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Salary Interview Questions

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Rachelle Enns is an interview coach and job search expert. She works with candidates to perform their best in employment, medical, and post-secondary admission interviews.

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Question 1 of 10

What are your salary expectations?

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Salary Interview Questions & Answers

  1. 1.

    What are your salary expectations?

      How to Answer

      In many states, it is now illegal for hiring authorities to ask about your current earnings. A question like this will give the interviewer a solid idea of what you are hoping to earn. When you change positions, you want to see an increase in wage. Most interviewees will typically aim for a 7-15% increase for each time they change jobs. This range offers room for negotiations with the new company. This percentage increase reflects economic inflation, unique skills you bring to the table from the last time you joined an organization, and an increase in responsibilities. The best way to discuss your salary expectations is to use your current earnings as an example if you are comfortable doing so. If this makes you uncomfortable, do give as many indicators as you can. Be open, and honest. Transparency is the best choice when salary based questions arise.

      If you are newer to your career, or the area, and are unsure of what a fair ask may be, there are many reliable salary calculators available online.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Currently, I earn a base salary of $45,000 per year, and I would like to earn slightly higher in my next position, as I have additional certifications since my last salary negotiation took place."

      Rachelle's Answer for an Admin Interview

      "As I am new to my career and this industry, I am happy to negotiate my earnings based on your typical salary for this role. From my research, I see that the average junior administrator in the Chicago area earns an annual salary in the $45K range."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Manager Interview

      "I can share with you what I am currently earning, and where I would like to be in my next position. Currently, I am earning a base salary of $78K plus an annual bonus opportunity of an additional 10%. Last year my earnings were $85K, and I'd like to earn above that in my next position, to reflect the MBA I recently acquired."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Marketing Interview

      "I am currently making $80,000 per year with two bonus opportunities based on project completion. I am looking for compensation that is aligned with the responsibilities of this role and provides an opportunity to learn new skills."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Retail Interview

      "I would like to earn slightly above where I am now. Currently, I earn $25/hour plus benefits and a 10% commission on all sales. My target income for the coming year is $65,000."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Sales Interview

      "I am negotiable with my salary expectations. However, I am not inclined to lose compensation. Compensation to me, though, is not only net pay. I take into account work hours, commute. overnight travel, health benefits, etc."

      Holly's Answer for an Industrial Engineer Interview

      "I will accept the same amount that other industry engineers make at your firm."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Clinical Research Interview

      "Currently, I earn a base salary of $45,000 per year plus a potential 20% annual bonus. Last year my earnings were $52,000, and I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Quality Control Inspector Interview

      "I can share with you what I am currently earning, and where I would like to be in my next position. Currently, I am earning a base salary of $38K plus an annual bonus opportunity of an additional 10%. Last year my earnings were $41K, and I'd like to earn a bit above that in my next position."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Maintenance Interview

      "I am currently earning a base salary of $50K per year. I am looking for a position that will offer me competitive growth and salary."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Laboratory Assistant Interview

      "I have researched local compensation for lab assistants and, based on my years of experience, I think the range of $40k to $45k is reasonable."

      Rachelle's Answer for an Auto Mechanic Interview

      "I can share with you what I am currently earning, and where I would like to be in my next position. Currently, I am earning a base salary of $58K. I'd like to earn a bit above that in my next position."

      Heather's Answer for an Allergist Interview

      "Money isn't a key factor but I do have a salary range in mind based on the local area."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Radiation Therapists Interview

      "I can share with you what I am currently earning, and where I would like to be in my next position. Currently, I am earning a base salary of $78K plus full health benefits. This year, I would like to earn around $85K, to reflect the new training I recently acquired."

      Christina's Answer for a News Producer Interview

      "Since I was making somewhere around $30,000 at my last producing job, I think I have gained much experience there to where I am really worth $35,000 at this station. I have improved significantly since I took that job two years ago and will make a large impact at your station."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Law Enforcement Interview

      "Currently, I earn a base salary of $68,000 per year plus medical benefits, and additional perks. I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher."

      Rachelle's Answer for an Anesthesiologist Interview

      "Currently, I am earning a salary of $230,000 per year. What range are you offering for this position?"

      Heather's Answer for a Dietitian and Nutritionist Interview

      "I researched the area and, based on my years of experience, I think the range of $70k to $75k is reasonable."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Warehouse Clerk Interview

      "Currently, I earn a base salary of $45,000 per year, and I would like to earn slightly higher in my next position, as I have additional supply chain certifications since my last salary negotiation took place."

