Discussing salary while interviewing

Updated December 24, 2021
Salary Meme
Photo Credits: The Internet

Key Takeaways

  • Steal their thunder by being the first one to ask or, return the ball to their court and ask them to tell you their budget. Recruiters are humans too, be honest. Always ask for some time to think.
  • Prepare yourself with enough data by studying the current fair market value for the position (Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Indeed, friends). Cite how your unique skills & values can contribute to the business (achievements, certifications, education, side-projects, testimonials).
  • Understand the total compensation package (perks, equity, bonus and raise structure). Know your floor and ceiling from the very beginning and do not undervalue yourself.

The job search process is tough and intense. Not only should you research the role you're interviewing for, but you should also prepare to negotiate a salary you can rightfully defend. Keep in mind that those who chose to negotiate salary, rather than accepting the offer on the table, increased their starting pay by an average of $5,000[1]. Crazy, right?

Well I read this article, Setting Up & Preparing For Interviews[2] by Taylor Poindexter the Engineering Manager at Spotify, and the first tip for setting up your interviews really struck a cord as I've always struggled with addressing it; How to say no to saying your desired salary by a company when it's interviewing you.

It got me curious. What are the 'right' words to use when saying no and switching the conversation to them giving you a range. As a Community-bred designer I went to my most reliable source of information, people in the slack groups I am in sharing their personal experiences, and shared this question to get different perspective on tackling the issue:

📣 My Ask

I am happy to say that I am never disappointed by the kindness you sometimes find in these communities. Community members poured in their advice. Hope the responses will help you in future:

💬 Community Shares

Where are black designers?

3 contributors · 8,025 Slack members [3]

"I'd love to know what you've budgeted for the role."
Make sure you go through all of your compensation package so you can know what the full offering is and if they don’t have certain perks (bonuses, stock, equipment and education reimbursement) you have some leverage to negotiate a higher salary. Then say,
“Thanks for providing that info. I’m interested in what’s the compensation band for this position?”
When you ask that, most tech companies are legally obligated to give you the compensation range in their state. Hope it helps. Good luck bro!
I'm sharing from TikTok:
“Based on the current market(Glassdoor, indeed, LinkedIn) for this position in this region; and, my expertise $xx.xx-xx.xx is the starting range to comfortable perform x,y,z job functions. Does that sound in line with your budget?”


2 contributors · 12,113 Slack members

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Hi Lewis! From experience…
Company: “What’s your desired salary?”
Me: “What’s the budget range for the role?”
They'll usually tell you the range if you answer their question with that specific question. From there, you can pick a number within the range that works for you. I've only had one company not tell me the range but that was because I was coming in from a completely different industry. They said, “You’re not our typical hire, so the skills don't quite match up with the range we usually have, but we're flexible. What would be your magic number?” I gave them a number slightly above my current salary and they said they could work with that.
For declining their offer, I've said “Based on the value I can bring with my experience from X, Y, Z, I would feel more comfortable with a salary of (number).”
I’d consider it a red flag if the company won't tell you their budget at all for the role if you've asked directly.
Hi Lewis. - I agree with Stephanie in that I ask about their budget but I also recommend using that to point out the unique skills/value you bring. I strongly recommend researching your numbers ahead of the first call so you are prepared. If you feel compelled to give a number (cos some recruiters don’t like the back and forth) I recommend citing your Research and your Reason for the ask again citing your unique talents (especially as a career changer). If you need to talk about it offline, let me know.


7 contributors · 2,688 Slack members [4]

