How Best to Answer Your 'Desired Salary' Questions
Career Advice Career Basics

How Best to Answer Your ‘Desired Salary’ Questions

Your desired salary is something often discussed during job interviews or pen down while filling an application form. So in the next few minutes, I’m going to be showing you what best to say or fill for the desired salary during job interviews and applications.

We’d begin with the most important rule: The best of answers for, “what is your desired salary?” on applications and interviews would be to AVOID telling the company your specific salary expectations as it can be damaging to your chances.
In all honesty, waiting until you know if the company is interested in offering you the position to reveal your salary expectations is the best course of action. As stated earlier sharing your desired salary before reaching this point can cost you thousands of dollars or cost you the job, read on to understand why.

What is a desired salary?

A desired salary is the appropriate compensation that you would like to receive for a job. It’s not uncommon to be unsure of what to fill or say for your desired salary while completing job applications and attending interviews.

So, it’s very important to have a smart strategy for approaching the question of your desired salary so you can quote a number that’s most likely to get you fair compensation for the job.

How to determine your desired salary

These are the advisable steps to follow to determine the best salary request for your desired job:

  • Research average salaries for your applied role within the industry.
  • Put into consideration your cost of living.
  • Factor in experience and education.

How to answer “What is your desired salary?” in an interview.

Hiring managers would often ask what your desired salary is during interviews. This is the best place to tackle this question and not on your application form because you have the flexibility to discuss the topic fully in person.

Follow these steps to address this question whenever it arise:

  1. Take your time, answer only when you’re ready.
  2. Ensure to support your answer with research and evidence.
  3. Always Indicate if and when negotiation is acceptable.
  4. Also, consider the full benefits and packages.
  5. Lastly, decline any unacceptable offer.

How to answer “What is your desired salary?” on a job application.

It’s in your best interest to answer desired salary or salary expectations on a job application by leaving the field blank or writing ‘Negotiable’ rather than providing a number. If the application won’t accept non-numerical text, then the next best option is to enter “000,” or “111”. Then, look for the note section on the job application and write, “Regarding the desired salary, it is negotiable and can be discussed during the interview.”

It is not beneficial in any way and would most likely be detrimental for you to write your desired salary on job applications.
Here’s why…

If you quote a desired salary that’s too low, it can cripple your ability to later negotiate.
When you’re filling out your desired salary on a job application, there’s a high probability you know nothing about the job yet.
So let’s say you put $35,000 on the job application, but you realize during the course of the interview that $60,000 is much more fair because this job involves a lot more than you earlier envisaged.

If you said $35,000 on the job application form, it’d be almost impossible convincing them to give you $60,000 at the end of the process.
(They’ll simply say, “Well, you applied and when you did, you said $35,000 was what you’re aiming at, and we’re prepared to offer you that amount.)

Also, if you quote a number that’s too high, you could scare them off immediately.
Whereas, speaking to them and doing a great job mesmerizing them with your skills and interview answers, might just make them decide to stretch their budget to give you that number.

But at the stage of filling the application, they know absolutely nothing about you, and also definitely don’t know if they want to hire you yet.
So they’re a lot more likely to not want to stretch their budget.

So, it’s a lose-lose situation quoting your desired salary on a job application as you’d gain absolutely nothing by giving them that information before an actual interview, plus you could potentially lose a lot (thousands of dollars, or the opportunity to continue interviewing at all).

Tips on How to Answer Questions About Desired Salary.

  1. Avoid the preliminary processes altogether by using your contact within an organization, if you’ve any.
  2. On the job application form, ensure to leave your desired salary blank, put “negotiable,” or “000”. Afterward, include a note saying that it is negotiable and can be discussed in the interview.
  3. Avoid providing a specific number until you’re sure they want to offer you the job.
  4. If the employer asks about your desired salary in the interview before knowing if you’re been offered the job, tell them you don’t have a specific number in mind yet, but you’ll consider any fair, reasonable offer.
  5. The goal is to delay telling them your desired salary until you’re sure they want to offer you the job because then you have the leverage to negotiate with.
  6. If you’re in an interview and not sure if they’re ready to offer you the job, say, “I typically reserve salary discussion for once I know a company is interested in offering me the job. Is that the case here?” (And if not, go back to discussing the job).
  7. Be firm and don’t let interviewers bully you. If they keep pushing you, just repeat calmly but confidently, “I really don’t have a specific number in mind yet. I’m focused on finding the job that’s the best fit for my career.”

By now you already know what to write for your desired salary on applications and how to handle questions about your desired salary during an interview. Don’t forget to a tay calm and confident all the way through the process and I wish you best of luck..