As you get close to receiving a job offer, you’ll likely get the question “What is your target salary?” Answering is tricky: depending on your number, the employer may feel you’re over- or underqualified for the role, or they may not even have the budget for it. While there is no “right” answer, your approach may depend on factors like:
- Your prior or current salary
- Current market demand for your skills
- Benefits the employer offers
- Growth opportunities available
Here are some do’s and don’ts when answering:
Do: conduct thorough research
Without doing your research, you may learn that your range is entirely off. Consider the following factors:
- Your unique skillset
- Your level of experience
- The current climate in the job market
- The job responsibilities
Don’t: give just one number
When you answer this question, be sure to provide a salary range where you would be comfortable accepting. It’s unlikely that an employer can give you the exact number you ask for, so providing a range opens up the room to negotiate.
Do: prepare to explain your answer
It’s important that you can articulate why you feel you deserve that salary. If you’re not able to prove your value in the market, an employer may not consider the salary you’re asking for.
While you may want to please the hiring manager, be honest about what you feel you deserve. If you give a lower number than you’re actually comfortable with, you may be wasting your time going further in the interview process. On the other hand, giving a higher number than you feel you’re worth may send a red flag to the employer, ending your chances on the spot.