During interviews, prospective employers always ask what your salary expectations are.

However, I want them to tell me a number before I tell them one.

Is there any way that I could respond to this question by asking what they would offer me if they hired me?

If so, how do I go about it?

  • "Given your organizational structure, what is the going rate for an employee of my experience + skillset in your establishment*". 1) Know the going rate in the industry for the position you're applying for 2) Research the company on a place like glassdoor.com prior to the interview.
    – kolossus
    Commented Mar 21, 2014 at 23:23

2 Answers 2


A good hiring manager will know the upper limits of what they are willing to pay and, at the same time, keep that information to themselves. After all, they have a budget and it's there job to spend that money in the best way possible.

Your job is to determine the minimum amount of money you are willing to work for. When the manager asks how much you want then you need to say so. So, make sure you quote them a price above that minimum so that you have room to negotiate.

When delivering this amount do so with full confidence that you are worth every single penny; believe me, it helps.

If that amount is either near what they are willing to pay or under it then the manager will likely counter. If the counter works, accept it. If it's below your minimum then let them know that you can't go below $x. At this point a good manager will likely stop the conversation saying they need to get approval (whether they actually do or not).

Some managers may just accept your price right there. That doesn't necessarily mean you "left money on the table" so to speak. It might just be how they work.

Point is: know what you want and don't be afraid to ask for it. It might take a negotiating a few times to get there but as long as you aren't too far out of line then you'll get it. Further, what they are willing to pay shouldn't impact your happiness at what you are willing to work for.

  • While I feel this is an excellent response I would like to add often managers have a minimum they are expecting to pay for a role. In cases someone underbids this in many cases the manager will bump them up to the bottom of their intended range. It's not that they are altruistic people watching out for the new guy, rather if they hire you at too low a rate likely retaining you will be impossible. Eventually you'll wise up you got a raw deal, be justifiably pissed and quit. It tends to be a better long term strategy to make sure your employees are reasonably paid. Commented Dec 22, 2014 at 22:02

You can ask at the end of the interview. Or if he/she asks you first like, "whats your salary expectation?"

you can say something like

"At my last/current Position i am/was getting X Amount, what is the salary for this Position?". If you have a figure in mind then say "i'm looking Around X amount".

Salaries are Negotiable anyway, Plus or Minus depending on Experience.

I asked many times at the end of interviews regarding Salary, never has been a problem, especially if the Person who is Interviewing you Is a Professional. If they like you they like you.

If they dislike the fact that you asked about the salary then i don't consider the Person a Professional. A Salary is almost as important as the Job most times.

What they might think is that you are only interested in money but asking the Salary question at the end of an interview proves that you don't, otherwise it would have been the first question you asked the interviewer.

  • Or also, just look the employer up on Glassdoor before you even go into the interview.
    – aroth
    Commented Mar 22, 2014 at 12:19
  • I will say, if I ask you what you're expecting salary wise, and you counter asking me what I'm offering, I'm going to be annoyed, and it'll be a ding against you. When I interview the first step is "Are you right for this job?", the second step is "Is this job right for you?", then the third step is "What's a fair rate". By the end of the interview I know roughly what I want to pay, and you should know roughly what you want to be paid. That's where we find fair, that ground between our numbers where we're happy, if we can't find it, too bad. I don't want people who play silly games. Commented Dec 22, 2014 at 22:16
  • 1
    @RualStorge: I think you're overoptimistic about how many people actually have much of a clue about what salary they can/should be asking, outside of "preferably more than I'm getting now, unless there's something exceptional about the job". Remember, by definition most job-hunters are not HR professionals; their skills lie elsewhere.
    – keshlam
    Commented Dec 23, 2014 at 1:51
  • 1
    @ RualStorge I didn't understand a thing you said. Anyway what do you mean by silly games. As an example, i went for and interview advertised on the web without an Agency, and at then end i asked about salary and i was told "the budget for this position is X amount". Got the Job. If you don't advertise the salary then is any ones right to ask at the end of an Interview. Wouldn't you, or do you find out on the first day when you start work? Don't you have a budget when you advertise for Jobs or you just think a fair number on the fly?
    – Tasos
    Commented Dec 23, 2014 at 3:02
  • 1
    @RualStorge Its also Important on how good the Negotiating of a candidate is. Some people just get what they are given because of lack of negotiating skills or they what to be employed no matter what. Other People end up getting more because they are not afraid to negotiate for more. Here is a scenario. 2 of the same candidates do very well at the interview. the job is 45k. 1 gets 42k and the other 47k. In the end the 2nd candidate is the one that ends up has a bit less experience but is better at negotiating. That happens a lot. Its not just who is perfect that gets the most.
    – Tasos
    Commented Dec 28, 2014 at 13:14

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