Interview Q&A

HR Interview Question: How Much Salary Do You Expect?

Last Updated on Apr 06, 2023

The best way to answer this question in an interview.

Going for an interview prepared is one thing, but when you get in it’s your salary expectations that should be met. This is the primary question you’ll be asked once you are in for the job. This question is indeed a positive sign that your interview went well, and the interviewer is looking ahead to see what are your further expectations. You are most likely to get the job you wanted.

Here, in this article,  you will get to know about what they mean by asking your salary expectation question, how to prepare before appearing for an interview, and most importantly, how you should answer it with given examples. 

But the question arises, why does the interviewer ask this question?

Why does the recruiter ask you about your salary expectation?

There are several reasons why recruiters ask you “What are your salary expectations” in the hiring process. They could ask this question before your interview in an application form, or this could take place during the finalizing process.

No matter the case this question is something that you must know how to answer. But before that let’s see what could be the possible reason for asking such a question in an interview.

1. They have a fixed budget for a role that you’re hired for:

Every company runs on a budget that is fixed according to their capital. Hence, knowing that they calculate each and every employee’s paycheck in order to maintain the company’s finance. 

Before hiring you they have an average idea of what they could provide you for a particular role. But it is also important for them to want to know what you are looking for, and how the company could provide you as per your potential and the role you would play.

2. They want to check if you know your worth:

Most companies are looking for employers who are aware of their potential. They want an employee who is clear about what their plans are for the future.  

They would want if you were to put in a place you should know how much work you have to put in and as per the work how much should you be asking.

3. They want to check if you are appropriate for the role you have asked for:

Recruiters are the people whose primary work is to check on your potential and see if you are the right fit for their company. 

Hence, by asking you about your salary expectations they could see if it matches the role you are looking for.

4. They want to compare your demand with what they could provide you:

As discussed in the first point, companies have an average budget on which it runs. Therefore they have to make a decision if your placement along with your potential, could fit in the companies pay range. To check if your demands are valid, they compare whether you are capable of doing the work they put in.

How to prepare for this answer before the interview?

It can be stressful when you are uncertain about where to start. But don’t worry, this section is going to tell you how to prepare for answering what you are expecting in terms of monetary basis.

  • Do your research prior

Before appearing for an interview research about what is the average salary you would get for a company you are applying to. Research on what is the job description.

Websites like Glassdoor, Monster, Indeed, and many other such websites will give you a detailed description of the job you’re looking for, with the average salary you could expect. 

Compare your work and payment balance. If you are applying for a place as a software engineer, for example, do your thorough research on what work you’d be doing as per the company’s needs. 

Analyze between the work and the salary they are offering within that role. And if required, you may use those points while asking for the salary.

  • Compare the salary of the same level in different companies

Compare and evaluate the salary variation among different companies. This way you’d know if the company you are applying to is doing a fair trade when it comes to taking care of their employee.

 Also by doing so, you may get an idea to know what salary expectations to keep when answering this question.

  • Practice:  

Remember, your answer will have a huge difference with and without practicing for it. And it can drastically change your potential to convince the recruiter. To have an effluent speech while asking for a salary will make you look confident and promising in your words. Which in result will get you the pay range you wish. 

Additional Read: Learn to answer the interview question: What is your current salary?

Stay true to yourself and your interviewers. Lying is fallacious.
You may find it easy to describe something randomly, but what if they ask
another related question?

How to answer when asked about your salary expectation?


Answering your salary expectation without knowing is like going on a trip to goa without knowing the route, you may know where to reach and what to expect there but you don’t have any idea about how much it costs for the trip.

There is a way in which you can answer these questions let’s look at each of them one by one:-

  • Start with the reasoning

Share your strong points, like, how good you are at your work and communication.  Show that whatever you are demanding is valid because you’re worthy of it. You cannot expect the interviewer to trust you with what you have written in your application form, you must act on it and be genuine. Give valid reasons on what you’re asking for is exactly the right amount.

