The Best Answer to “What’s Your Expected Salary?”

The Best Answer to “What’s Your Expected Salary?”


Hey, everybody, it’s Andy back for another
week to help you build a career you love. Today, we’re going to talk about the best
answer to what’s your expected salary? Tell me. Who doesn’t love getting this question right
out of the gate when they get into an interviewing process? I know it’s a rough one. I get this question every week during my live
office hours. I get countless comments on my blog and on
the YouTube channel about this. I know it’s frustrating. I know it makes you nervous, and I know a
lot of people out there worry about actually giving a number, and you should. You should worry about it. Today, what we’re going to do is I’m going
to give you the exact script, so you can worry no more. I’m going to tell you why you should use this
script. I’m going to tell you the mistakes people
make, and why your thinking is likely wrong on how to approach this. Let’s talk about this a little bit with some
of the new laws that are coming into effect. I know, in a number of countries, now also
in the United States, there are a number of states and cities, who prevent employers from
asking you what you earn, so what your current compensation is. While I’m sure that that will continue to
grow in the number of countries, and states and cities will adopt that law, one thing
that I don’t think will go away is employers asking you what your expected salary is. Hey, how much do you want to earn? Here’s what I advise. Number one, first thing, is under no circumstances
do I ever want you to actually give them a number. Why? Well, number one, first thing about this is
it’s uneducated. You do not know what it’s like to work there,
what you’ll get to do, who you get to do it with, the training and development opportunities,
the vacation, the benefits, the benefit costs, all of those things. It’s very difficult for you to hit the nail
on the head by giving them a number, especially this early in the process. The second thing is I don’t want you to worry. There is not a recruiter in the world who
determines whether you get hired or what you get paid. The hiring officials do that, I mean, unless
the recruiter is the hiring official or the HR person is the hiring official. I don’t want you to worry about that, because
they’re not ultimately going to determine what you’re going to get paid, even if they
give you a guideline as to what the position pays. I don’t want you to worry about that upfront. The other thing is I don’t want you to actually
give a number, because you might either aim too low, in which case you’re setting their
expectations that your expectations are low, even though they might be willing to pay you
more, or you price yourself out because you went too high. The one thing that the recruiter can do in
the beginning of the process is knock you out, but the recruiter won’t knock you out
if they really like your background and you don’t provide a number. You might be thinking, well, maybe I can give
them a range. Well, that might be nice, but if I’m the hiring
official and you give me a range and you say, �Andy, I’d like to earn between $80,000
and $100,000,� what do you think I heard? I heard $80,000. What were you thinking? $100,000. You’re still giving them a low number, probably
lower than they would be willing to pay, so ranges aren’t really great either, because
those are still uneducated. They’re likely to anchor on your low number,
when you mentally are thinking about your high number. Ranges don’t work much, either. What I would rather you do is, when you are
approached with that question, I’d like you to say, �While compensation is important
to me, I really want to look at the entire value of working at your company: what I get
to do, who I get to do it with, the training opportunities, the career advancement opportunities,
the benefits, the vacation, and all of the other things that go along with working at
your organization. I’m excited to learn about those in the interviewing
process, and toward the end I would be able to give you a much better idea of what it
is that I would expect in terms of my salary, based on all those other factors. At the moment, to give you any kind of estimate
would be uneducated on my part. I look forward to investigating those areas,
and I look forward to starting the interview process.�
You might be thinking, well, that’s evasive, and they’re going to be upset if I don’t actually
give them a number. What’s actually going to happen if you don’t
give them a number is you’re going to effectively position yourself to earn a lot of points
throughout the process and make a more educated decision at the end. What’s going to happen transactionally at
that moment, which most people do not realize, is if you’ve got the goods, if your resume’s
in order, you are right for this position, and they are ultimately going to want to hire
you. That recruiter, if you don’t provide an expected
salary, if it’s a big deal to the recruiter or it’s a big deal to the hiring official,
that recruiter will turn to the hiring official and say, �I like this person’s background. They really didn’t want to advise on what
it was that they expected in the way of compensation,� and the hiring official’s going to say, �Get
them in here so we can interview her.� That’s what they’ll say. The reason I know that is I was a hiring official
for many, many years. I would always tell the recruiters, �Don’t
ask what their expected salary is. It’s silly for you to ask that, because they’ll
give you an uneducated answer,� but some of the recruiters insisted on asking the question,
because they wanted to have an idea of whether or not they should get you into the process. Every time that the smart candidate didn’t
provide the number, the recruiter would turn to me and say, �Andy, what do we do?�
I would say, �That person looks fantastic on paper. Get her here, so we can interview her.�
I don’t want you to worry about that. It’s really … You think that they’re going
to play hardball with you, but they’re not. It’s better to just talk about how you want
to look at the entire opportunity, and that compensation is one part. All right, if you’d like more about this particular
subject, I go into a number of different areas throughout the interviewing process in one
of my live office hours, called �Why You Don’t Get Paid What You Deserve.� Check
that out. There’s much more information about how to
handle this, as you submit your application, in your first call with your boss, and as
you tee up the opportunity to get that offer from the employer, and what to do and how
to position yourself to get paid what you deserve. If you liked this, click the thumbs up. Make sure you are subscribed to my YouTube
channel, so you can get these weekly videos and also be alerted when I go live on Thursdays. Every week, I go live on my YouTube channel
on Thursdays. I don’t want you to miss that, if you’ve got
some questions for me. It gives us a chance to engage on a deeper
level, helps me know you better and coach you better. Make sure you’re subscribed. Until next week, have a great one.

