Fresh Grads – Stand Out!: What’s Your Expected Salary?

John-AntoniosFresh Grads – Stand Out!
By John Antonios
Helping new graduates stand out from the crowd and take control of their career legacy.

What’s Your Expected Salary?

In an earlier post, we tackled one of the typical questions you’d expect in an interview: “Tell me a little bit about yourself”. In today’s post, we will tackle a slightly more awkward question, “What’s your expected salary?” Some career advisors will tell you how to dodge the question and redirect it back to the interviewer. Personally, I think you should answer that question with confidence and honesty.

Certainly, I’m not asking you to just throw a number hoping for the best. You should have a good argument behind the figure you give in reply to this question and present it as such.

So, let’s get back to the question, “what is your expected salary?” Before you’re able to answer that question, you should consider the following:

Salaries paid for similar jobs.
You can easily look up online the salary range for jobs similar to the one you’re applying for. If you’re in the US or Canada, Salary.com is a good site to run your search. If you’re in the Middle East region, Bayt.com releases periodic reports containing salary information for the different countries in the region.

Company profile.
We’re all aware that salaries vary from one company to another. Depending on the company size and industry, you should be able to assess the salary range it (the company) falls within.

Your education & relevant experience. If you studied Hotel Management, and you applying for a marketing role in an FMCG company, you should expect a lower starting salary from a marketing grad applying for the same job. During the interview, make sure you highlight how your education and experience relate directly to the job.

Your brand.
When thinking about your brand, make sure you take into account what you and only you can bring to the table that adds value to the job you’re applying for. I’m not referring to a certain skill; I’m talking about your personal brand attributes.

Opportunity Cost.
A typical term you’d hear in your economics course, which basically means: the loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen. In this case, what is the monetary value of what you’d be giving up to take on the new job. You might be freelancing graphic design projects, and accepting the new job won’t give you time to continue doing so. You need to take that into account.

Fair compensation.
Finally, after considering all that, it boils down to one thing … what would make you happy and be considered a fair compensation for the your work. You need to feel appreciated and properly compensated to continuously perform at your best. Remember, the honeymoon period is short on the job, so try to think passed that, and see what would make you happy.

Before you head on to the next job interview, make sure you do your homework. Now you can answer that seemingly awkward question with full confidence and honesty; you can also justify your request.

… And like I always say, “YOU SHY, YOU DIE!”

John Antonios is a Personal Branding Strategist & Executive Coach. He stands side by side with politicians, executives, and graduates helping them understand and promote their brand DNA, allowing them to cash in on their passion and take control of their legacy.

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