“I expect to be paid market rate for my level of expertise”
"it depends on the roles and responsibilities of the position, which is something I'm still exploring with the rest of your team. What range do you expect for this role?" or something like that
I always counter with, "What is the range for the position you are hiring for."
i found this video very helpful! [5]
In Colorado, we’re required to post salary range in the job listing. When I’ve been asked the salary question directly during an interview, I’ve said that salary is only one part of compensation, and I’ll be considering the position based upon the total compensation package in addition to the expected responsibilities of the role itself.
I used my typical response in a recent interview, and my interviewer actually gave me a very thorough outline of every part of their benefits package, perks, equity, bonus and raise structure, and then asked “so are we within your range?” And I responded that we were aligned. If the range overlaps a salary I wouldn’t be attracted to, I may say that we’re aligned at the upper end of their range.
candidate planet videos are awesome highly recommend all of them (Lusen is great!) but here are a few that are relevant: 3 Phrases to Keep Your Current Salary a Secret from Recruiters[6] and Optimal Strategy for Giving Salary Expectations in Phone Screens[7]
Use the question in your advantage. You're not required to mention your actual salary. You can just mention a number that's close to what you would feel like you want to earn and say you would like to make a step up from that. And as mentioned before I also look at the full compensation package including the ability to learn and grow in a company. In the end money isn't everything.

Teams at Work

4 contributors · 1,905 Slack members [8]

This is a great guide, although it might not have the exact wording you’re looking for: The 10 commandments of salary negotiation [9] .
Boom, it's in the first commandment! 💥
Do not — I repeat, do not — give them a number. Instead, Ask for the range they’ve budgeted for the role:
“Can you tell me the salary band for this level? Happy to let you know if it’s within my range, and we can discuss specific numbers later when I’ve met the team.”
This line is GOLD💰
What recruiters say: “If you give me your number, I will make it happen for you.”
What they mean: “I’ll get you something lower, but kinda close to what you asked for.”
As a team lead (and hiring manager) of 8ppl, I would say that actually depends on a lot of factors.
  1. For me, the budget is really flexible, the decision is mostly about how capable and the experience of the candidate.
  2. the happiness of the team members is more important than saving a few hundred euros. But it's the happiness of ALL the team members, so fairness is really important and thus the offer is very often a consideration of the relative salary with the existing team.
  3. I indeed have multiple times that after the candidate tell us their expectation, we offer him/she more than that because it's a potential issue if he found his salary is lower than the teammates without good reasons
  4. (given that when the hiring manager has such freedom) I indeed always try to raise the salary of the team - given that if you hire the right people, the output is always significantly higher than the cost. It's much more productive to keep them engaged rather than saving a little bit of budget. And if some good performer leave, it's always a BIG COST for the team, for the productive and for the time investment to find a new one.
Myself I am still learning to do it. But there is something that I learned and benefitted from personally: study the market (try worldwide but I would advise to analyse it in your local market) and understand how much you should ask for your role. And fix a realistic price range you think you are worth.
If the job offer does not show a salary band, use your price range; and I am saying this especially for women, and I was faulty of this myself: don't budge on it. Make sure that you clarify it as soon as possible with the recruiter or hiring manager and don't budge. Even if they tell you it is outside of what they can offer.
Because here is the thing: if they really think you are the right addition, they will find the budget. I can testify first hand (as a person who did it and as a hiring manager) that they will make the effort for you. If they can't, it means that it wasn't the right fit as they weren't able to see your worth.

Friends of Lenny's Newsletter

3 contributors · 5,684 Slack members [10]

Lenny's newsletter published the question and responses in their Community issue 59 as one of the 💥 Top threads this week

"This feels like we're negotiating over salary but you haven't made me an offer yet."
"I know we're all looking at the same salary data and I'm sure you're planning to hire someone at a competitive rate. Is this something I should be worried about now?"
"It feels early to be talking about salaries, but now I'm curious to hear about your compensation strategy and plan."
By the way, it's a great opportunity to apply your product tools to non-product questions. What problem is the person talking to you at the company trying to solve? What is their job to be done?
  • Are they trying to avoid wasting time by not progressing candidates who will ultimately decline an offer?
  • Are they trying to hire people for lower salaries?
  • Are they reflexively asking the question because they don't know any better and have no real hiring strategy?
Depending on the company, role, and hiring manager (and your own interest) this conversation can turn into a real opportunity for you to help lead the company (and discover if it's the kind of company where you can help lead).
Exact words I've used are ‘I'd like to understand the salary band for this role.’ This has almost always led to the company providing a range.
If I haven’t completed final interviews yet, I say,
“Let’s see if there is a mutual fit first before we discuss salary.”
Then they usually say some stuff along the lines of,
“I don’t want anyone to waste their time if pay is misaligned.”
To which I reply,
“Then let me know of your salary band, and I can judge if it works for me.”
Sometimes they won’t give it to you, other times they just stop when you say that you’d like to see if there is a fit. If it’s post-final interview, I usually say something like,
“I’d rather you tell me what you feel comfortable paying me after my interviews.”
I always figure, they should want me, and if they still don’t want to tell me what my pay is, I’m usually out by then. I’m not a “Great value”. If they truly want me to work there because both sides feel excited about each other, they can start our relationship on honesty and openness. If they decline, I usually decline because who wants an employer that’s starting off the relationship like that.

