“What are your salary expectations?”, the interviewer says as if she were handing you a blank cheque.
You look at the imaginary blank cheque and realize that going too low can put you in a position where you can’t afford to take the job, yet can’t afford to turn the job down. A high number can price you out of contention before you’ve even had a chance to make a good impression.
Low or high, if you name a price that’s outside of their expectations, it can remove you from the running for the position.
Tricky position, right?
So what then do you say when asked, “what are your salary expectations?”
Before you consider answering the question, it’s important to know the going rate for jobs in your field and in your job market (location) and also for those in the company you are applying to.
Apart from those listed above, this writer came across a company salary and review website for Nigerian, Ghanaian, South African and Kenyan job applicants called www.mysalaryscale.com by My Job Mag Limited.
It’s a website where salary earners can post their monthly/yearly salary and also review their employers anonymously.
According to the website, “Our mission is to “kill” the acute secrecy around salaries and company reviews in Africa. We believe that people should be paid what they are worth.”
You simply have to type in the name of a company and salary structures anonymously posted by employees in that company will pop up.
This helps job seekers in gain to understand the market salary range for the position, size of the company they interviewing with, location, and experience level.
You will probably find some conflicting information and wide ranges in some places, but at least you’ll get a general sense if you look at a few sources.
This gives you an upper hand in the interview process because now you have an idea of what the salary range for the position you are applying for.
Your goal is to arrive at a reasonable salary range that seems fair based on market value or company value and your current or most recent salary. This way, if pressed, you can name a number that’s based on real data and position it as the market range and not just what you want.
So next time you get the tricky “what are your salary expectations?” question.