How To Answer The Salary Question In An Interview
How To Answer The Salary Question In An Interview

How To Answer The Salary Question In An Interview

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One of the most difficult questions to be asked during a job interview is the salary expectation question, especially in a competitive and ever-evolving field like the life sciences.

During a job interview, this question is likely to be asked at some point. So, it’s essential to be ready for it. The way you respond to the question may affect how well you do in the interview.

Strategies to Pitch a Fair Figure

Since you’re applying for a position, it’s important to know how to put value on your skills and experience. When discussing compensation expectations, there are strategies to help you provide a fair price for you that is within the employer’s budget.

Research is Key

Research is the best way to determine your value and to make sure you’re going to suggest a fair salary range.

No matter what position you’re applying for, the salary expectation question will be asked, and the job interview is a chance to convince the recruiter or potential employer that you deserve it. To do this, you should figure out your salary expectations ahead of time.

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Begin your salary research by looking up your desired job title by name, location, and years of experience in free resources like,, Glassdoor, or the Department of Labor.

Use a Range

Apart from playing safe, providing an employer with an expected salary range can make it sound more flexible and negotiable.

Job seekers should provide a range when stating the salary expectation question, not a specific figure. Flexibility is something most employers appreciate, and it leaves room for adjustment. You and the recruiter can negotiate to reach a number that both of you can agree on.

By giving a range, you show that you know your value. Employers are impressed when jobseekers have researched about the position beforehand, showing dedication and preparation.

Always remember that some employers may opt for the lowest price in a range. Make sure to limit the range to a small gap and don’t go overboard with the lowest number in the range. Aim to keep the bottom of your range toward the mid-to-high point while reverting to the salary expectation question.

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Turn the question around.

If this question catches you off-guard during an interview, you can simply turn the question back around. Whether the salary question pops up during a phone interview or in person, you can flip the question – in a polite way.

You can ask, “I’d like to learn more about the role and duties before discussing money and salary. But may I ask what salary range you consider for this role?”.

When the salary expectation question is delivered politely, you’ll show that your priority is learning more about the role than how much you’re going to be paid.

If the hiring manager provides a range the company is willing to pay and it fits your expected salary range, thank them for sharing the information. If it’s less, you can hint that you’re willing to talk about the job, opening the door for negotiation.

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