Tough Interview Question - What kind of salary are you seeking?

What kind of salary are you seeking?

Similar interview questions:
What are your salary expectations?
What is your current salary?
How much do you need to earn to justify making a move?
Do you have a number in mind for what you want to be earning?

Why the interviewer is asking this question:
The interviewer is testing your money/salary expectations up against the range for the role. If you are outside the allowable range, it may not be worth pursuing you as a candidate. As a side note, the fact that the interviewer is asking you about salary is a positive indicator, since the person is now thinking about what it may take to get you hired.

The best approach to answering this question:
The general rule with money is the person who speaks first loses. So don’t give a number. Instead, turn it back with a question. If the interviewer presses without giving you a number (this can and will happen), you can either ask another question or give a broad general range for the role.

An example of how to best answer this question for experienced candidates:
"Thanks for asking that question, since it’s important that we’re in general agreement on the right salary for my experience. What salary range do you typically pay to other candidates with similar background and experience?"

An example of how to best answer this question for entry level candidates:
"Thanks for asking this question, since I want to make sure we’re in alignment on salary. What salary range do you typically pay other entry level candidates with similar education and experience?"

An example of how you should not answer this question:
"Well, I would like to earn the maximum amount, since I want to pay off my student loans as quickly as possible. Is $100K doable for you?"


Remember to answer each interview question behaviorally, whether it is a behavioral question or not. The easiest way to do this is to use an example from your background and experience. Then use the S-T-A-R approach to make the answer a STAR: talk about a Situation or Task (S-T), the Action you took (A) and the Results achieved (R). This is what makes your interview answer uniquely yours and will make your answer a star!


Further review: know the answers to these Fifty Standard Interview Questions to be fully prepared for your interview!

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