Job Search Tips #8 – Your Expected Salary

Raghuram Sukumar Career 4 Comments

Job Search Tips #7 – Salary Negotiations  Tips – You lose if you give the a number first.

So here’s a list of responses for all the ways the interviewer will ask you during job interview, how much money you expect to make.

Deflecting the question back to employer is the best  way to avoid giving the number. But, how can you do that?

What salary range are you looking for?
“Let’s talk about the job requirements and expectations first, so I can get a sense of what you need.” That’s a soft answer to a soft way to ask the question.

What did you make at your last job?
“This position is not exactly the same as my last job. So let’s discuss what my responsibilities would be here and then determine a fair salary for this job.” It’s hard to argue with words like “fair” and “responsibilities”—you’re earning respect with this one.

What are you expecting to make in terms of salary?
“I am interested in finding a job that is a good fit for me. I’m sure whatever salary you’re paying is consistent with the rest of the market.” In other words, I respect myself and I want to think I can respect this company.

I need to know what salary you want in order to make you an offer. Can you tell me a range?
“I’d appreciate it if you could make me an offer based on whatever you have budgeted for this position and we can go from there.” This is a pretty direct response, so using words like “appreciate” focuses on drawing out the interviewer’s better qualities instead of her tougher side.

Why don’t you want to give your salary requirements?
“I think you have a good idea of what this position is worth to your company, and that’s important information for me to know.” Enough dancing–this is one last attempt to force you to give the number first. Hold your line here and you win.

You can see the pattern, right? If you think you sound obnoxious or obstinate by not answering the question, think of how he feels asking the question more than once.

The interviewer is just trying to get a leg up on you in negotiations.

If you give in, you look like a poor negotiator, and the interviewer is probably not looking for someone like that.

Tip taken from. Penelope Trunk Blog.


  1. i hear that jobs in USA are hard to come by.
    please explain the condition there.
    i am very worried.

  2. Wow, I was in desperate need of this info. Have fallen for this trap many times in various such meetings I’ve had. Thanks 🙂

    1. This shows a great mental preparation for salary negotiation, before accepting the offer. However, in reality the HR can some times take the word from the person who interviews us in advance. Even if HR does not specifically ask the interviewer about salary, some interviewers force a particular salary for a particular position with HR and request the HR to stick with that amount. I saw this happening with some of the big MNC’s. However, when we force for higher #, the HR will usually go beyond what the interviewer has actually requested for, but still be in the original cap of what they intended to offer.

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