dMBA Alumni

4 contributors · 363 Slack members [11]

I usually give a range for the salary and ask them if this is the range they are contemplating, they usually respond well to that.
If for whatever reasons you are not comfortably with taking the first step, you can reply ‘I would rather not say (or I don’t feel comfortable) and would like you to make a first offer’. Quite common in my experience in salary negotiations (I’ve been at both sides). Good to take into account that they will never come back with their maximum offer. You should however have a number in the back of your mind. Hope that helps.
It quite common to say a salary range, however... Once while interviewing a candidate I asked them for their salary expectation, they said if I could share the salary range for the position. I thought it was genius, and to be honest it's a trick I've been using when interviewing. As someone in a management position I do have a range for the role (because of budget planning). If I or any company is not able to share this information that would raise a red flag for me.
First, you should absolutely know the minimum number you need to thrive, not survive. No negotiation will make you feel like you've done a good job unless you know your personal finance situation. It might be uncomfortable, but necessary. Here's what I’ve used in the past:
If asked about my preferred salary range:
"Since this role is a posted position which has been signed off and made public, the salary range should be no secret. Can you tell me the salary range for the position, so that we both know we’re not wasting our time?"
If asked about my preferred compensation package:
"I'd like to show you how I can contribute enough to your business that you'll want to pay me well to do this job and I'd like to have an honest, fair discussion based on what I can do to make your business more successful.”


8 contributors · 7,272 Slack members

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I had an issue with this recently and just did the old question to a question. Luckily the correspondence was by email so I just ignored and asked for salary range - seemed to work
I’d replicate this 👆🏾. Asking, it would be great to know the salary range for the role and what experience is required foe the top and bottom level of this range 🥳
I came across an interesting article: How to Skillfully Answer 'What Is Your Desired Salary?' in a Job Interview[12]
Something I heard once on a event and i think it works well face to face is when they ask you for your desirable salary is reply saying
"What salary can you offer for a position/role like that one? or What salary can you offer for a role with my seniority?"
and you return the ball to their roof, if that make sense 🙂

Avatar credits: Craftwork (Free Userpics Pack)

I always ask them saying that I don't want to waste their time if we don't agree on same salary range. If they lower the range I’m no longer interested in the position 😛
see it like the other way around, more or less you know your professional value in the market - if you are very junior you need to research a little bit - for I would say fo instance in London a Junior position is between 25-32k p/a ,(years of experience or/and technical skills you have). it can be 3 scenarios:
  1. They offer X amount per year (for example 22k p/a) so it's below the range of the market for a junior, then you know they are not very "trustworthy" (unless they justify this amount for X reasons: early startup, lower salary but bonus included, low salary but revision after 3 months, etc...)
  2. They say a X amount above the market then (we are going to offer 32k-34k for ex.), everyone is happy.
  3. They say an amount that is average (28k p/a) and then you say: "mmm I was thinking more about something around 3k-32k p/a because X, X and X".
This is a very personal opinion ofc but I hope it's somehow useful! 🙂
I usually say something like
“I appreciate the question. I would like to learn more about the team and the context, and also do some research on my own. Would you be able to provide me a salary range for now? ….. I see. Thank you. I’d like to revisit this topic at a later stage”
Why would you not state your expected salary? I think the first number that gets thrown out will set the anchor, so why let the other person do it? Of course, do some research beforehand for what is a competitive salary for your experience, location, position, etc and then go with it…I have actually seen instances where the HR person even let the candidate know that their asking salary was too low!

