How to Answer the ‘Salary’ Question in an Interview

(Last Updated On: December 21, 2017)

If you have several years of experience in the field, you will definitely be asked what pay you are expecting to earn. Even if it is potentially your first job, you may want to ask the employer how much you’ll earn and you should otherwise they’ll just give you any amount. It’s easier when the interviewer asks the question than when they forget to mention it and you have to bring it up yourself.


For fresh graduates

Some interviewers will assume that because you have no work experience and are desperate for a job and hence income, you’ll be willing to work for low pay. Just remember that your first job is not your last and your first salary is not the amount you’ll be earning throughout your career. Don’t set your expectations too high but still demand for pay, preferably by giving a range. Don’t give them free labour no matter how much experience you’re getting.

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Answering “How much are you currently making?”

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Some may think it’s as easy as simply disclosing your current salary. Their aim is to give you something slightly higher than your previous salary because any normal person would want to upgrade, not downgrade.

If you believe you were underpaid, you may not want to state the exact current salary you’re making. Knowing that they’ll offer you something higher, you should state the amount you believe you should be making and be realistic, don’t overstate it. If you’re underpaid, the interviewer may also assume that you’re not that skilled and that’s why the previous firm didn’t think you should earn that much.

READ ALSO: What to Consider When Searching for a Job After University

Answering “What salary do you expect for this position?”

Make sure that you don’t make it seem like you’re all about the money (even if you are). Throw a reasonable range out there (for example, between X ksh and Y ksh) out there and justify it. Don’t say anything too low or it’ll seem like you’re not that skilled and don’t say anything too high unless you’re truly able to back it up. Don’t settle for their first offer, negotiate for the amount you truly feel you deserve but do so with a lot of reasoning. Make them feel like they are wise to pay you what you want because you have the skill and talent. It’s also okay to reject all their offers and go look for employment elsewhere if you feel like they’re not willing to give you what you’re worth.


Some interviewers, especially for short-term or part-time positions may not even remember to ask you the salary question. In this case, you have to make sure you bring it up otherwise it will never be brought up and they’ll assume you’re okay working for free.

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All the best!

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