4 Tips To Answer “What Is Your Desired Salary?” – Must Read

Written By Shahzaib Arshad

The “desired salary” question is often discussed in job interviews or job applications.

If you are searching for a job, it’s a must to answer this question. If you can provide the right salary range, only then you’ll be able to get the desired compensation.

What Is Your Desired Salary – 3 Things To Consider

The desired salary is the compensation you’ll likely get for a new job. You must be unsure of how to describe your desired salary.

But always remember that if you select a very low number, that won’t be worth you and cause salary issues. And if you select a high number, you might lose the deal.

So having a smart strategy for approaching this matter is very important. First, read this article to see how to answer the question “what’s your desired salary?”

1. Do Your Research

Your research about the company and the position you’re applying for is most important.

While researching the company, you’ll get an idea of people’s salaries with the same job title.

Prepare Your Salary Answer With Research
Do Your Research

You can also search online to see the average salaries in your industry. Again, it will give you a broad range of wages.

By doing all this research, you’ll get a better idea of what you can list as your desired salary.

2. Count Your Experience And Education

Your experience of working in the industry can also get counted. The more experience you have, the better it will be.

The average salaries on the internet are different for experienced and inexperienced workers.

If you have experience of ten years, don’t try to sell yourself short for a beginner’s salary.

However, it would be fine to take a beginner’s salary if you are new to the market.

Educations matter the most. Remember that the more education you have, the more you’ll be appropriate for the employer.

Some fields need degrees with specific majors. If you don’t have that major, you can’t ask for your desired salary.

Focus on the education requirements in the job description and apply to the suitable ones.

3. What Is Your Desired Salary – Consider Your Cost Of Living

The geographical location of a job also plays a role in determining the average salary.

You should be aware of what’s affordable for you and what your bills are! Add all these things together and then determine your average cost of living.

Consider The Cost You Spend On Living
What Is Your Desired Salary – Consider Your Cost Of Living

Yet, if you’re relocating for a position, determine how much it will cost to maintain the standard of living there.

In some areas, groceries and utilities are cheaper, and the standard of living is easier.

If this is the case, it’s reasonable to accept an offer that’s lower than your previous salary.

So, if the cost of living is higher in the new location, you can request a higher salary from your employer.

What Is Your Desired Salary – How To Answer

If an employer asks about your desired salary, you’ll have to provide this information during the interview.

Here are a few steps to help you answer this question.

1. Support Your Answer With Research

Whichever position you seek, the interview is the best chance to convince the employer for the best.

To have that convincing power, one must know the market rate for that job and company trends.

You should do complete homework about the position before your interview. Look up to other employees with the same job title and see how much they are earning.

What Is Your Desired Salary
Support Your Answer With Research

Also, see the responsibilities and requirements of this job and their benefits.

You can search for the average salary in your area. Yet, remember that the salary for a specific job varies according to the area and industry.

2. Provide A Range

Rather than giving a fixed number to the employer, you should provide him a range.

It will give a sense of flexibility to you and the employer, and after a negotiation, you both will be on the same page.

However, in the offered range, the employer might offer the lower side of the range. So you should make sure that your target number is closer to the lower end of the range.

3. Comprise Your Deal With The Non-Cash Negotiation Options

If you think that the employer’s offer isn’t doing justice to you, move to the non-cash benefits.

Ask if the company has the compensation perks like working from home and flexible hours.

You can request the employer to adjust your salary package with any of these benefits.

Ask The Employer If Company Has Non Cash Benefits
Comprise Your Deal With The Non-Cash Negotiation Options

However, if you are a student, look for student loan assistance and grad school assistance.

These options can be very helpful to bring you and the employer to an agreement that works for everyone.

4. What Is Your Desired Salary – Specify When Negotiation Is Acceptable?

You should make sure to let the employer know if you’re willing to the salary negotiation.

Take this advice to be always open to the negotiation because sometimes it can lead you towards a good deal.

If you stay rigid on your offer and decline to accept any negotiable offer, you might lose the job.

If you have already accepted the lowest salary range, you should confidently stand by it.

5. Decline Unacceptable Offers

Before you go into an interview, think about the lowest salary to keep up with your living standard.

However, if you get an offer that doesn’t seem to meet your needs, you should respectfully decline it.

Do Not Sell Yourself Short Because Of Pressure
Decline Unacceptable Offers

Remember your worth and never sell yourself short just because you have to find a job.

You should keep looking for a better fit and not give up on a job that doesn’t pay you enough.

4 Tips To Discuss Your Desired Salary

After the points mentioned above, you’re surely ready for your interview. So stay calm and remember these final tips.

1. Be Confident But Not Arrogant

Being confident without giving an expression of arrogance is hard to maintain in an interview.

If you don’t look confident, the hiring manager might use it as an opportunity to negotiate a lower salary.

What Is Your Desired Salary
Be Confident But Not Arrogant

But looking arrogant can also be bad as it can prevent an employer from hiring you.

So you should use a balanced way to present yourself in front of the employer during an interview.

2. Be Broad

You should come up with a decent salary range and put your ideal salary closest to the bottom of the range.

When you provide a range with your desired salary near the bottom range, it gives room to both you and the employer.

It also increases the chances that your employer will give you the salary you like.

3. Go With The Counter Questions

It’s expected that you’ll get asked about your desired salary in an interview. So what you need to do is go prepared with counter questions.

Prepare Your Counter Questions
Go With The Counter Questions

For instance, you can say that “I don’t like to talk about compensation until I get the offer. So what you say?”

4. Stick To The Salary You Deserve

It’s mentioned repeatedly that you should be aware of your worth and what you can afford.

However, if the employer can’t meet your desired salary, know that the job isn’t a good fit.

So you should always stick to a range that fits your lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Should You Put For Desired Salary Range?

You should either leave the desired salary field blank or write negotiable in it. But, if there's an option for only numerals, set a salary range according to your market value.

What Does Desired Salary Mean?

The desired salary is the compensation you'd likely receive for a new job. Yet, while you are attending job interviews, it's common to be unsure about the desired salary. Quoting the desired salary that's too high is a risk of losing your job.

Should I Put Negotiable For The Desired Salary?

It's not necessary that you are at a disadvantage if you put negotiable in the salary section. For setting a salary expectation, you won't want to undersell your talents but don't either price yourself very high.

How Do You Answer Salary Expectations?

You can answer this question by simply asking what the company is ready to pay. It's a good way to have an estimate of what your desired salary range should be.


While looking for a new job, the salary search is important; it gives you the power to answer this question.

We hope that answering the question “What is your desired salary?” is not difficult after reading this article.

Good job research will always help you to know the roles you’re applying to and interviewing for. It also gives you an insight into what you should expect to get paid for a specific role.

So start your research today and come up with great answers!

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Last Updated on 2 months by Eesha Khan

Shahzaib Arshad
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