100 thoughts on “The Best Answer to “What’s Your Expected Salary?”

  • Folks, this video is now public and open for business! Please let me know what is ailing your job search! Also, make sure to SUBSCRIBE to my channel so you can stay up to date on new videos every Tuesday AND Sunday AND Thursday as well as my WEEKLY (YES! WEEKLY!) LIVE OFFICE HOURS SESSIONS every Thursday. Hope to see you there!

  • After that they will offer you half the salary you expected. Companies ask what if we can only give you 15k but you expect it to be 25k. But then you replied like that.

    Companies be like *okay 15k is a deal"

    like wtf?

  • Idgaf abt the package i want a few million but i am willing to work with you to make it possible my bills dont care abt no package just the cash

  • Thank you for this post! Well on the some website they require you to put it in a suggested or a requested hey what do I do because I don’t think it lets me move forward unless I’ve put in that estimated pay on zip recruiter on monster on indeed or any other website when you go to apply electronically online

  • Fantastic way to handle that question. You can still refer to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and look at the average salary for that position and compare your qualifications to the most common prerequisites for the job and come into the interview educated. I still agree with not giving them a number right off the bat, but it doesn't necessarily mean you'd be shooting from the hip.

  • I usually ask back something like “my salary is negotiable and depending on the job description, what is the salary You are offering for this job”?

    Not answering and not reaching a number is often theoretical and unrealistic, and yes it may lead to the recruiter being annoyed and your application dismissed for being a “smart ass” if you do not say it in the most professional and complete way. And people here looking to learn how to manage interviews will probably not be able to do that.

    If my suggestion does not work, and it can work and is harmless even if it does not, then actually ask more questions about the job description, the benefits and all what you need to know and give a salary estimation that you expect higher than your last salary. I would go way higher and add that it is negotiable. Instead of going for an average or low expectation and risk a low salary offer.

  • The last job interview i had asked this same question so i just answered i've had no concrete idea at that point and i'll figure it out when an offer comes up. It was a blunt answer but i got a good deal and i've been staying in the company for the longest time.

  • I’m sweating bullets here!! I did not give a number at the phone screen and even after the interview and the talent acquisition guy is frustrated with me. But I held my ground because I know my stock is the highest. So I told them to take their time figuring it out and get back to me with a fair offer so we’ll have something to talk about.
    I’m trusting this process Andy!!! I was so ready to give them a range!!

  • Interviews are so fake. I usually do well on them, but it's all scripted bullshit.

    Keeping it real and saying how you feel should be the best way to take an interview.

