Answering "What's Your Expected Salary?" (With Templates!)


Are you wondering how to answer the question, "What's your expected salary?" during an interview? If so, you're in the right place! We've put together a comprehensive guide on how to tackle this tricky—and sometimes stressful—interview question.

Knowing how to respond with confidence and accuracy can often be the difference between securing a role and giving off the wrong impression. Luckily, using our insiders' tips plus resources from reliable sources have made this entire process easier than ever before.

We don't want you to feel overwhelmed or uninformed when it comes to discussing your salary expectations during an interview. That's why we created this guide filled with resources, tips, and advice from tech professionals who have gone through this process themselves.

So let’s dive into it - let's give you the clarity and confidence you need to ace that all-important discussion about salary!

Factors That Go into a Salary Negotiation

When you're interviewing for a role, the salary negotiations are a key component. It's therefore important to consider the various factors involved in the negotiation.

Become Familiar with Industry Salary Trends

First and foremost, you should understand the industry salary trends for your role. When it comes to salary negotiation, knowledge is power! That's why it's always smart to do your research. For example, you can refer to our latest annual salary report of tech salaries in Asia!

You can also use a trusted resource like NodeFlair Salaries to compare your current offer to similar ones out there, and then adjust your expectations accordingly. This will give you a better idea of the average salary range so that you can confidently request what you feel is appropriate for your experience and desired role.

Evaluating any other potential perks

Additionally, it's also worthwhile sitting down and evaluating any potential perks associated with the job that go beyond salary — such as health benefits, paid parental leave, education reimbursement, flex time off and more — which can have just as much of an impact on your total compensation package.

NodeFlair allows companies to claim their page to share more about their culture and benefits. Here's an example of the benefits shared by foodpanda! Don’t forget that there are other ways to negotiate in addition to salary.

Best answer to "What is your expected salary?" question

You may not know it, but suggesting an expected salary range can actually increase your chances of getting a better offer. A good answer should have 3 parts:

  1. Understanding of the market
  2. Showcase your qualifications
  3. Suggest a fair range
  4. Share a competing offer (if any!)

Here's an example answer on sharing our expected salary

"Thank you for the question. Based on my extensive research and in-depth analysis of the salaries for similar software engineering roles, I believe that a salary ranging between $X to $Y would be reasonable. This range is based on several factors including the job responsibilities, my qualifications, experience, and the industry standards.

In preparing for this interview, I researched salaries for software engineering positions in this region on various platforms like NodeFlair Salaries. Through my research, I discovered that the average salary for a software engineer with my experience and qualifications ranges between $90,000 to $120,000 annually.

I hold a degree in Computer Science and 5 years of experience working as a software engineer in both startups and large corporations. In my previous roles, I had the opportunity to work both independently and as part of a team to develop and deliver quality software applications.

One notable project I have worked on is developing a web application for a leading online payment platform. In this project, I helped to design and implement new features that improved the application's functionality and scalability. My contribution to the project resulted in a reduction in errors and enhanced user experience.

However, I am open to additional factors like the industry competitors' salary ranges, other benefits like ESOPs, and the cost-of-living allowances to custom-tailor a fair compensation package.

Also, I do have some offers from other companies that I'm also considering. For example, I recently received an offer for $X from Company A and an offer for $Y from Company B. Of course, I think this position is a great opportunity and I'm excited about the company, so I'm willing to be flexible depending on the overall benefits package and other opportunities for growth and development within the organization.

In conclusion, as much as salary is important, I understand that other considerations such as the company's culture and future career advancement opportunities are essential. I would like to join your team not only for the salary but also for the opportunity to grow and learn while contributing to the success of the organization."

What's good about this answer?

  1. Research and Justification: We've indicated that our salary expectations are based on extensive research and analysis of industry standards, salaries for similar roles. This demonstrates that your expectations are not arbitrary, but grounded in data and understanding of the market.
  2. Range: By providing a salary range instead of a specific number, we allow for flexibility in negotiations. This shows that we are open to discussion and willing to find a mutually beneficial agreement.
  3. Relevance to Experience and Qualifications: We've connected the salary range to your qualifications, experience, and the responsibilities of the role. This connection helps justify the figures we've provided, making it clear that we're not asking for more than what's reasonable for someone with your background.
  4. Highlighting Achievements: We've briefly highlighted a significant project we worked on, showcasing our skills and contributions. This serves as evidence of our value to the organization and justifies the salary range we've mentioned.
  5. Flexibility and Additional Factors: We've shown flexibility by mentioning that we're open to considering other factors beyond just the base salary, such as benefits, ESOPs, and cost-of-living allowances. This makes it clear that we're interested in a comprehensive compensation package.
  6. Competing Offers: Mentioning that we have offers from other companies subtly communicates that we are a sought-after candidate. This can put us in a stronger position during negotiations.
  7. Interest in the Company: We've conveyed genuine interest in the company beyond just the salary, emphasizing your excitement about the position, growth opportunities, and cultural fit. This indicates that we're looking for a long-term partnership.
  8. Focus on Company's Success: By stating that we want to contribute to the success of the organization, we show that we're not just interested in personal gain but also invested in the company's goals.
  9. Balance with Other Considerations: Acknowledging that factors like company culture and career advancement are essential factors in our decision-making demonstrates a mature and well-rounded perspective.

