The Best Answer to "What's Your Expected Salary?"

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While it might be illegal in some places for an employer to ask a job seeker, “What’s your current salary,” the confusion question of “What’s your expected salary?” might never go away!

Want to know exactly what your should say, why you should say it, and the reasons most job candidates answer this incorrectly? Join me for this video to find out!


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Andrew LaCivita is an internationally recognized executive recruiter, award-winning author, trainer, and founder and chief executive officer of milewalk and the milewalk Academy. He’s dedicated his career to helping people and companies realize their potential, consulting to more than two hundred organizations and counseling more than eleven thousand individuals. He often serves as a trusted media resource and is the award-winning author of Interview Intervention, Out of Reach but in Sight, and The Hiring Prophecies.


Tips for Work and Life® is a weekly careers, hiring, and motivational show full of helpful job search strategies, career management and acceleration tactics, recruitment techniques, and self-help aids with the award-winning author, career coach, and trainer Andrew LaCivita. Tips for Work and Life® has been cited by several sources as a Top 5 Careers and HR Blog. Andrew includes these 3-15 minute multicast shows as part of his blog and podcast.



47 thoughts on “The Best Answer to "What's Your Expected Salary?"”

  1. Folks, this video is now public and open for business! Please let me know what is ailing your job search! Also, make sure to SUBSCRIBE to my channel so you can stay up to date on new videos every Tuesday AND Sunday AND Thursday as well as my WEEKLY (YES! WEEKLY!) LIVE OFFICE HOURS SESSIONS every Thursday. Hope to see you there!

  2. Don't be scared easiest answer there is – "AS MUCH AS I CAN GET. YOU LITERALLY CAN'T PAY ME ENOUGH. THERE IS NO MAGICAL NUMBER I WANT BEZOS MONEY. What I can reasonably get is another thing but whatever that number is I want more."

  3. HR people are usually idiots. You are right HR people are not hiring officials, but these days many companies have built the salary expectation question into their online application portal. You must enter in a numerical value. I'm guessing if your value is too high they just delete your application and send you the usual form letter, "Thank you for applying but we've decided to go with another candidate ".

  4. Interviewed recently and was asked my salary expectations so I asked do they have an established pay range for the position and was told the recruiter didn't know. HAHA! So I didn't give a definitive number and they never called me back. Why are companies so stingy with pay information?

  5. They need to stop asking this question; their position is manipulative at best. But thanks for the solid information.

  6. How do you avoid that when it’s on an online application and you MUST complete that box in order to move forward in the application?? Hate this lol

  7. All of this discussion here is perfectly understandable, because there is no right answer to the question. Every answer could be the wrong one, and there's no way to guess what they might be looking for. No amount of prior research will provide the right answer. So we all feel such great anxiety about it! Before, during, and after an interview!

    It's a little hard to grasp Andrew's philosophy in the video, but after watching it twice, and reading the comments twice, I did get it, and I agree. It's a difficult thing for him or anyone to articulate. In my mind, the question is abusive, and shouldn't be asked.

    Maybe it's used as a trick question to see how you respond to stress, because it sure creates a lot of stress! But I think repeated watching of this video, and reading of the comments, while not providing THE answer, provides a view of the right ATTITUDE and type of answer that should at least be acceptable, and get you by without being eliminated on the basis of that question.

    Thank you Andrew for making this video! It was and still is obviously very badly needed!

  8. What about if you are a contractor? I am a Technical writer and online training module designer. I get this question all the time. Worse they don’t let it go. I’m asked: what was your highest salary? What was your lowest? It goes on and on. Finally I give in. I say I am willing to take what the position pays. It is so difficult not to answer when they don’t stop asking. Greatly appreciate any advice.

  9. So, what do you say when the interviewer asks what's your expected salary? Getting the interview could be very easy. Getting asked during the interview process is a much more difficult matter I would think.

  10. How can we write if they asked us to send expected salary over mail? Can we write fixed number over mail? Please suggest.

  11. Great advice. I always cringe when a candidate gives a salary expectation! Especially when it's for a senior role. Not a great demonstration of negotiation skills 🙂

  12. As a contractor, I give them my answer. I know my worth and what my last salary was. I’m not wasting my time of playing games with companies that undercut my value. if they can’t pay what I want minimally, then it is not a good fit for either of us. whenever I accepted a lower rate in the past, it was Never worth the effort I put in or the BS I had to put up with. Lesson learned the hard way.