  • Tell them the expected pay range

While asking for the salary expectation, the interviewer wants you to have numbers in your mind. Therefore you must check the salaries other people get for a desired role before appearing for an interview. 

Do not say the exact amount, provide a pay range. This means to tell them the average salary you are expecting and keep the number you want somewhere in the middle. 

 In this way, you are giving them a chance to think broader and you are most likely to get a pay offer that is probably higher than expected. 

  • Be open to negotiation

 I know it is disappointing sometimes when you don’t get the amount you’re expecting. But you should be flexible. as well as know how to negotiate. Do not be rigid when it comes to salary.

For example, When you are offered a salary lower than expected you should give them valid points to increase the pay range. ( Use first paragraph points). Do not adjust for the amount they are offering if you feel you deserve more. 


The following are examples for answering, “What are your salary expectations?”

Example 1:

“While I am certainly flexible, I am looking to receive between 7-9 LPA due to my skill set and experience level. I feel that this is a comfortable and appropriate range for my work. However, I am open to the flexible arrangements that could be done given the company’s expectations. 

Example 2:

“My baseline salary requirement is 9 LPA. I feel that the value and expertise I can bring to this role supports my compensation expectations. Is this in line with your thoughts?”

Example 3:

“Thank you for asking. I feel that an annual salary between 10-12 LPA is in line with the industry average, which in addition reflects my skills and experience level well. That being said, My rich background in client services specific to this industry can play a role in strengthening the organization. I am, however, flexible and open to hearing about the company’s compensation expectations for this position.”

Avoid doing these mistakes before telling about your salary expectations

  • Lack of knowledge: Not knowing what pay range you’d likely to get for a certain placement is as useless as getting into a college just because you want a graduate degree. Lack of knowledge or information about the pay range can result in getting a job that has more work and less pay. You might get the payment of your choice after a much longer time.
  • No Practice: Going for an interview without practice is like taking a big risk. You would stumble in between the sentences, which is likely to make you look nervous and less confident. You can’t answer your views on the salary and other needs in the job that you’d want, without practice. 
  • Asking for the exact amount of money: Never ask the recruiter for the exact amount of money. You can tell them about the pay range that you’re expecting. And you can add the salary you had in your mind in that pay range. There is a possibility that you might get a higher salary than you expected.
  • Demanding too high: It is always important to know what your capabilities are and how much salary you are asking for. Demanding too high from an industry average could result in you getting out of that position. 

Tips to follow for better communicating your salary expectation

  • Be confident: Confidence is the key to any communication. Remember to stay confident while talking. It is a fact when you say things with confidence you are more likely to convince the listener. Therefore it becomes one of the most important characteristics to have for your professional life. Especially when it comes to asking for a salary you deserve.
  • Show clarity: Saying things with confidence and clarity are two of the most attractive things you can have. Tell them what it is that you are expecting from the company and why. Do not beat around the bush or tell them some random stories, come to a statement that convinces the interviewer.
  • Research: Without proper research,  you cannot expect to get the salary or for that matter any placement of your choice. Therefore, you need to research the  job you are applying for, the company you want to enroll in, and most importantly the salary that’s paid to an employee working in the same position.
  • Explain your reasoning: Just because you are a software engineer or a researcher from a reputed college doesn’t make you qualified to get the salary of your choice. You must know the skills you own and be capable of explaining that to the recruiter is what will get you the paycheck you are looking for.


Knowing your potential and getting the desired paycheck in a job is very crucial. There are times when a person with good qualifications is not able to get the salary he/she deserves just because they simply don’t know how to ask for it. Therefore learning how to ask for your needs is as equally important as getting a job. 

Having an idea about the salary you want makes the recruiter know that you’re not undervaluing yourself or not going over the value of the market. Henceforth, being honest with yourself and the recruiter about your demands would make things clear if you are aligned with the job or not, and would most likely give you the results better than you expect.