      Krista's Answer for a Fire Inspector Interview

      "My salary expectations are based on my qualifications and experience. I would be happy to know the salary you propose, and I'm sure we can come to a mutual agreement."

      Heather's Answer for a Marriage and Family Therapist Interview

      "Currently, I am earning a salary of $80,000 per year. What range are you offering for this position?"

      Rachelle's Answer for a Film and Video Editor Interview

      "I am hoping to make between $50,000-$55,000 for this job, considering that I have worked for many years at a great company as a film editor and can offer much to this company. I also expect to grow in the years I work here."

      Christina's Answer for a Weather Producer Interview

      "Since I have received a degree in meteorology and am certified through the American Meteorological Society, I believe I am worth $40,000-$42,000 to do this job, with the promise of being more experienced than anyone else in this market."

      Heather's Answer for a Clinical Nurse Specialist Interview

      "Currently, I am earning a base salary of $78K plus health benefits. I'd like to earn a bit above that in my next position."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Benefits Manager Interview

      "Currently, I earn a base salary of $45,000 per year, and I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Zookeeper Interview

      "Currently, I earn a base salary of $45,000 per year plus a potential 20% annual bonus. Last year my earnings were $52,000 and I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Nuclear Medicine Technologist Interview

      "I am looking for a salary between $75,000 and $85,000 a year. However, I am flexible, and I would be willing to talk about salary in more detail if offered the position. More than anything, I’m really invested in this line of work and would love to work with this company."

      Heather's Answer for a Dental Assistant Interview

      "I am currently making $40,000 per year plus benefits. I am looking for compensation that is aligned with the role and provides an opportunity for growth."

      Christina's Answer for a Newspaper Columnist Interview

      "For my weekly column, I hope to be paid $1,000 per column with a $250 raise each year following my success. I feel this is reasonable given my credentials in the field of journalism over the past 20 years."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Kitchen Manager Interview

      "Currently, I earn a base salary of $45,000 per year plus a potential 5% bonus based on cost savings and restaurant performance. Last year my earnings were $47,000 and I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher."

      Christina's Answer for an Entertainment Anchor Interview

      "I hope to make between $40,000-$43,000 for this job since I have already worked as an entertainment industry and bring you much experience."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Residential Advisors Interview

      "I can share with you what I am currently earning, and where I would like to be in my next position. Currently, I am earning a base salary of $78K plus an annual bonus opportunity of an additional 10%. Last year my earnings were $85K and I'd like to earn a bit above that in my next position."

      Christina's Answer for a Reporter Interview

      "Since I have been a reporter for 3 years now, I believe my experience lends itself to a salary between $35,000-$38,000. I would also like to discuss financial help with moving cross-country."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Lineman Interview

      "Currently, I earn a base salary of $68,000. I would like for my next opportunity to be slightly ahead of where I am now. $70,000-75,000 would be ideal."

      Christina's Answer for a Corporate Copywriter Interview

      "Since this is my first time working as a copywriter, I would feel comfortable making $40,000."

      Rachelle's Answer for an Executive Recruiter Interview

      "Currently, I earn a base salary of $75,000 per year, plus commission on all placements. I want to earn slightly higher in my next position, as I have additional certifications and achievements since my last salary negotiation took place."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Chef Interview

      "Currently, I earn a base salary of $60,000 per year plus a potential annual bonus based on cost savings. Last year my earnings were $68,000 and I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher."

      Heather's Answer for an ABA Therapist Interview

      "Currently, I earn a base salary of $45,000 per year and I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Machinist Interview

      "Currently, I earn a base salary of $45,000 per year plus a potential 20% annual bonus based on overall company performance. Last year my earnings were $52,000 and I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher."

      James's Answer for a Hotel Manager Interview

      "I am open to discussing the pay structure offered by Hotel XYZ. I have earned a base salary plus commission for the past five years, and I appreciate the security and earnings flexibility that comes with this pay structure. Could you share with me how the company structures pay for its hotel managers?"

      Christina's Answer for a News Director Interview

      "I have worked in many big sized television stations in the past with the utmost success. I would hope that my experience is worth $100,000-$105,000 here, because I know I can help your station grow and improve over time."

      Ryan's Answer for a Dispatcher Interview

      "Currently, I earn a base salary of $45,000 per year plus health benefits and 3 weeks' paid vacation. I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher in my next position."

      Christina's Answer for a Photojournalist Interview

      "Because I am a great storyteller and have proven myself over the years, I believe I would like to make between $32,000-$34,000."