  13. I am so glad YouTube recommended me this video、as a recent college graduateーI've been having to deal with stingy companies trying sell me short due to my lack of "Years of experience"。Even though I know my knowledge and skills are worth a lot more than they offer me。
    After applying this video、I'm seeing WAY bigger numbers。I love how this leaves opportunities for you to negotiate the salary too instead of getting trapped at a specific number at the very beginning。Huge thanks for this advice!

  14. Hi sir this is Rafiullah if you remember me i am fired from job and the Reason was that i refuse to work on weekends and they were not paying me for the over time.
    I am back again to watch your vedios Again as i have interview tomarrow:)

  15. Many positions I apply for have “Salary Requirement” as a mandatory field on the actual application. You can’t even submit the application (no “talking with the recruiter” etc.). What’s your response and recommendation in this instance which is more of a reality for me (Manager/Director level in the Communications field)?

  16. Is it safe to give the average salary (for example in a specific city for the job role) when being asked for expected salary in the application process?

  17. I answered this once:
    From the extent of my previous work experience and previous position in this institution with the appraisals and promotions I had before I believe you can expect me to do the best I can for this position. That being said a generous compensation would be much appreciated.

  18. Suppose if the interview rounds are completed and HR asks for current salary details in the beginning of salary negotiation step and he is pushing for it. What would be appropriate response in that case?

  19. I’m gonna give my number when they ask. It always works in my favor because I do my homework. I know the market value and tailor to what I offer the company. I justify every penny and benefit I ask for.

    Certain companies can’t afford my services – No problem. I end up with the BEST companies. I got exactly what I wanted and didn’t settle! I say – Go for it! Not saying your number first is cowardly and lazy.

  20. I applied for a contracting job and have an interview tomorrow. There was no salary posted on the job description, how and when do I bring up how much the position makes without sounding uneducated?

  21. I was in multiple situations where I was asked expected salary range in first screening call and when I rejected to give them the number by politely breaking down pretty much what you suggested Andrew, the hiring recruiter insisted that they need to know so they don't waste my and their time of I am expecting too much. When I told them it would be uneducated of me to provide a number without knowing more about the role and the company, they pretty much said it ends here if I can't give her the number. At that point when I asked them to reveal their rage for the role they did not want to tell me. This was coming from high profile companies where people line up to work there due to their high profile products.

    What do you suggest Andrew? Stick to the guns and possibly lose the opportunity?

  22. Love the "uneducated answer" line. Could play it as "I'm sure you hire the best educated people you can find. And I'm one of those but not fully educated about your company yet. But I will be after our interview and educated to give you an answer then…"

  23. This is a good way to avoid getting in a hole but at some point the question needs to be answered…

  24. Andrew the point is, most of the application are online and one of the mandatory parameters are previous salary and expected salary otherwise you can progress in the application.
    In relation of that what is your advise?
    Thanks for all you videos, there a lots of good tips.

  25. I have been applying to hundreds of jobs online and this question is asked most times when applying. If I am able to I do answer like you say but what about the many times when I am only able to enter digits and not words?

  26. Andrew, what if the company is a public company, and the executive salaries are known through investor documents, at that point do you answer the question because you'd have an idea of what the company pays for executive roles?

  27. Offcorse I will tell a number, usualy is like this:"This is my bottom low, I wil not go under this number!">i don`t care if I`m asking to much, or am I above there pay.I don`t work and be payed less and If they have read my CV they shold know wath I`m making, well more or less!

  28. I received an email about expected salary (they send me this to proceed with my application) But the job posting says 13,000 – 16000 peso a month. Equivalent to $272.39 – $335.25 a month. Should I put a number in response to the email or should I stick to avoid giving a number?

    Please help me with this. Thank you in advance.

  29. What if you're underqualified for the job & you're hoping the employer will take a chance on you?

  30. What if you're interviewing with the hiring manager not a recruiter on the 2nd or 3rd Interview and they press you for a response?

  31. I always give a number and let them know that am open to negotiate. Also, before you even get called for the interview some employers are asking expected salary on the application form. My takeaway from this, is to tell them a number or range and advise them that I am open to negotiate once am more educated on the overall compensation package.

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