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How do you answer what are your salary expectations

How do you answer what are your salary expectations
Answering questions in an interview

How to answer: what are your salary expectations

If you are appearing for an interview be sure that the question what are your salary expectation for this position, is going to be put up sooner or later. The only exception is when you goof up the interview and get a response “we will get back to you.” If we twist the question slightly and ask – what is your desired salary expectation, we might start thinking differently. This is because we allow our desires to soar into the dream world and we may ask for the moon. The smart interviewers put up the question – what is your minimum salary expectation for this position? Thus, they eliminate any wishful thinking that you have.

What is your salary expectation as a fresher? Here your domain has been defined by the interviewer. You are fresh from the college and appearing for a campus interview or for a company interview after graduation or certification. Most of the companies have predefined entry level compensation and they keep it uniform. All you can do is to find out about the compensation that people from your college got when they joined this company. Even if you answer for what is your salary expectation with a higher figure you will be politely told what you will get. At the most, they will tell you about the future prospects if you stay with the company for a longer duration.

Negotiating the starting salary

Negotiating the starting salary with the interviewer

What is your starting salary expectation? The question is for the candidates who have done well in the interview and are moving from a smaller company to a professional one or an MNC. They have noticed your calibre and would like to retain you. You will be offered a salary package and you can bargain a bit on that. Instead of a basic salary of say INR 6000 you may be able to get INR 6100 to 6200. That’s it and do not let greed overpower you.

Best answer for interview question what is your salary expectation: Do some market research and find out the average salary and the maximum salary drawn at the level you are being interviewed for. Such information is available on job portals like What is your salary expectation question can be answered with a figure that is above average but below the maximum drawn at that level. If the average salary is INR 50000 and maximum salary if INR78000 for say a Manager in the FMCG companies, the answer to what is your expectation of salary is INR60000. If you have done exceedingly well at the interview ask for INR65000.

what is your desired salary expectation

A person who has got a good salary package

What is your salary package expectation? This question is normally put at higher levels where a sizeable chunk of the salary goes into taxation. The package expectation for the individual candidate is perks and reimbursements in order to reduce taxation loss. Another way to look at the question what is your expectation regarding salary package is the in-hand component. If given the choice opt for the maximum monthly in-hand salary rather that the annual payments and variable pays.

What is your monthly salary expectation in UAE Dirhams

Salary in UAE Dirhams

What is your monthly salary expectation in UAE Dirhams? A job that requires you to move out of the company has to be evaluated from all angles including the salary part. You will have to find out from friends and colleagues working in the foreign land as to what all you can get as a part of your monthly salary. You may find that you will be easily offered a salary that is 2 to 5 times your current salary in Indian Rupees. But remember what you will be spending in UAE would be in Dirhams and may be higher than your cost of living in India. Weigh all the pros and cons and give good answers to what are your salary expectations.

Answering interview question on salary expectations

The candidate describing his current salary expectations

What are your current salary expectations? Whether you like it or not, the interviewer is going to link your last drawn salary to your expectations. Even if the average market rate for the Manager position is INR 50000, but you are drawing only INR 30000 currently, a stretch figure for you would be INR 40000 or roughly a 30% jump from the existing levels.

By now you must be clear on how to answer what are your salary expectations for this role. We have covered a number of situations here and you will find that the answers change accordingly. The crux lies in deciphering the intent of the interviewer when he asks the question what are your salary expectations for your next position. There is no harm in clarifying and putting forth your point of view before giving the figure for salary expectation to him.

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The author is a veteran of the Indian automobile industry having spent more than 30 years there. The articles are based on the experience and learnings gathered during the course of his career. The writing is also interspersed with the advances and change ideas influencing the careers of the people.


  1. I always get nervous at the end of the interview when the question of salary expectation comes up. I fear losing the offer in case I demand a higher salary. Due to this fear, I have ended up in salaries which are lower than my colleagues.
    This article has given me some confidence on how to put forth my salary demand and I can always back it up with statistics. Thank you for guiding through examples.

  2. I have just got an interview call from a company in the UAE. Good, that I read this article which has a reference to this country for the salary expectations. I already have a few friends working in Dubai and Qatar and I am going to ask them about the salary part and take their inputs. Thanks for the wonderful article.

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