Expected salary

Expected salary question and answer on online application forms and at job interviews. Also read the full expected salary article below for details, tips and examples.  Expected salary answer on application forms and at job interviews

Common expected salary questions

  • Should you include expected salary in your resume?
  • How to answer desired salary expectations question on application forms and at job interviews.
  • How to avoid or answering salary expectations at the initial application stage and initial interview.
  • How do you answer what is your desired remuneration question in an email?
  • How to answer desired pay range.

Expected salary answer on application forms

  • Research the market as soon as you start job searching. But delay answering remuneration questions as long as possible.
  • It is best not to give your desired salary, even though employers ask on online applications and at interviews.
  • It is easier to start with higher pay than to start with a low paying job and expect a quick pay raise. Because it is not easy to get a high pay raise shortly after starting.
  • If you do not negotiate, you could lose more than $350,000. Because $8,000 at the start of your career may not be much. However, it adds up over the course of your career.
  • And be prepared for to negotiate your pay, before you start applying. Because if you indicate a low salary expectation on your online job application, it would be difficult to ask for more once the company makes you a job offer. This is explained in detail below.
  • If you have 2 job offers, it is usually easier to negotiate. Then you can decide which offer suites you best. Avoid going back and forth, so you do not end up with no offers.

How to write a salary expectations email

  • Whether it is an email or an online job application, try to delay providing your desired remuneration.
  • Indicate that your expectations are negotiable.

Should you include your remuneration in your resume?

  • Don’t include your current remuneration information on your resume, CV cover letter, your online job application or thank you email.
  • Focus on making your resume stand out. This would help to get selected and also to justify a higher salary after you receive the offer.

How to answer what is your desired salary range

  • Try to delay answering remuneration expectations until you have a job offer.
  • But if the employer insists, it is best to give a specific figure, instead of a salary range.
  • If you give a desired remuneration range, the employer will most likely make you an offer on the low end of the range.
  • If the employer insists on a range, make sure you would be happy with the lower end of the range that you provide.

Expected salary answers and examples

When asked about expected salary, you can say something like:

  • I am happy to negotiate.
  • Or I am sure we will agree on the salary.

Is the desired remuneration question only for managers?

  • No. This desired remuneration expectations question is applicable to all levels. Including CEOs, CFOs, senior managers and engineers. Also, executives, auditors, analysts, teachers, tellers and buyers. In addition to childcare educators, planners, sales reps, accountants and entry level positions.
  • Also, it is applicable to all fields and applicable to women and men.

Let me work with you to negotiate terms of contract and counteroffer.

Delay answering what are your salary expectations question

  • If your expectations are less than their budget, you may miss out on a higher salary.
  • And if your salary expectations are higher than their budget, they may eliminate you.

When is the best time to answer expected salary question?

  • On online job applications, they ask what your expectations are. Try to avoid giving a figure.
  • At the interview, what are your base remuneration expectations usually comes up. Indicate that you are negotiable. This is also asked at face-to-face interviews. In addition to virtual interviews, video interviews and phone interviews. Also see my virtual interview tips, as virtual interviews and video interviews are more common now. 
  • Let the employer decide to hire you first. As you will be in a better position to negotiate. Then discuss desired pay.
  • If you mention your expectations at the initial stage, they may eliminate you before knowing more about your value. So let them know more about your achievements and the value you would bring.
  • However, the employer may ask you a second time. Say something like: “career path is most important to me”. But this does not mean that the pay is not important to you.
  • If the employer asks for a third time, then it is best to give a dollar figure at this stage.
  • Negotiate after you receive the offer. So, these are the reasons it is best to delay giving pay expectations.
  • So always negotiate after they offer you the job. But before you accept the offer. Be serious in your moves.

Assisting clients worldwide, with my coaching services

  • Check out my salary negotiation coaching services for women and men. Assisting clients worldwide, including clients in Australia, the United States, Canada, Singapore, Germany and Japan.
  • This is one of the most asked interview questions and online job application questions.
  • Also check out these 3 counteroffer negotiation examples. And do not include remuneration information in your resume, CV or cover letter.
  • Also, another common interview question is what is your current remuneration.

This article was updated on 1 February 2023.  If you have any other questions about the expected salary question on online application forms, please ask me.


Based in Sydney, NSW, Australia.