In an interview, it is typical to be asked a question about your salary expectations. You could hear questions like: how much do you want us to pay you? Or what are your salary expectations? This question can be very tricky. Interviewers ask this question for different reasons.
1. It is a test to determine how greedy a person is.
Yes! This might be harsh but it is true. You can imagine a situation whereby the applicant is asking for a three hundred thousand naira salary for a front desk role in a small company. Some companies might be able to afford it but a small company most likely would not.
2. To examine the focus of the applicant
The interviewer might not be bothered about the figures but is interested in knowing how the applicant articulates his/her focus. That is, what are you after in the company? Most employers do not want employees who are only bothered about the money especially if there is a vision the company is running with.
3. To determine how prepared you are for the job
While this point might be a little contradictory to the previous reason, it can also be true. It all depends on perspective. Some interviewers want to perceive how determined you are. This is more or less a personality trait.
Determining your salary worth should not be so difficult when you are honest with yourself. There are some factors you can consider while forecasting your salary: value (education, experience, skills), location, work hours, amongst others.
Some people might find it insulting to be asked to measure their worth or what they are capable of. However, you must not forget that the company employing you is going to pay you for what you bring to the table. What contributions you are able to make to her development. Therefore, a good place to start the calculation is by examining what value you would be offering the company. Three factors you can consider for this are: your knowledge, experience and skills.
Your level of education can determine what you might earn. If you have a BSc and have bagged three master degrees, for example, you might want to carve your pay around this plus.
More recently, people pay for experience more than anything. This is because they trust that you would be able to do what you have been doing for sometime.
If you have prominent competencies in areas your employer is interested in, you can demand for the amount you know your skills can provide.
Another factor to consider is how far your work place is and the cost of your mobility. You do not want a job where you would have spent all your salary on transportation only because it is too far from your home.
This does not apply in all cases. However, if your job does not have the regular work hours, you can determine your salary by factoring in this detail.
Author: Lawal Tomi
Tomi is a recent graduate of English at the University of Lagos. As a trainee at Ready Set Work 2018, she has a passion for promoting employability and entrepreneurship. She believes in investing in people.