Monday, June 1, 2009

Justify your expected salary during job interview session

I always find the candidates coming for job interview failed to provide a satisfactory answer to justify their expected salary.

The answer they gave often related to their personal needs, such as:

  • I come from outstation and need to cover my expenses.
  • I have parents, siblings and my own family to take care of.
  • I need to repay my car loan, house loan, etc.
  • and so on...

Candidates have to bear in mind that the company you are applying for the job is most unlikely a charity organization which give you the job because they want to take care of your personal needs. Normally they give you the job because you are suitable to fill in the job vacancy offerred by them.

It might be a true situation that you need that much money to support for your living, and there is nothing wrong with it. However, you just can't use that as a justification to your expected salary, because your answer doesn't view from the employer's perspective.

Therefore, when you are asked to justify for your expected salary, your line of thinking should go towards what are the values in you that the company is most probably looking for. What are the things that make you outstanding from the other candidates (your competitors)?

The following are points that can be used for your answer:

1. Your education background

  • Are you graduate from a renown university well recognised for its academic competency?
  • Do you possess a well recognised double major, a master degree, a PhD, etc.?
  • Do you score above average in your exams?
  • Are you a leader in your school's extra-curricula activities?
  • Are you a winner in contests, competitions, sports, etc.?

2. Your job related certifications

  • Have you obtained any certifications related to the job that you apply for? Such as CCNP, CISSP, LPI, etc.

3. Your professional membership status

  • Do you have any membership in professional bodies? Such as IEEE, BEM, ACCA, etc.

4. Your working experiences

  • Have you involved in international projects?
  • Have you handled big projects?
  • Have you been in a leadership position?
  • Have you worked for famous organisation(s)?
  • Have you organised major events?
  • Do you have vast exposure in multiple disciplines?
  • Do you have any achievements that you are always proud of?

5. Your special skillsets that is useful for the job you apply

  • Do you master multilingual, including major non-English languages such as Chinese, Japanese, etc.
  • Can you speak in dialects that might be in use in the job environment? Especially for customer facing roles such as sales, customer service, marketing, etc.
  • Are you good in public speaking?
  • Are you good in performing presentation?
  • Are you good in problem solving? (Eg. do you have hobby in chess, sudoku, strategic computer games, etc.?)
  • Are you well computer literate?

6. Testimonials from others

  • What did your professor (especially thesis supervisor) commented about you?
  • What did your current and previous bosses commented about you?
  • Did you obtain any letter of appreciation from your customers?
  • Who are your referees? Are they a famous person in their profession? Are they publicly well-known? Do they have special title such as Datuk, Tan Sri, PJK, AMN, etc.?

7. Other recognations

  • Have you written book(s)?
  • Did you contribute articles to publications and/or journals?
  • Have you been invited to give talks in seminars or events?
  • Have you obtained recognition status such as "employee of the year", "top sales", etc. from your previous/current company?
  • Have you been positively reported in the newspaper, magazine, etc.

So, during a salary negotiation, you should show your worthiness based on your values which you think are likely to be appreciated by the company, especially those that have direct positive impacts to the job vacancy you applied for. You should try to convince the employer why they have to employ you and pay you the amount you ask for, despite there might be other candidates (your competitors) asking for less.

A good employer will most probably give you what you asked for, as long as you can justify it, and the amount is within their budget. Sometimes, they will possibly frankly tell you that they cannot affort your expected salary, and you should not feel disappointed about that. What you should do is to look for employer with better financial strength, and more willing to pay for good employee like you.


aLan said... Reply To This Comment



1. 我的中文书写流利流畅、文字输入速度快,对需要跟中国供应商接洽的您会是个好帮手。
2. 我对电脑的软件和硬件有一定的掌握程度,可以帮助公司减低IT外包维修的昂贵收费。



Voyager8 said... Reply To This Comment

Hi JunK,


比如:ISO9001 流程、行业知识(domain knowledge)、... 等等。

aLan said... Reply To This Comment



我的工作范围没有牵涉到ISO9001噢,那是经理做的。我只是对ISO test method比较熟悉。行业知识,例如全球趋势、SWOT之类吗?

Voyager8 said... Reply To This Comment

Hi JunK,

行业知识包括产品认识、技术常识、市场了解、景气观察、顾客消费趋势、... 等等。

aLan said... Reply To This Comment


说到产品认识,我真的不很认识公司的产品!我们实验室负责研究一个base formula,厂方可以加工处理成为好几百种产品出来。市场,景气,消费趋势,不是销售人士应该关注的吗?我觉得我上司对技术常识的要求会比较迫切。当然,我了解到,摄取多方面的知识对事业只有益处没有害处。


Padmanaban said... Reply To This Comment

Interview is just a process to select the right person, so have a complete study about the company as well as the job position. Internet provides an easy way to search jobs openings related for your needs.

Adele said... Reply To This Comment

Tks very much for your post.

Avoid surprises — interviews need preparation. Some questions come up time and time again — usually about you, your experience and the job itself. We've gathered together the most common questions so you can get your preparation off to a flying start.

You also find all interview questions at link at the end of this post.

Source: Download Ebook: Ultimate Guide To Job Interview Questions Answers:

Best rgs

Jagadeesh Bollabathini said... Reply To This Comment

Thank you so much.

This is really good article I have ever seen.

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