How to answer "What are your salary requirements?" question

Updated: Apr 27, 2019

What the Interviewer Wants to Find Out

There are really two aspects to this question.

• The interviewer wants to know if you’re in the ballpark when it comes to salary expectations.

• They’re also trying to see how you value yourself. Are you confident enough to ask for what you deserve? Depending on the employer, they might want to take advantage of a candidate with

less confidence.

Answer Tips

1. Research the average salary for the position in your area. Some helpful sites include:,, and You can also check out the US Bureau of

Labor Statistics.

2. Talk to people already in the field, your university’s career center, or your college advisor to get other perspectives.

3. Look at similar positions in another area and see if they include salary. Keep in mind – it has to be in a comparable region. The cost of living has a big impact on salary. The size of the organization is also a factor.

4. Once you have a figure in mind, add some padding for negotiation ($1,000 - $2,000).

5. Always state that you’re open to negotiation, so you don’t disqualify yourself

6. Make it clear that you did your research – you’re not simply pulling the number out of thin air. This is important as a new graduate. It shows confidence and initiative.

Sample Answer to "What are your salary requirements?"

"Based on the research I conducted about entry-level account manager positions in the San Antonio area, I’m expecting a salary of about $40,000. Since I interned at your company last summer, I feel that would be fair. However, I’m open to a discussion."

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