  • Online Job applications for full time positions ask for the annual salary you want BEFORE you get an interview…

  • Great advise, but actually I know of a country where that answer will make the interviewer or hiring official take you out, and that is Chile. I'm an inmigrant in Chile and as soon as I arrived I tryed to find job, well I'm and engineer but still an inmigrant so I went for common inmigrant jobs while my papers got in order and I could start looking for more professional jobs. Well interviews haven't even started yet and all you could find asked for a resume and you spected salary, my answer at first was "well I don't exactly know what I'm going to be doing or the benefits of the company, so I would love to know more and give you an much closer stimate"… Those jobs didn't bother to call, I then talked to an interviewer, personal friend of mine, and he told me that the first filter they use in Chile is the spected salary, if you push it to high you are out even before they read your resume. And well I started to shoot arrows of salaries and some interviews appeared and when I was there and they asked for my spected salary, well as soon as I answer similar to my comment above they didn't know what to do, they pushed me to have to say an spected salary or the interview was over, they even once told me they didn't understand what was I asking of them, because it's a job and they want to know how much money I want to make.

  • I usually bring in my engineering societies survey of previous year average salary and salaries depending on experience and PE licensing. If you can’t at least match that. We don’t even need to go through the STAR interview questions. Last interview I told them you have my resume, let’s cut the crap. I’m not doing the STAR questions. You are going to hire who you like the most. Let’s not waste each other’s time. Shortest interview. Got the job. Nice raise.

  • If you go to store and everything has price tag on it why cant employing companies put put a price on their position publicly on the job advert site so i can decide if i want to look into that position at all?

  • I always reply: 'First you tell me what you want to pay, then we both have a laugh about it, and then I'll tell you what you'll pay'.

  • I watched this video last night in preparation for my HR phone interview this morning. I followed your advice 100% when I was asked, “how much are you looking to make?” I explained how I did not want to make an uneducated answer and the recruiter followed up with, “what are the 3 things you value other than compensation?” Thank you for this video and great advice!!!

  • I’ve always said something like, “I expect to make roughly $1000,000 a year – but I’m willing to negotiate.“

  • Hello Sir,
    I'm Omkar Pendse from India.
    In India, interviewers generally ask this question after completing the interview process. So in most of the cases, the candidate usually get all information about his job profile, his career advancements etc. In such case how should we answer this question?
    Please guide us!

  • This might be a long one considering how often i encountered applicants who do this.

    This might only work if it's for your first job. For very important jobs that require experience, remember that you are NOT dispensable. Companies only choose to lose an employee if their continued employment costs more than what they bring to the table. That's the ONLY time you BECOME dispensable.

    We conduct interviews to validate experience and competence, and asking expected salaries is part of that. Applicants need to stop thinking theres a bullseye on the company to aim for.

    If there ever was one, the only bullseye you wanna look for is to make the salary, at the very least, give you comfortable living conditions, but that SHOULD be a given.

    If an applicant is experienced, giving a range is better, albeit the minimum being what is expected for the job vis a vis their compentence and then adding a bit more. Applicants should already be aware of what the job theyre applying for is, and therefore know how qualified they are for it.

    Not having any idea about what the responsibilities the job entails would not only make applicants uncomfortable during interviews, but also may strain them on their first few weeks/months; both of which can make or break their continued employment.

    We generally find it much more uneducated to not be able to provide a range because it implies that the applicant is unaware of their competence even after the questions we've asked and hints that they haven't done this for long enough to have an objective grasp of how much this type of job usually makes. For important positions, it's a PR nightmare to hire someone who doesnt know what theyre doing. Not to mention we get our asses chewed if the employee we hired is inept.

    Asking your expected salary is like asking to rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 while being able to transition it to an offer. "Think youre a 7? Good, youre humble and is open for improvement but we think youre an 8 so we'll give you this much."

    "Think youre a 9, but dont know what enterprise solutions are? Oh well, i had supposed we can train you given your resume but we dont think we can expect a great deal from you. Training plus a few months worth below expected performance…the price of 4 be alright? I suppose not."

