The Dreaded Interview Question; What Are Your Salary Expectations?

Aug 04, 2022

What Are Your Salary Expectations? . . . Eek! Gasp! Yikes!

Ouch, the dreaded interview question that’s asked.

What do you say? And most importantly, how do ask for what you think you deserve?

Newcomers, you are not alone if this question makes you nervous or unsure of how to answer it. Most English speaking Canadians worry about it too. Part of it’s related to Canadian culture as we don’t often discuss our incomes even with our closest friends. In addition, if your expectation is too low, a company may pay you peanuts and if too high, they may not want you and think you’re greedy.

If the salary is not stated in the job posting or advertisement, get prepared to ask this question. But don’t panic, let’s be proactive…here are some quick tips for you:

Tip 1: Wait and see if the potential employer brings up the topic first

This may happen anywhere in the hiring process either in the initial pre-screening interview phone call, the more formal interview or when they send you the job offer.

If you bring it up too early or keep returning to the topic, you can be misinterpreted as just focusing on the income and not the job or opportunity itself.

Waiting to see if they bring it up first is a courtesy and makes the interview focused on your interest in the role, not the money. Besides, if they provide you with a salary that you consider highly reasonable, you can just accept it right there. If they do not bring it up, you can ask to discuss it in the final interview if there is one.

Tip 2: Asking to ask

Politeness can go a long way! Remember, in Canada, we highly value manners, professionalism and being respectful to each other.

Here are some clever ways to ask:

“Is this okay to talk about….?”

“Would you mind if I asked you what salary range you were considering for this role?”

“I know it can be a difficult discussion, but would you be open to a discussion regarding salary expectations?”

“This sounds like a great opportunity, and I think I could bring a lot of value to the role. However, if it is okay, could we perhaps begin salary negotiations?”

Tip 3: Do your homework and prove it

Research on the internet various websites for more information on salary ranges for people with your job title and level of experience. Be prepared or if in doubt, use the example questions in Tip 2.

These tips can go a long way when settling on a wage or salary that is considered both fair and reasonable. However, these tips are just a few and there are many more both strategic and highly useful ones that our program can teach you.

Join our free Pathways to Work – Enhanced Language Training (ELT) Language and Job Search Assistance Program for Newcomers starting Sept 19 2022. Our certified (OCELT) instructors and Newcomer Career Specialist will help you find and be prepared for meaningful employment in Canada!