When asked for salary expectations Do Not Give A Number

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by wolfesmc11

I’ve seen this time and time again on this sub and with my friends IRL.

My friend recently interviewed at a job and they asked “What are your salary expectations?” To which he replied “I’m looking in the realm of $50-$60k”. Guess what they offered him?

Ding. You guessed it. 50k.

When asked this question in an interview, do not give a number instead reply with something along the lines of…

Interviewer: “Now, What would you say your salary expectations are?” You: “I would just expect to be paid fairly for the experience and skills that I bring to the table”

If they press further – tell them “I would be remiss to give a number because there are many aspects that go into overall compensation and I would need to be able to compare all aspects of it.”

This is a completely true statement as Bonus, Stock, Health Insurance, 401k, HSA, PTO and Education Reimbursement are all elements of a potential compensation plan.

EDIT: I realize that there isn’t a one size fits all approach to this. If you know exactly what you are worth and have confidence in that number, all the power to you to give an accurate and informed number to HR. It is in your best interest to try to negotiate up as much as you can, and many HR reps will try to get good talent for low cost to the company. It definitely is a negotiation. I would argue that the majority of people do not know exactly what their range is, and yes research is key here, but doesn’t always lead to the employee being confident in a number they should be getting paid. I think many people do do themselves a disservice by undervaluing their talent and come in low. That could be due to lack of research, lack of confidence, lack of negotiation skills etc. One way to combat this for people that are newer to interviewing and don’t have a good sense of were they fall on that spectrum, is to try to abstain from giving a number. That’s all my point was about.

EDIT 2: I regret making this as an ultimatum. Went for effect and definitely got it. This doesn’t apply to everyone. There are situations that giving a number is advisable. Also getting a lot of comments on online applications, and from HR or hiring managers railing against this idea. I appreciate all of the responses, difference in opinion, even the rude ones. Good to gain perspective on my part.


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