Top ways to answer: “What is your salary target?”

Negotiating for your desired salary can be challenging, even as new pay transparency laws sweep the country.

One of the most common questions you’ll encounter during a job interview is:

What is your target salary?

Although it’s a simple question, it’s also one of the most important ones, as it can determine whether or not you’ll be offered the job. It’s a tricky question, and many people find it challenging to answer. This is because they don’t want to undersell themselves, but they also don’t want to overprice themselves out of the job.

Here are the Dos and Don’ts of answering the question “What is your target salary?” during a job interview:


  1. Do Your Research
    Before the interview, research the industry and the job position to determine the average salary range. This will help you to have an idea of the salary range you can expect. Websites like Glassdoor or Payscale can give you an idea of the average salary range for the position you are interviewing for.
  2. Focus on the Big Picture
    It’s important to remember that salary is only one part of your compensation package. Consider other benefits such as health insurance, paid time off, retirement plans, and other perks that may come with the job.
  3. Understand Your Worth
    Know your worth and what you bring to the table. What unique skills or qualifications do you have that make you stand out? Be prepared to explain why you deserve the salary range you are proposing.
  4. Be Realistic
    When proposing a salary range, be realistic. Don’t ask for a salary that’s way above the industry average, or you’ll come across as greedy or entitled. At the same time, don’t sell yourself short by asking for a salary that’s too low.
  5. Stay Confident
    When discussing your salary expectations, be confident and assertive. Remember, you are selling yourself, and you should be proud of your skills and accomplishments.


  1. Don’t Give a Specific Number Too Early
    Avoid giving a specific number too early in the interview process. Instead, try to get a sense of what the company is willing to pay before proposing a salary range.
  2. Don’t Lie About Your Current Salary
    Some employers may ask for your current salary. Don’t lie about your salary as it can be easily verified, and it could ruin your chances of getting the job.
  3. Don’t Be Inflexible
    Be open to negotiation. If the employer offers a salary that’s lower than what you had in mind, don’t immediately dismiss the offer. Instead, try to negotiate for other benefits or perks that can make up for the lower salary.
  4. Don’t Be Too Aggressive
    While it’s important to be confident and assertive, don’t come across as too aggressive when discussing your salary expectations. Avoid making ultimatums or threatening to walk away from the job offer.
  5. Don’t Forget the Big Picture
    Don’t get too caught up in the salary number. Remember that there are other factors to consider, such as job responsibilities, company culture, and growth opportunities.


Answering the question “What is your target salary?” during a job interview can be a tricky proposition. However, by doing your research, understanding your worth, and staying confident, you can negotiate a salary range that’s fair and reasonable. Remember to be realistic, open to negotiation, and focused on the big picture. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to landing your dream job at the right salary.

In conclusion, here are some key takeaways to remember:

  • Do your research on the industry and job position
  • Focus on the big picture, not just the salary
  • Understand your worth and be realistic
  • Stay confident and assertive
  • Don’t give a specific number too early
  • Don’t lie about your current salary