How To Answer The Job Interview Question: “What Are Your Salary Expectations?”



This is probably every candidate’s dream question. The idea of earning a ridiculous six-figure salary without any relevant qualifications is entirely left at the tip of your tongue’s disposal.

However, many candidates have left the interview rooms as nothing but former shells of themselves when they realise that their brilliant ‘chess-move’ ultimately backfired on them.

Ideally, this is one of the simplest questions you can encounter from the interview panel and the secret to answering it successfully is…………… *drum rolls*………. RESEARCH!

There are certain factors that will determine your response. Do some research about them. Such may include;

  • Business type size i.e is the business a start-up, small, small medium enterprise or a conglomerate.
  • Company size i.e how many employees? Does it have branches? etc
  • Skills and level of experience – Fresh graduates are paid less than someone with 2 or 3 year experience.
  • Type of industry – Some industries pay higher entry salaries compared to others.
  • Market rate – The average market pay rate for a similar position in other companies.


  • Always give a range whereby the lowest amount is what you are comfortable with and top it up with at least 20-30%

  • If you ask too high, the employer might perceive you as over-qualified or too ambitious.

  • If you ask too low, the employer will doubt your skills and you will also come out as desperate.
  • Do not ask about the company’s budget as this will be perceived as undecisiveness and uncluelessness regarding your value and competency and the employer can exploit this to negotiate you downwards.

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Armed with the above information and having done my research, lets assume that I am being interviewed for a Customer Service Executive position and the question is brought up. This is how i would respond.


Based on the job description and responsibilities as well as my level of experience, i am looking at a range of between Ksh 45,000 and Ksh 60,000.


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