salary questions

‘What are your salary expectations?’

Why are recruiters asking this?

In an interview it might seem like a casual request, but it’s one of the most important questions to be prepared for!

Talking about compensation can get stressful, so first you should do your research to understand a typical salary for the role, company, and market. If you decide to give a number, provide a range and be flexible. Salary is usually negotiable.

So, we advise delaying providing an amount, and requesting the company to provide an amount first. (“Well, I’ve done my research, but I could use some insight from you. What salary range does this position and seniority usually offer in this city?”)

Salary depends on a lot of variables, including the location and the person. In some places it’s illegal to ask about salary history (California) so find a way to tactfully reply if asked in this circumstance.

Once the offer is made, you can (and really should) consider asking for more. According to MIT, there’s a racial bias in salary offers, and according to staffing firm Randstad, 60% of women have never negotiated their salary. Don’t leave money on the table!

Checklist for a great answer 

  • Do your research to be prepared
  • Try to avoid giving a specific amount if possible
  • Don’t be afraid to be too high (but be flexible)
  • Once the offer is given you can (and should!) always negotiate


I’d like to hear what salary range you have for this position. I’m open to discuss so we can find something that works for both of us.


Based on my previous salary, my knowledge of the industry, and my experience in this market, I would imagine a range of $65,000 to 75,000, depending on the package and benefits available.

Other similar questions

  • What are your salary requirements?
  • Can you discuss your salary history?
  • What are your salary expectations?

How do I get better at these questions?


The illustrious economist and statistician EF Schumacher once said: “An ounce of practice is generally worth more than a ton of theory.” We at Mockmate strongly believe in exactly this, which is why we created our AI-powered job interview simulator.  Now is the time to stop reading blog posts and watching YouTube videos, and begin to perfect your interview skills by actually doing it! Start giving yourself an edge here!

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