      Heather's Answer for a Patient Services Coordinator Interview

      "I researched the area and based on my years of experience I think the range of $35k to $45k is reasonable. Because I bring 5 years of experience to the table I'd like to think the starting salary would be in the middle of the range."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Nurse Anesthetist Interview

      "I can share with you what I am currently earning, and where I would like to be in my next position. Currently, I am earning a base salary of $178K plus benefits. Last year my earnings were $185K and I'd like to earn a bit above that in my next position."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Dishwasher Interview

      "Currently, I earn $12/hour as a dishwasher. I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher."

      Krista's Answer for a Clinical Research Coordinator Interview

      "I see that you are offering a salary range of $85,000 to $95,000 per year. Based on my qualifications and experience, I believe that is fair. I am sure we can discuss and come to an agreement on my salary expectations."

      Christina's Answer for a Foreign Correspondent Interview

      "Since I have been working as a journalist and have been reporting on international relations for multiple years, I am highly qualified for this job and hope to make between $90,000-$100,000 so I can sustain a life abroad."

      Christina's Answer for a Political Reporter Interview

      "Since I have been working as a political reporter in the past, I feel I am best fit to be paid between $55,000-60,000 because of my experience."

      Rachelle's Answer for a High School Teacher Interview

      "Currently, I earn a salary of $65,000 per year. I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher."

      Heather's Answer for an Addiction Psychiatrist Interview

      "I can share with you what I am currently earning, and where I would like to be in my next position. What range are you offering for this position?"

      Heather's Answer for an Alcohol and Drug Counselor Interview

      "Currently, I earn $50,000 per year with two weeks' paid vacation and full health benefits. I am looking for compensation that is aligned with the responsibilities of this role and provides an opportunity to learn new skills."

      Rachelle's Answer for an Animal Shelter Worker Interview

      "I can share with you what I am currently earning, and where I would like to be in my next position. Currently, I am earning a base salary of $23K plus an annual bonus opportunity of an additional 10%. Last year my earnings were $25K, and I'd like to earn a bit above that in my next position."

      Christina's Answer for a Field Producer Interview

      "Since I have worked as a producer in the past, I believe as a field producer I would like to be paid $50,000-$55,000 because I will need to be prepared to travel often."

      Christina's Answer for a Ghostwriter Interview

      "I believe I would like to make between $25,000-$27,000 to begin here as a ghostwriter."

      Ronda's Answer for a Senior Account Manager Interview

      "I am currently compensated primarily on a base pay of $60,000 with the opportunity to earn a quarterly bonus. Because this role is a step up, I would like to be compensated similarly but with a higher salary."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Financial Analyst Interview

      "Currently, I earn a base salary of $,000 per 63,000 year plus a potential 10% annual performance based bonus. Last year my earnings were $68,000 and I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher."

      Christina's Answer for a Sports Reporter Interview

      "Since I have been a sports reporter for local sports for 4 years already, I have significant experience finding local stories that mean a lot to the community. I feel that it is reasonable to ask for between $40,000-$43,000."

      Christina's Answer for a Meteorologist Interview

      "At my previous job, I was making $40,000, but after receiving my American Meteorological Seal of Approval, I am a certified meteorologist and feel my expertise is worth $55,000. This would also help my moving costs."

      Christina's Answer for a News Researcher Interview

      "I hope to make between $30,000-$32,000 since I have prior experience in the news industry and can deliver great stories to your newsroom."

      Christina's Answer for a Screenwriter Interview

      "Since I feel I fit the description of this job so well, I believe I should be making $30,000-$32,000 to start. I hope we can come to an agreement representing my skills."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Psychiatric Technicians Interview

      "Money isn’t a key factor and you’re goal is to advance in your career."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Correction Officer Interview

      "Currently, I earn a base salary of $45,000 per year plus health benefits. I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Nursery and Greenhouse Interview

      "Currently, I earn $16 per hour plus overtime. Last year my earnings were $42,000 and I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher."

      Rachelle's Answer for an Audio Engineer Interview

      "Since I have much experience already working with your audio board and editing gear, I believe I would be worth between $23,000-$25,000 for this job. However, I am open to discussions about other benefits I may receive."

      Rachelle's Answer for an Admin Assistant Interview

      "Currently, I earn a base salary of $45,000 per year. I would like to earn more in my next position, as I have additional admin and business certifications since my last salary negotiation took place."

      Heather's Answer for a Pharmacist Interview

      "I'm looking for a salary range between 80K and 120K a year."

      Christina's Answer for a Multimedia Journalist Interview

      "In my previous job, I made $28,000 as a multimedia journalist in Bangor, Maine. Since I am moving a long distance and in a higher quality publication, I would hope you would consider paying me between $30,000-$34,000."

