What is your expected salary? How should I answer this question? This expected salary question is usually asked in job applications & at job interviews.



Initially, It is best to not to give a $ figure. Say something like “my expected starting salary requirements are negotiable” or  “I am sure we’ll agree on a starting salary”


It is easier to start with a higher starting salary than to start with a lower starting salary and then expect to get a high pay rise in the near future to make up for it.


Reasons for delaying answering “what is your expected salary?”:

  • If your expected salary is less than their budget for the position, you may miss out on getting higher salary.
  • If your expected salary is higher than their budget for the position, they may eliminate you.

Let the employer decide to hire you first, then discuss the starting salary. At this stage, you will be in a much better position to negotiate a higher salary and to secure the position, so this is the why it is best to delay answering “what is your expected salary?”

However, the employer may ask you this question a second time. Say something like:”career path, my contribution & the fact that I am enjoying working for an employer and my employer is happy with me, are all more important than the salary.

If the employer asks for a third time, then it is best to give a $ figure at this stage.

Always negotiate after you are offered the job, but before you accept the offer. Be decisive and very serious in your moves.

If you have more than one job offer, you will be in a much better position to negotiate a higher starting salary & then to decide the job offer that suites you best. Be genuine in your discussions as you don’t want to end up with no offers.


  • promotion- relocation
  • ask my boss for a pay rise
  • two confirmed job offers
  • pay rise request letter
  • offer from another company
  • salary increase request letter
  • ‘desired salary’
  • relocation to a small town

Also see our other FAQ & A categories:

FAQ- Career

FAQ-Job Search

FAQ- Resume/ CV