Springboard UX Mentors

4 contributors· 495 Slack members [13]

Here you go:
"My salary range is flexible. I would like to be compensated reasonably for my experience and accomplishments. Before I come to the salary, I would like to know more about the position, the company, the team and the benefits. Once we are done having a detailed discussion about these topics, I would like to talk about specific number. By the way, may I ask what salary range you’re considering for this position?"
So few points to keep in mind
  1. Say you are flexible
  2. You should provide a range instead of a specific number
  3. Before talking about money, talk about your achievements, certifications, education etc… even testimonials
Hope this answers your question
I say
"I have been doing freelance for a couple of years and do not know the current rate for a salaried position with benefits. I know they can be drastically different. Could you share the salary range for this position to help me understand what is reasonable?"
And if you are new to the field you could just replace it with,
"I am new to the industry and do not know the current rate and how that fits in with benefits and/or bonuses. Could you share the salary range + benefits for this position to help me understand what is reasonable?"
“Considering this is a [contract/full-time] [level - mid-level, senior, etc.] position, I’d say [range] but I would also take into consideration benefits, and the types of projects I’d be working on. So, I am flexible. Are you able to disclose the salary range for this position?”
Majority of the time, the recruiter then shares the range.
I just ask
"What range do you have in mind for this position?"
I don't say anything about my past or present salary.
  • if they can't or won't state a range then they're not serious and I end the conversation politely.
  • 99.9% will give me their range and I can then say something like "I'd come in at the high end of that " or similar, again without stating a number.
In general they don't want an exact number. They want to know if you're both playing in the same ballpark.

Content + UX

4 contributors · 10,949 Slack members [14]

I’d probably say that salary is only one part of the overall compensation/benefits package, so your desired salary would vary depending on other benefits - then you can ask for an overview of the whole compensation package which should include a salary range.
p.s That’s just my thoughts, I have no HR/recruitment experience to draw from for this
Honestly, I just say what my salary range is. You must know going in what you can live with/without. You should also know what you are worth, and you can do that with just a little research on the web about what people with similar titles (even in other professions) make where you live. Do not undervalue yourself!
I do wish more orgs would publish their salary range so people could decide from the start whether or not to apply and to avoid this awkward game. Until then, go in with your knowledge and expectations and see what happens.
I wait until several interviews to give my salary range. I usually say that I don’t have enough information about the team or role (a JD is not enough to know what it’s like to be on the team, it’s usually a wish list).
Before discussing salary, I would also ask if they have a non-compete in their employee agreement for this role. A lot of companies don’t have them, because they can be highly restrictive and aren’t a fair labor practice, imo (which is why California and other places have outlawed them).
But knowing that key info would make me ask for more because non-competes and other restrictions make my value to them go up. (So do other factors, which is why I need to know more about the role from managers and other folks that work there.
I also like to get the range as soon as possible, even before a phone call. A couple different ways to ask:
  • What’s your budgeted salary range for this role?
  • “I know similar roles in competitor companies run XXX to YYY. Is that in line with your budgeted range? Is it higher or lower?”
🌍 If this is a remote role, make sure to ask if they pay based on location, and what region your location is based on. (For example, you may live in an expensive state like I do, Colorado, but it gets lumped in with low cost of living states like Oklahoma, Texas, and the Dakotas, which feels a bit off. That might make you ask for a different, slightly higher amount.) Or getting paid based on location might not appeal to you at all.
In the past I've said
"This is always the hardest question, isn't it? I see compensation as a total package, and I want to make sure we're a good fit for each other just as much as you do, but you've got a better sense of both the salary range and the benefits than I do. If you can share those factors with me, I can let you know if we're aligned."
Then, once they declare the range/benefits, you can respond to say that you're roughly aligned but still need to learn more about the position to specify an exact number, which pushes off a true negotiation until later, once they really want you and you've got more bargaining power. If you aren't in the same ballpark at ALL, you can let them know the range you had in mind. They'll either let you know that range isn't doable (no more time wasted on either end!) OR they may be able to uplevel the role. Sometimes a company will have a hard time finding a more senior person, so they downgrade the role to open up a broader pool, but they still have the budget for the higher position--or sometimes they only have a more junior position now but they're about to open up a senior one, which they may be forthcoming about once they hear your range.

