salary expection questions

How to answer salary expectation questions at interview

There’s simply no avoiding it – during most interviews you’re more than likely to be asked salary expectation questions.

Given that this is one of the most sensitive subjects of any interview, you need to be careful that you don’t price yourself to highly and out of the job, nor sell yourself short when it comes to pay.

It’s a tricky one, but with a bit of thought and research before the interview you should be able to give an answer that seems both fair and reasonable to both parties.

Firstly, you need to have a good idea on what the role is likely to offer salary wise. In some cases, the advert would have already set out a remuneration amount whereas in others it’s a little more ambiguous. This can make it hard to pin down an exact amount, so try to find some comparable roles in the same location as this will act as a good benchmark.

If you’re wondering what similar roles are paying in our region, then click here to join in with our 2017 salary survey and get the results straight to your inbox.

Next, consider if there are any circumstances that might make this role pay higher or lower than the average. Are the hours the same or are there any really good perks such as flexible working, healthcare scheme or bonus system available that might affect the annual salary.

The final stage is really down to you and your personal circumstances. The pay offered should reflect your skills, experience, hours and level of responsibility that the job entails.

You also need to consider who much you want the job and what it might mean for future career progression, and if successful would you be willing to accept a lower salary if the job gave excellent development opportunities.

To round up, pay is personal and relative to a wide range of factors, but whatever you do make sure that you carry out research beforehand to ensure that you know how to best answer salary expectation questions and don’t get short changed.

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Emma Bonfiglio

About the author, Emma Bonfiglio

Managing Director at Appointments, Emma has spent 15 years building up a stellar reputation for commercial recruitment excellence across a variety of industries and sectors. There’s no staffing challenge Emma hasn’t encountered and her insight into the recruitment landscape has assisted countless clients achieve their goals over the years.


Specialising in the legislative and procedural side of business operations and through her extensive knowledge and continual training, Emma has a wealth of legal and contractual recruitment knowledge to help advise and support organisations of any size and in any industry.