    If those sounded rude, disheartening and out of place to you, then you have a good sense of how to keep things professional.

    Although not my opinion, many companies consider it a waste of time, too, which i suppose is why you specifically state "if youve got the goods, if your resume is in order".

    Having confidence is good but there's a thin line between confidence and arrogance, and what as a recruiter needs to be looking for is what i call "objective confidence"–confidence borne from their knowledge of the job and their capacity to perform it and not a facade they put up in an interview or because they dont have the skillset to accurately measure themselves.

    New hires who do this generally have a tendency to not make the cut while other qualified ones jump ship and move on as soon as a new offer comes up because they thought we offered them the lowest we could and therefore felt undercompensated, and now we cant make adjustments because the finance department has already approved the targets we gave for the year.

    Good companies would always want to attract and employ capable employees for longer periods of time and theres no better method of doing that than providing good compensation.

    Youre right, we dont like to play hardball because it's an absolute waste of time. Ranges give both parties a sense of control which makes them stick with each other longer and fosters a healthier long-term relationship.

    While this process might've worked for your company(ies), it more often ends up bad for others and isnt advisable for both parties.

    So while you have a point, there are also advantages in providing a concrete answer and it's important people arent jarred and unprepared when they are pressed for one

  • What’s your expected salary?
    Should be answered with – are you offering me a position?
    If they aren’t offering you the job, there’s no reason to be talking money.

  • what salary do i expect? take what you are making and add 50%, that's what I'll accept, otherwise you are wasting my time…

  • So i've fcked up my interview because i did said the range of salary i am willing to negotiate. Thank you for this guide tho. And it make sense now that i did not hear any follow up interviews from them. Best is to move on.

  • Thank you. I feel more convenient about that question undoubtedly. I would like to add my personal, i can work out stock, electricity, wages and todays tomorrows take along with how long it will take this

  • Ok, had an interview today and as much as I thought it was risky to use your script, and I’ve never done it before, I said it. WOW! It bloody works 💥 the response was mind blowing. The recruiter didn’t even hesitate, he said that it was perfectly understandable, really like my thinking. He then said you know the role we’ve been discussing I’m sure you would be an ideal candidate, I have no hesitation in putting you into the final cut, however……… I actually think you would be better suited to the senior executive role that we haven’t yet advertised, and I will be putting you forward for that. You were so right! They love my resume, they want to put me forward and I’m on notice for a face to face interview in our capital. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou !!

  • I agree partly, but once you get the offer and if it’s low you should negotiate. During 2 interview process a recruiter and a hiring manager asked me the range, and I got more than I expected and the offer as well. They were also people who joined who got a higher salary package than me because they negotiated well.
    If you don’t get what you deserve, then you will be dissatisfied and will be constantly looking for your next job, especially if there’s n’t any growth potential in that company.

  • Great video! What are your tips for handling this question via an online application? A) what if the field only allows a short bit of text B) what if the field only allows a number?

  • What if they have already announced the salary while posting for the job vacancy then asking this question?

  • I’ve never heard this but Jeez this makes so much sense. Many x’s I’ve been asked this question and every time I felt obligated to give a range. Not anymore. My thank you was my subscription to your channel. ✍🏿🕵🏾‍♀️

  • I’ve danced around this a lot anytime employers ask me this. Recruiters have drilled me on it and ultimately I was not moved on in the process. I don’t know if it’s just a me thing but yeah

  • I think this advice is only suitable for people who do not have a job when they are looking. I always give a certain number. So I won’t waste my time on going to the last round and the manager can not afford me eventually.

  • Here’s my advice for a win win and no BS..

    Interviewer: what’s your expected salary?

    Me: Well what’s the position budgeted for?

    Beats around the bush and that way there’s the potential of making more then what you would have asked for!

  • I have applied for many positions that a expected salary is part of the application and must be filled out to submit the application

  • I did this at a recent interview and because they liked my CV, I progressed to a 2nd intvu.
    Got asked same question at 2nd intvu and said the same (ish).
    Also, said salary had to be win-win.
    Interview lasted 2 hours and am starting as a freelancer this month for us both to see if we work well together.
    In the meantime, have been offered some great training for free.
    At the same time, I'm giving them a 20% discount on the market rate for my service.
    Win-win.