How to avoid sharing salary expectations?

In some cases, you may not want to share your exact salary expectations during a job interview because you have not had enough time to research accurately.

If this is the case, there are several ways to avoid the conversation (example at the end):

1. Redirect the conversation

If you’re asked about your expected salary, try to shift the focus of the conversation. You can do this by asking questions about compensation packages and benefits that are included in the role.

This gives you an opportunity to understand what is being offered without having to reveal your own expectations.

2. Politely but firmly refuse

Sometimes, it may be necessary to simply politely but firmly refuse when asked directly about your expected salary.

It’s important to be honest and direct with employers - but remember that any information shared should remain professional and appropriate in order to maintain a good relationship with the interviewer.

3. Offer a salary range instead of a single figure

If pressed for an answer, consider offering a salary range instead of a single figure.

This gives you more flexibility, so you don’t have to commit yourself to any particular number—and it also gives employers more leeway in their decision-making process.

Just make sure that your range is reasonable and based on accurate data from trustworthy sources like NodeFlair.

Here's an example answer on how to avoid sharing salary expectations

"Thank you for asking about my salary expectations. I appreciate the opportunity to discuss this important aspect of the position. However, before we start discussing numbers, I would like to learn more about the job requirements, responsibilities, and the benefits package.

Could you please tell me a bit more about the role and what it entails? I would like to have a better understanding of the scope of the position, the skillset required, and the level of experience needed to fill this particular role. This will help me better align my salary expectations to the demands of the job.

I understand that salary is an important factor for both the employer and the employee, and I believe that it is important to consider it within the context of the entire offer package. Therefore, I would be more than happy to discuss my salary expectations once I have a better understanding of the position.

That being said, I am open to discussing a salary range that you have in mind for this position, and I am willing to negotiate within that range.

I believe that this approach allows us to work together to find a mutually beneficial solution that takes into account both the needs of the company and the value that I bring to the position."

What's good about this answer?

  1. Professionalism: Our response maintains a polite and professional tone throughout. This is crucial when addressing sensitive topics like salary.
  2. Focus on Information Gathering: By requesting more information about the job, its requirements, responsibilities, and benefits, we position ourselves as someone who makes informed decisions. This shows that we're not making hasty assumptions and that we care about aligning our expectations with the role's demands.
  3. Prioritizing Context: We emphasize the importance of considering salary in the context of the entire offer package. This demonstrates our understanding of the multifaceted nature of compensation, which includes benefits, bonuses, work culture, and other perks.
  4. Collaborative Approach: Expressing our willingness to work within a salary range that the company has in mind shows our flexibility and collaborative attitude. It suggests that we're open to negotiation and finding a middle ground that suits both parties.
  5. Value-Oriented Statement: Our closing remark about finding a mutually beneficial solution highlights our value-oriented approach. This shows that we're not just focused on our own interests but also on contributing positively to the company.
  6. Buyer's Market Approach: Our response puts us in a favorable position, akin to a "buyer's market." We're signaling that we have options and are not just looking for any job, which can potentially make the employer more motivated to present a competitive offer.
  7. Flexibility and Adaptability: Our answer implies that we're adaptable and willing to adjust our expectations based on the specifics of the role. This flexibility can position us as a candidate who is easy to work with.


Answering the question “What’s your expected salary?” doesn’t have to be nerve-wracking — with the right strategy, it can be a great opportunity to make sure you’re getting a fair and accurate offer.

Whether you’re willing to state your expected salary upfront or prefer to leave it open for negotiation, the resulting job offer should be one that you’re comfortable with and excited about.

Interviewing for a job can be intimidating but knowing what to expect and how to answer tricky questions can give you the confidence to make the best impression. But with enough research, you’ll have access to the latest info and insights on compensation expectations and other important topics so that you can make sure your next job offer is worthy of your talents.

So take the plunge, be confident, and get ready to explore this new and exciting opportunity!

Check out all the other career resources

Related Articles