Mind the Product

2 contributors · 50,270 Slack members [15]

Can I ask why you don't want to give what your requirements are? I know it's super annoying when companies don't put salaries up but I suppose you must have a rough idea of what you were after? You could say something like
"It does really depend on the full extent of the role and so I would need to give it some deeper thought after this interview as I learn more. Can I ask what the range you had in mind for the role was?"
In today’s industry, I’ll definitely refuse to tell my current salary as its not useful in anyway. You are interviewing for a role - which means two things should matter:
  1. Check if the SKILLS required for this job position - are a fit on both the sides
  2. Check if the SALARY associated with this job position - is a fit on both sides
Candidate’s current salary is not needed unless the employer/recruiter is looking to adjust the same depending on the answer given.
Another good article by Linda Zhang How I negotiated $375K Facebook PM offer. Podcast interview is here How to Negotiate a Job Offer with Linda Zhang

Designer Hangout

4 contributors · 20,170 Slack members [16]

You might play their game and tell them a salary higher than what you desire, by also adding that you are willing to have a chat around it in case they might have questions.
It is also good to have a specific number in mind so that you won’t accept anything below it. (don’t disclose that one)
You might also consider giving them a range of salary. In this way you will put them in a conundrum: will they pick the lower end and look like stingy asses? Or perhaps they want to demonstrate the trust they will place in you by picking a salary on the upper-end?
This website has some example scripts for this situation. Salary expectations questions - How should you answer them?[17] - I haven't tried them myself but always thought they looked useful.
I saw one on Twitter that I liked recently. I think this would work no matter how they ask?
"I'm quite flexible. What's the role's budgeted range?"
Doesn't stop them from lying about the budgeted range, I suppose
What do people know/do/feel about… not sure how to say this. The recruiters are separate from the HR people who are separate from the people you’d be working with in most cases. And some only have third-hand info, or scripts they’re trained to follow. So it’s tough to parse out who really knows what and who says they know what, right?
I've had screener questions from people who clearly aren't product people because the questions are absolute nonsense ("Rank yourself in these skills from 1 to 10, please. UX design, visual design, research..."). But it's much harder to believe that the salary budget isn't decided at the company level, from my experience. Then again we don't have team-level budgets at the company I work for
Oh definitely on the first part! And then if you ask a clarifying question (like, “What do you mean by design — just want to make sure we’re using terms in the same way”), they’re simply not equipped or trained to answer. It’s tough; they’re put in a hard place by being given a question, and you’re forced to assume things that, if not the same assumption as the hiring manager, makes you look all wrong.

Udacity Alumni

2 contributors · 26,488 Slack members [18]

There are a lot of ways, depending on the situation.
Keep in mind that at the earliest stage your previous salary history is not relevant to the job, and should not be disclosed no matter what. Your preferred salary is not relevant to the job at the beginning either, and in both salary scenarios the goal is to either Destroy your negotiation power in the future, if you go too low too early and you try to go higher they would hold you to your words, and if you go too high they might terminate your interview for another, so you gotta be smart.
Usually you can return the question back in a nice way, different strategies. You can say, you don't have a specific number in mind yet as the main focus is to get through with the interview first. The salary should be the last thing they discuss about, when you know they will offer you a job.
Otherwise ask them to tell you their budget for the role if it matches with your interest, or tell them what amount have they paid for similar roles in the past or what do they consider as a fair amount for a position like this etc. You can initiate a discussion in directly, taking subtle control of the conversation and whenever you are the one asking you have control over who is answering. I once interviewed my interviewer, she forgot she was interviewing me the way I engaged her and she was really falling in love, maybe we would be married by now if I pushed further haha, so it really just depends on you, how much you can sell yourself, talk, converse and engage after all they are humans.
If they all the way insist by all means and you have tried to escape the questions multiple times so much and it seems there's no way out, I suggest you search online for the average salary in big tech companies for internship or junior role even senior depending on your role and use that to decide your salary or you can ask a friend for advice.
The golden rule is never to give an answer too soon, any company asking you for salary information on their form or interview is probably unto something be careful.
Try to act smart, informed and dynamic in your approach, it will send a message across to them.
I'd normally say that my contract with current company doesn't allow me to disclose my current salary to anyone. For desired salary, I'd say
"Hey, can we please defer the salary negotiation to the end of the interview? That way we both can get to know each other so negotiation becomes simple."