      Rachelle's Answer for an Athletic Trainer Interview

      "Currently, I earn a base salary of $45,000 per year plus c. Last year my earnings were $52,000 and I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher."

      Christina's Answer for a Production Assistant Interview

      "Since I have been working as a production assistant for over 5 years, I believe I am worth $60,000-$63,000, especially because the cost of living here in California is steep."

      Heather's Answer for a Substance Abuse Counselor Interview

      "I'd rather not commit to that quite yet. However, I'm sure you are consistent with the market, and I would love to hear the starting salary for this position."

      Christina's Answer for a Production Director Interview

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      Christina's Answer for an Assignment Desk Editor Interview

      "I believe that my work is worth between $28,000-$30,000 because I have worked as a part time assignment desk editor before and I already have experience that makes me valuable."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Radiology Interview

      "Currently, I am earning a salary of X. In my next position, I would like to see an increase to Y. What range are you offering for this position?"

      Ryan's Answer for a Radiologic Technologist Interview

      "Currently, I am earning 55K per year. I'd like to stay in this salary range. What range are you offering for this position?"

      Rachelle's Answer for an Academic Dean Interview

      "Currently, I earn a base salary of $155,000 per year plus a potential annual bonus. Last year my earnings were $172,000, and I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher."

      Nisha's Answer for an Environmental Scientist Interview

      "I can share with you what I am currently earning, and where I would like to be in my next position. Currently, I am earning a base salary of $78K plus an annual bonus opportunity of an additional 10%. Last year my earnings were $85K, and I'd like to earn a bit above that in my next position."

      Nisha's Answer for a Forester Interview

      "I can share with you what I am currently earning, and where I would like to be in my next position. Currently, I am earning a base salary of $68K plus an annual bonus opportunity of an additional 10%. Last year my earnings were $85K, and I'd like to earn a bit above that in my next position."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Flight Attendant Interview

      "I did see the salary range posted for the position when I applied, and it meets what I am seeking financially. More important to me is a strong organization with values that I can align with, and I know I'll find those here at your airline."

      Heather's Answer for a Pediatric Nurse Interview

      "I would describe my personality as approachable, light-hearted, and positive. I like to give more than I take and pride myself on being part of a team."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Cost Accountant Interview

      "I am currently earning a base salary of $68K per year plus an opportunity for bonus, based on my results. I am looking for a position that will offer me competitive growth and salary."

      Heather's Answer for a Cardiovascular Technologist Interview

      "In my current role, I am earning $40 per hour. I am seeking $43 to $45 per hour in my next opportunity. I am looking for a role that is the best fit for me and my experience, so I'll consider a few factors when I make a decision."

      Rachelle's Answer for an Electrical Technician Interview

      "I can share with you what I am currently earning, and where I would like to be in my next position. Currently, I am earning a base salary of $72K plus an annual bonus opportunity of an additional 10%. Last year my earnings were $78K, and I'd like to earn a bit above that in my next position."

      Christine's Answer for a Payroll Specialist Interview

      "I am looking for growth in terms of responsibilities as well as in monetary terms. Through my research I see that the market average for this role, for someone with my years of experience ranges between $X nad $X per year. I am also interested in discussing your overall compensation offering in addition to the base salary."

      Rachelle's Answer for a 911 Dispatcher Interview

      "I track my stressors and then visit them regularly. I will write them down on a note in my phone and then at the end of the day, or the week; I will try to track the regular offenders. Once I can pinpoint the stressors that occur too regularly, I make a plan to eliminate or at least alleviate them. If I had a colleague who was stressed out, I would share that method with them and help them to implement it if they were interested."

      Ryan's Answer for a Property Manager Interview

      "I have faith that your company will extend an offer that's an accurate reflection of how much value I bring to your organization."

      Rachelle's Answer for an Air Traffic Controllers Interview

      "Currently, I earn a base salary of $95,000 per year, and I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher."

      Heather's Answer for a Dental Laboratory Technician Interview

      "I am currently earning a base salary of $40K per year plus health benefits. I am looking for a position that will offer me competitive growth and salary."

      1 Community Answer

      Anonymous Answer

      "My salary requirements are flexible, but for a ballpark figure, I would accept $100,000 considering the cost of living in the Bay Area."

      Rachelle's Answer

      It's fantastic that you have done your research and brought cost-of-living factors into your response. It's important to consider all angles, so I recommend also mentioning how your skills, knowledge, experience, and education also align with your ask. This additional information will further support any financial conversation/salary requests.

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