Answering the Expected Salary Question

Rule of ethics states that it is quite out of the ordinary and  polite scheme of things to ask a person how much he or she is earning from his or her job monthly. But what if you are a serious job hunter who is absolutely clueless on how to answer the interviewer’s question about your expected salary? Do you take the rude and crude way or the questionable and polite way? Letting the company decide on what to give you financially is a little bad because they will most likely be inclined to lean to their benefit than yours.

Fortunately for you, job hunter, there is already a middle way  (sounds like Buddha’s middle way, but not quite!)  that will help you answer this question. It’s sad that I only learned about it after I got hired. But I’m not complaining because I came for fulfillment in my job and not really how fat it will make my wallet.

You can check out Pay Scale’s website. They will require you to answer a series of questions about your job if you are a present employee who wants to know how other people in our country with the same position are faring in terms of compensation. This will help you gauge if you are underpaid, average or overpaid. If I surfed the page correctly, it will also show you compensations for different job descriptions in other countries, not just the Philippines.

If you are a job hunter, you can still get a profile of people who are employed in your dream job and you will see how much they are making. It does not just give you a single statistic; it will also let you know if that employee has achieve a certain extra Master’s degree or what-not that upped his or her salary a bit. That’s cool right? You’ll know your path right away and how much is objectively reasonable for a person of your level of skill.

Pay Scale is not a perfect system. There will be some job descriptions which are not filled with the right data. For that, I just give you the rule of thumb when I have job interviews: GO HIGH. And don’t be afraid to go high especially if you think your skills are commensurate to what you are expecting from the company.

In my case, the company gave me lower than my expected salary but there were a lot of non-monetary benefits that I will not be able to find anywhere else. So I am happy here. But for those who have many mouths to feed, that might just not quite cut it. This new app I discovered might just help.

(Open to comments of people who have been helped by this, if any.  My experience with Payscale is quite positive but I am quite curious how others will find it.)

11 thoughts on “Answering the Expected Salary Question

  1. hi melle! No hindi sponsored. I just have this passion for sharing useful stuff sa Internet. Wow, thanks sa visit… will link you as soon as I get a hold of my pc.

    Hi metalpig! Talaga? Sad… Baka unique yung job mo. Merry Christmas!

  2. Suggestions:
    1.Never include salary history in a resume or application, even when requested. If your background is strong enough and you meet the majority of the qualifications, the company will most likely contact you anyway.
    2.When filling out an application and you are asked for current compensation, write, “Will discuss in interview.” If asked for desired compensation, indicate “negotiable.”
    3.When asked about your current salary in an interview, you can respond by saying, “Frankly, I would like to see my income with your company based on the responsibilities of this position and what you believe my skills are worth to your company, not on what I have been earning.” Then follow with this question, “What is the range you have budgeted for this position?” Or you might respond by saying “I’m really not comfortable addressing my current income, because it isn’t a fair indicator of the strengths I bring to this new opportunity.” Then follow by asking, ” What are you looking to compensate someone — what is your range?”
    4.If you are asked about expected or desired salary in an interview, you can respond by saying, “I don’t have an absolute figure in mind. I recognize that my compensation will involve a package including benefits and possibly incentives, so I am very willing to negotiate with you. I have no doubt that if we are comfortable with each other, and you want me as a part of your team, that salary will not be an issue that keeps us apart.” Again, and importantly, follow with the question, “What is your range?” or “What are you looking to pay someone for this responsibility?”

    1. hi jj! wow it seems like a blog post in its length. LOL. 🙂 anyway, I agree, just giving out a range instead of a fixed amount is way better. But you will not have a range in mind if you do not get information first…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *