For anyone appearing for a job interview, the toughest part is to negotiate the salary expectations question with the interviewer. For the applicant, it is most important to specify salary expectations during the hiring process. Depending upon the educational qualifications, work experience and other vital factors, candidates can initiate the process of negotiating their salary. While some organizations specify a fixed remuneration right from the beginning, some decide the salary depending upon the situation of the applicant. For example, for someone wanting to get out of a toxic workplace, a salary similar to his previous organization is acceptable however, for somebody who is satisfied with his present job but wants a drastic salary hike, salary expectation from the organization ought to be high. How to answer salary question in interview has to be well planned as it is the most crucial part of the overall discussion and of utmost importance to both employer and the candidate.
Organizations create job vacancies according to a certain budget. While some organizations specify the salary range in the job description, some like to create a package based upon the level and ability of the candidate. For example - if the HR manager feels that the candidate can add much more value to the company than required and it is something that will benefit them, he could offer a slightly higher salary to the candidate. As far as the candidate is concerned, it is all about how well you are able to market yourself.
Another reason for organizations to pose this question in front of candidates is to ensure that they are matching the requirements of the candidates. Moving forward, there has to be a symbiotic relationship being built between the candidate and the company. If the company cannot match the requirement of the candidate, this question helps them to screen and eliminate candidates and conduct a smoother process.
Salary expectation question is important for the both employer and the employee. It is so because on one hand where the employee should get a fair remuneration for their contribution to the company, on the other hand the employer should not feel they are overpaying the employee. So it is better for both employer and the employee to discuss a fair salary at the very beginning of their professional association.
Why the employers ask for Salary Expectations
For individuals taking up jobs in the corporate world, questions such as "How is my pay determined?", "Am I being paid fairly?", "Why dont I make as much money as my boss or manager?", "Can I have a raise?", "When do I get a promotion or raise?" etc. are normal to arise and part of the journey. Since it could get difficult for the organization to answer these or even fulfill them right in the beginning, salary discussions must take place in great depth. These questions and discussions can be very tricky.
How to Improve Your Chances of Getting an Offer
Provide a salary range that satisfies you instead of a concrete number. It is always better to provide a salary range rather than dictating a fixed number to the employer. This helps in providing some flexibility to the employer w.r.t. offering a salary to the employee.
How to negotiate a higher salary
1. Timing of the interview salary question discussion: Early on, when the company is still interviewing many candidates and you have not reached the final round of interviews, do not bring up the salary discussion. If the interviewer mentions salary, it needs to be handled very tactfully. Before offering a number or range, you must have a sense of surety from the employer's end.
2. Going too low can also put you in a spot where you can’t afford to take the job, yet can’t afford to turn the job down. This is especially true for job candidates who offer low-end figures out of desperation and in hopes of getting the job. This rarely leads to a happy work situation. In such scenarios, you lose your worth and it could take double the amount of time to build a steady relationship with your boss.
There is nothing as a good or a bad answer when answering the 'what are your salary expectations' question. The interviewer wants to know the plans of the candidates that have applied for that particular role. In order to tackle the salary part well, it is good to choose a middle ground where you neither show yourself too free nor boast about a million career plans. For example, if you have applied for the role of a software engineer, a good way to answer your back up plan is to say that you could apply to different organizations for the same role. The interviewer may not agree to pay you a higher salary if you say that you do not have any other option other than the job you are applying for or give away a list of 10 things that you plan to do.
1. Specify a fixed percentage of increase in salary from your previous company. For example - A 25% hike in salary for a similar role that has been calculated in alignment with experience and qualification.
2. Specify the salary bracket as per market standards.
3. “I really need more information about the job before we start to discuss salary. I’d like to postpone that discussion until later. Maybe you could tell me what is budgeted for the position, and how your commission structure works.” Such a response works well during the initial rounds of the interview when you are still conversing informally with your employer and haven't proved your worth as yet.
4. A good answer to push back the salary desired question on them is to try and know more about their salary structure and the process to review performance. It is important to seek all that information to be able to analyze their overall salary package.
5. For those who want work experience at the organization, accepting the proposed salary is a good way to move forward. This clearly indicates to the employer the intention of the candidate, which is to learn.