DesignX Community

3 contributors · 6,348 Slack members [19]

Ughhh I hate the salary negotiation game.
Just know that you are not required to tell them your previous compensation package, especially since it'll perpetuate the pay inequity many minorities face. I would say
"I don't feel comfortable revealing my past compensation package, but I'd like to know what compensation the organization feels is fair."
If they ask you for your desired salary before telling you their first offer, continue to stand your ground:
"I have something in mind, but I would first like to hear what the organization's offer is."
Remember that salary is only one piece of the total compensation package. And don't feel pressured to complete the entire negotiation in a single conversation. Both parties need time to think, calculate. But you should know your floor and ceiling from the very beginning.
My two cents. Go get 'em tiger.
don't feel pressured to complete the entire negotiation in a single conversation. Both parties need time to think, calculate
I'm going to offer an alternative perspective on this specific point but overall 👍🏾 to Rochelle's guidance.
I have some experience as a hiring manager and it's worth sharing that we already know the pay bands for a given role in advance of sharing the job posting. For example: a company may decide to offer between 120k-160k for a Senior Product Designer. The band exists to account for more or less "perfect fit" candidates and allows the company to be flexible with each individual candidate.
As the interviewee, you should also know in advance what the pay scale and floor, as Rochelle mentions, you're willing to accept is in advance of applying for the role.
During the earliest stages of the interview process you should proactively ask for the pay band the role falls within. There should be no hesitation from the recruiter or hiring manager in offering the range since avoiding a bad fit ASAP is advantageous to everyone.
If the company refuses to share this info, you likely don't want to work there 🙂
I also just give my desired range in the first interview, I honestly don’t want to waste my or their time if that is not even aligned. Don’t have energy for games 🙂 At that point they say if that’s doable or not.


1 contributor · 24,767 Slack members [20]

you should check out this article: Salary Negotiation: Make More Money, Be More Valued by Kalzumeus Software[21]. You can search for "never give" to go straight to the negotiation part, but worth reading the whole thing

Designers Group for Good

3 contributors · 7,242 Slack members [22]

I usually say something like,
"My salary requirements will depend on the opportunity and many contextual factors, such as who I'll be working with, what types of projects I'll be on, and work-life balance. However, a number like $X would certainly have my attention"
where X is a number that is borderline unreasonably high, i.e., a number I would be extremely happy with. You can also leave out the list after "such as" or substitute your own list of factors. Hope that's helpful!
You can also flatly not answer by answering with a question:
“I’d prefer if we start by you sharing what you have in mind as the current salary range for the role.”
It’s always better to be the second person sharing your number.
Agree with Agusta. You can also steal their thunder by being the first one to ask! It is reasonable to ask in the very first interview. You can say, "Just to make sure we aren't misaligned and wasting each others' time, what salary are you expecting to offer your choice?" Something like that.

