What are your salary expectations

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


In the current climate, this is a hugely important question, it is essential not to overprice or under price yourself, you ask for too much and you could ruin your chances, ask for too little and you could end up frustrated that you could have gotten more or judged under qualified because it's too low. The following are some tips to help you secure a higher starting salary.

It’s crucial to research the company and salary range for the position you are applying for. Know your competitive value, do some research online or speak to industry contacts and find out the pay range for the type of role that you are applying for taking into consideration your background and experience. Have a salary range in mind and be prepared to discuss these figures once salary negotiation has come up. 

Know what you are willing to compromise on. Before the interview, be aware of what your minimum salary must be to support the life that you want to live, in other words, what are your priorities? Are you willing to make a short term sacrifice for a long term goal, are you willing to take a lesser salary for a better work life balance, and are you willing to take a smaller salary as it is a great company where you can develop your career? 

Consider factors other than salary such as learning new marketable skills, travel prospects and learning opportunities, will these lead ultimately to a higher salary? 

If your potential employer is not willing to negotiate on salary are there other elements of the package that you can negotiate on such as benefits or bonus. 

In order to be able to negotiate on salary an interviewer needs to first understand your worth. Ensure that you are clear on your strengths and achievements to date and what you have to bring to the role. Be specific in terms of achievements in interview as this will highlight your expertise and show how you can add value to the organization as in some cases the hiring manager has discretionary power to negotiate to get an exceptional candidate. 

Delay discussing salary for as long as possible, allow the interviewer to bring it up as the goal is to avoid salary conversations until an offer is on the table as at that stage the employer has decided that they want you and may be more open to negotiating. 

When asked about salary expectations a good approach is the following; 
This is a role that I am really interested in and if you were to make me a fair offer than I would be more than happy to accept or ask what is the salary bracket that they have in mind? If pushed to discuss your salary requirements, tell them your requirements depend on a variety of factors including health benefits, bonuses, and training and advancement opportunities. Then give a wide range. 

Finally, if an offer is made, thank them and advise them that you will need to take time to consider the offer. 

Carmel Morrissey is a Career Coach with Clearview Coaching Group one of Irelands leading career coaching consultancies set up in 2004 to work with people who experience career disappointment and specialises in providing Interview Coaching Serviceswww.clearviewcoachgroup.com