  • I tried this and hit a wall. I was asked what are your salary expectations via email from the hiring manager right after submitting my resume.

    I answered: My salary expectations are negotiable. I look forward to learning more about the job and your firm during the interview process, and then I will be able to give you a better idea of what I expect in terms of salary.

    Hiring manager replied: As I understand compensation is a tricky conversation, my question is what are your base requirements. You can go as far as to say I would like XXXXX but have a floor of XXXX. This does not lock you into a specific set salary but if your compensation requirements are outside the band for this position it would be best to know that for both parties so that time is not arbitrarily wasted in the selection process.

    What now? If I don't give a range, I think he will just throw my resume in the circular file or label me as "difficult." At least it is the weekend now, but I am going to have to answer him by Monday.

  • How to deal with online application that doesn’t allow a blank or anything other than a number? Can’t submit without filling it out.

  • Hey Andrew, thank you for the informative videos. I was wondering if you had any advice for job seekers who unfortunately have a criminal record.

  • I work on IT… have been paid 50-55k using this technique for the last 4 years.
    Then one day I didn't like the company, and for the recruiter reject me i said, "looking for at least 75k" they gave me a offer later 30min later… since then my life changed lol

  • I hate that question, but years ago I was trained by a staffing agency to answer the question like you suggest. Some recruiters seemed okay with that and some would really want to know the expected or previous salary. One recruiter really would not relent but I stuck to my training and did not reveal. After getting that job and learning how much I was going to get paid that recruiter still wanted to know what my previous salary was. I told him and he said, "Wow. You're new salary is a significant increase."

  • In all of my past interviews, they have asked me how much I expect to be paid and how much I was paid at my last job.

  • I think it depends on the recruiter and the company, if I've been ghosted by a company based on the salary range and provided then they were not the right company for me but I also think this is a good strategy as well

  • I think, the "never" give a number is not always good. My friend was asked this question during an interview and answered similar to as what the guy said, but the interviewer raised her eyebrow and said, "lets get to the point and not beat around the bush". Maybe the reason for this is the budget for the position. So it really depends on the recruiter. Sometimes its good, sometimes its not. I was always asked with this question during my interviews. I always give a range and never give any other answer. I have had 5 interviews in the past and 4 of them gave me an offer. Though I still chose the company that has better reviews. Btw, I work as a web and mobile app developer. 🙂

  • I have arrived to final recruitment step which is offering process, but the HR asks me first to complete form which covers my current salary and benefit, as well as my expected salary and benefit. What should I do?

  • Hey Andy, so I got asked this the other day and have an interview tomorrow. I made the mistake and answered! I didn’t comes across this video and your channel until yesterday. What do I do now that I already gave them a number?

  • oh my God im seeing this vid too late unfortunately, i got asked that question this Thuesday, my answer was like what do u have to offer… lol😂 he said u say, then i thinked a bit and i gave him a price tag, but at the end i asked him if there are any possibilities for me to grow and advance cuz that's what matters for me, carrier's growth first then the money comes in second place, i asked him what does it take to get higher in position, mean promotions, also if they have training guaranteed for me i hope this compensate for what i said before because he noted the price tag i gave him on my resume 😂
    what are you thoughts Sir?

  • Ok I agree with you 100% but when Indeed.com or another job board website asks that and it's a mandatory question to proceed, then what would you suggest?

  • But what if you still have put up expected salary example in a an application form? Is it wrong if we left it blank? Worst in online application, you do not fill in this part, yet this part where expected salary range does not exist, you hv to put up a certain exact numbers, if not, you cant even send your application. I do agree with what you hv said.

  • What would you suggest in situations when we go through entire interview process and at the end the company's max budget is less than your current salary. In that case your whole day is gone. I am asking this as this has happened with me recently.

