May 25, 2022 | In Articles

How to answer,
'What is your expected salary?'

How to answer,
'What is your expected salary?'

Play this scene

You stop a taxi driver and ask him how much the fare is from one point to the other, and his response is, "how much will you give me?".

Anytime a taxi driver asks me this question, I get the impression that they don't know the general fare to the place.

I use that as an opportunity to name a price I am very comfortable with, even if sometimes I know deep down that it costs more.

I hit them with the "oh, I always pay x amount whenever I am going to this place" this most of the time works, and even when they go above the mentioned price, they don't go too high.

The inquiry concerning what you expect to be paid terrifies many job hopefuls. The question "What is your expected Salary?" is complicated.

The question "What is your expected Salary?" is complicated.

Like the scene you played, there's always the fear that you might undervalue the role and lose money if accepted at that rate. However, if you give an excessively high number, you risk being passed over for the next applicant.

This question could be the determinant of your acceptance and hence should not be answered in a rush. Take your time, and think it through. At the end of this article, you will know some appropriate ways to answer this question which does not include "how much will you give me." First, let's look at some rules that will help make answering the question less nerve-wracking.

1. Rule Number 1

Do your homework.

Before going into an interview, make sure you are well prepared. Being well prepared includes: knowing what people are earning for the role you have applied for in similar organizations, what benefits the company gives to its employees, the average wage of employees in your position in that company, and its financial situation.

Platforms like looksharp global are suitable for conducting such research. Knowing the monthly expenses this job will cost you is also vital. This rule is very non-negotiable because " If you fail to plan and research, you are actively planning to fail".


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2. Rule Number 2

Refer to rule number one.

How much should we pay you?

Now that you have obeyed all the rules let's look at a good strategy for answering the question.

When it gets to the point of the interview where they have served you the question, Play some table tennis. Bat the ball back into their territory.

You can say something along the lines of;

"I am very pleased that you are asking this at this time, it would be helpful, however, if you could share with me the range for this role".

How much should we pay you?

After the interviewers have given you a response, you can decide whether this range is good enough.

Before proposing a range, you should have determined your least, moderate and dream salary levels. This should be a part of your initial research before interview day.

Before proposing a range, you should have determined your least, moderate and dream salary levels.

This range should be informed by the market value for the role we are applying for and the financial health of the industry we are dealing with. Remember rule number 1!

Let us suppose our least acceptable salary is 10,000GHS and our highest is 15,000GHS.

Your lowest proposed range should start at the midpoint of this determined range, in our case, we are starting at GHS 12,500 and ending at GHS 15,000.

From further research, you can also estimate the firms budget for the role and juxtapose that with your proposed range. If the firm’s range could lie between 9,000GHS and 13,000GHS, then our proposed range of 12,500 to 15,000 is good enough.

Considering our firm-estimated salary range, our initial range will be satisfied even if the firm eventually offers below our proposed range.

Now, you can go ahead and say to your interviewer:

Given my experience and certifications, I am looking to make between 12,500 GHS to 15,000 GHS a month. However, perks are also important to me. Your monthly spa allowance and free on-site gym, which I look forward to, may allow me to be a little flexible with salary.

When the question comes up, and you still need time to ponder what you believe you are worth, you could delay answering the question a little longer by deflecting it.

This technique would give the interviewers the impression that although the salary is important to you, you would like to discuss the role a little further before giving them an answer.

Let's test this out.

"Kindly permit me to postpone this discussion to the latter part of this interview, as I would like to get more information about the role to validate my initial assumptions."

However, you should know that you would still eventually need to answer the question. You can use the previously discussed technique to answer it when it gets to that point.

Looksharp global is also running a series on Instagram and Twitter on salary negotiation - 101 tips on salary negotiation. You can visit these sites to get some additional tips for answering this question. Follow the pages to get updated when new tips are shared.

So now, anytime this dreaded question comes up:

Do not panic. Confidently let your potential employers know your value, be likable and make sure you have done your homework. Now let's go and secure that bag.

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Comments (1)


This article was very helpful. I have now been able to negotiate my salary with current employer successfully!

2022-05-26 21:19:09

Papa Kwesi [Comment Reply]

I am truly honored that this was beneficial to you. Thank you very much for your feedback!

2022-05-30 16:55:49

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