Rosenfeld Media

4 contributors · 5,182 Slack members [23]

I don’t have a good answer to that one, but in the nonprofit world I work in I am seeing more job postings list a salary or (relatively small) range.
I’m not sure. I haven’t thought about it yet. What is the salary range for the job?
sometimes that doesn’t work because they will throw it back to me and ask again. So I say Well, I need some time to think. Or I need to talk about it with my family and see what works.
they often say ok and keep moving forward with the process while trying to remember to get that info. Most or half forget (they don’t track well the alarm requirement as a gate in the process) so I may find out at the offer or they remember later and ask me if $C - $K is ok not knowing if I have a requirement or not.
Still some will come back an require me to give them (which is illegal) so I can refuse or say this. (After doing research) my requirement is $Y per year ( which is way above what the maximum my research has shown).
Then they say that is too high that the range for the job is $R - €S. Then I tell them I will take €S. Or if that max is too low the. I say thank you and live on.
Sometimes they just say that is too high. Before they close the conversation I ask what the range of the job was. When they tell me if it works I say I would be willing to do it for the max range because I like the job. Or if not I thank them and move on.
In the initial interview, I normally ask what the identified salary range for the position is. Then when they tell me, I say whether that range is acceptable. Then when it actually comes time to talk numbers, you can judge more clearly where you fall.
I find there's often some push/pull here, and I've stated as much. "It depends" is a good start. Ask what they typically do for employees in terms of stock, bonuses, and other compensation. Sometimes you can reverse-engineer base pay based on that.
You can also try telling them what goes into your calculation: What's the cost of living index where you live? Would you be required to move? Just to start the conversation. Get them thinking about how they can help you make a decision. If you need to know salary range in order to move forward at this point, they need to be transparent with you, or it's just not going to work out.
I don't know if this would work for everybody, but I've said "I make X right now" (be honest--but maybe a little optimistic based on bonus opportunities etc) "...and in order to change companies, I'd expect an increase around X%." You could even say "I expect my pay to increase by y% this year at this company--and to change I'd need that to be z%)".
Though sometimes I've gotten more vague answers like "We're competitive in the Seattle market" or "You can read up on GlassDoor - we pay employees in your role very well for the industry"

United Designers

2 contributors · 1,014 Slack members [24]

The contributors are 'unknown' because this Slack workspace has reached its limit and one can't go back to the discussion.

Exactly this is what I've used!
"What are your salary expectations?" "Do you by chance have a range for the role?"
If it's too low, be honest and say it's not a range you'd go for, and ask if there's flexibility. if they don't budge then don't waste your time. If it's close, just say "Thank you for that information. I'd be on the higher end of that range."
Or I've also said
"thanks for the information, let's see if it's a right fit first" and see where that goes"
I’ve said
“I’m looking for a right fit and can be flexible on salary depending on benefits and total compensation package. I’d be open to a reasonable proposal commensurate for a designer of my experience in New York City.”
(I’m based in New York, so that was relevant because NY has a high cost of living, so I thought it would help raise my offer. I wouldn’t mention the location if you live somewhere that tends to have low cost of living and low salaries).

Uxcel Community

1 contributor · 1,753 Slack members

Hi Lewis. Sorry for the delayed response, but here you go!That’s a great question and one that gets asked a lot. Before starting a job hunt, the most important thing is knowing the fair market value for both the position and location. Once you’ve prepared yourself with enough data, it makes the interview process, especially regarding salary expectations, a lot easier to navigate.Honestly, I don’t have the correct formula for declining to say my salary expectations and turning it on to the company. This process is very personal, and I’m pretty open, honest, and direct, so I’ll flat out say my expectations. Based on research (and what I was previously making), I’ll shoot for the higher end of the fair market value range.I’m not sure this is the answer you were looking for, but in my experience, it’s best to aim high using every piece of data available. Some companies may provide their range, and I know there are plenty of tactics to get them to reveal their hand, but I’m not sure I’ve got a solid answer for you.

Product Tribes

1 contributor · 16,808 Slack members [25]

I think it’s a valid question - it helps them understand where you think you are in seniority compared to where they think you are. I have in the past just “dodged” the question by giving a range starting at the minimum I would take for their role and adding ~20K to that for hte max end. Just say instead “this is the range I am currently interviewing at with other companies”


1 contributor · 7,240 Slack members [26]

I’ve said in the past because I believe this.
“I’ll let you share the expectations to the salary since I’m sure we’ll work it out. I believe in that if this is the right place for me and I’m the right for you, then it’ll be fine”.
so if it’s much lower than you expect, well, be prepared to leave

Thanks for reading 🤗

Thoughts? Reply @ngeshlew

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