Are Your Salary Expectations Too High in This Market?

You will be asked about your salary expectations at some point in your career. This usually happens during the interview process. The hiring manager asks this question to determine if your desired salary is on par with what they are willing to offer for the position or for what the market bears.

During the Great Resignation Era, many candidates quote salaries far above the industry average. Of course, we all feel like we are worth more in any given market; however, there is more than one way to slice and dice the pie when looking at the overall total compensation structure including benefits, retirement savings, and often stock options. If your salary quote is too high, it could decrease or eliminate your chance at the position. So, how should you answer the salary question?

Why Do Employers Ask About Salary Expectations?

As noted above, employers ask about salary expectations to ensure that what you expect as a candidate is a salary they can reasonably provide. Many businesses set a budget to cover the positions they are hiring for and must stay within the budget or risk cuts to funding elsewhere in the company.

They may also ask this question for other reasons, including:

  • To assess if you are over-qualified for the position
  • To assess if you know your worth in the market

How to Assess Your Salary Expectations

To answer the salary question appropriately, research the average salary for the position and the range for that position within your city and state. Factor in your education level and experience level, as well as relocation and other expenses required to take the job, to get the most accurate range.

Remember to include other compensation options when considering a salary range. Health benefits, paid time off (PTO), extra vacation days, and company equity are all a part of the compensation package. While they may not have the flexibility of upfront payment, they add up over time and contribute significantly to your overall income.

What to Avoid When Discussing Salary

  • Avoid quoting an exact amount. This may give the impression you are not interested in negotiating.
  • Avoid being unprepared. This could lead you to ask for too low a salary or too high a salary


When hiring managers and recruiters ask, “What are your salary expectations?” your answers may hinder or help you advance in the hiring process. Take the time to research, choose an appropriate salary range, and be open to negotiating salary and compensation for the right job. Your career advocate is here to walk you through and will help you negotiate the best salary.

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