  • I'm putting a application at Us cellular and on the application there's a question asking What is your expected annual commission i dont know what to put I need help

  • Could go both ways, hiring managers may have a tight budget…I know firms that won't even request interviews if candidates do not provide their salary range. Last thing everyone wants is for them to meet last steps just to find out the candidate is 20-30k over budget. Most decision maker rarely have time to step out for an hour to interview someone they know they can't potentially afford

  • on my first interview i already tell that what's my expected salary. Tomorrow is my final interview.. what should i answer in this question? thanks

  • – How was your job interview yesterday?

    – Well, I entered the office, found a man sitting on a large black leather chair with feet resting on the table…

    He pointed towards his Laptop, asked me to take it and go outside, then come back and try to sell him the laptop.. He thought himself as actor Leonardo Di Caprio of "The Wolf of Wall Street" movie..

    So I took the laptop and left..

    – Left…!! Then what?

    – Nothing 30 minutes later he called me up… begging me to return his laptop to him coz all his work and important documents were in it..

    So I asked him: Will you buy it ??

  • Weirdly, my latest employer asked instead how much I got paid from my previous company before them. They set it as a bar and offered higher. Idk

  • This has been a frustrating situation for me. There have been a LOT of job sites or even company sites where I send in a resume on their site and they demand that I give a salary range or I cannot submit my application. What should I do? Call the company and see if I can't apply another way? I also am pretty sure that they also use such a value to weed out candidates because they know the budget for the position ahead of time. Thx -Mandi

  • I gave a number and make more than my colleagues who have been with the company for a while, and if I waited for them to offer, they likely would have offered what my colleagues make. That said, I realize my situation is not everyone's and maybe I was lucky that I didn't ask too much

  • This is exactly what I did… and as a result I was not even considered as an applicant. I submitted my CV and Covering Letter, next day got an email response to specify my salary expectation, I responded the way you suggested and a week later they responded that as they were unable to confirm my expectation, they just proceed to the next stage of the process with the other candidates and thanked my application. Employers ask this question for a reason and stick to what they want as they do not mind you personally. Some companies accept only online apps where you cannot avoid answering the question and then automatically filter out those out of their range. It is better to say a figure after some research than not being considered at all. I was the 'perfect fit' for the role.

  • I think that this question is a psychological trick for most of the time and it should be answered. You should show them confidence and how much you value your self, so say what are your expectations but don't forget to mention that the expectation is based on current information you have about job and the company. Try to find a middle ground and show them that you are ready for negotiation.

  • You can use this website https://www.quanwei.tech to find how much the companies pay other hires/new employees.

  • I usually ask a few people in the company what they earn for similar position-types and base it off of that.
    The company almost always presents the company name in the search, and the position-name, so it makes it easy to find.

  • This question is representative of a fundamental flaw in the recruiting process. The employer doesn't want to give a number or range because they want to get someone for the lowest possible amount. The candidate doesn't want to give a number due to pricing themselves out of consideration or undervaluing themselves. The end result is both sides potentially wasting their time throughout the entire process if their compensation requirements are not in alignment.

    How I respond to this question depends on how much I want the position. If I really want the position, I will play it strategically as suggested in the video. If I am currently happy in my position and a recruiter approaches me, I will be upfront in what I expect, particularly if I think they can't match my current compensation. In scenario #2, I would rather be eliminated if they can't meet my compensation requirements than waste my valuable time jumping through recruitment hoops.

  • $10 mil, but will negotiate. Actually used that and it worked. They know it’s a stupid question. Stupid questions get stupid answers.

  • Your answer wont work, its evasive. Hiring managers work with a budget and they want weed out candidates who want a lot even if they have an amazing background.

  • With the salary range being so broad I have been offered positions and was totally excited until they told me the salary which I then declined. I find it necessary to actually give a salary range in order for the company to know whether they are able to meet my expectations. If the position is paying 35000.00 and my minimum is 50000.00 we are waisting each other's time

  • Working in HR I already know the salary range which we have budgeted for a position. In my field that range is narrow. So no matter how much we like this person there is no room for negotiation. We just move in to the next applicant

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