to start this topic. The same can be said about asking about perks of the job, such as holidays, benefits and overtime hours. The interview should always be run on the premise that you are trying to show the interviewer how you can benefit their organisation, why they need you above all the other candidates and that you are a perfect fit rather than you trying to establish what's in it for you - you can do that once you get your foot in the door!

Good luck! Let me know if you have had any success in negotiating your salary and share your top tips. I am also keen to hear if you have made any mistakes and are now regretting not asking for more.

Quick Poll

Are you currently earning what you feel you are worth?

See results
Career Coaching, CV & Resume Writing & Business Trainer.
Career Coaching, CV & Resume Writing & Business Trainer. | Source


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)