6 years ago
February 13, 2018

“What Are Your Salary Requirements?” What to Say When a Recruiter Asks This Question

Getting asked about your salary requirements is bound to come up eventually during the interview process. It can be an awkward conversation – since many candidates fail to prepare for…

Rhys Metler

Getting asked about your salary requirements is bound to come up eventually during the interview process. It can be an awkward conversation – since many candidates fail to prepare for the question.

How you answer the question can impact your bargaining power if you receive a job offer. Asking for too much could put you out of contention. Asking for too little could hurt you financially. The sales recruiter may hold you to your salary request if an offer is made.

 The Benefit of Money Questions

The major benefit of getting asked about salary is the company has some interest. You have likely been added to the short list of candidates. The key is to be prepared to answer the questions and provide a well thought out answer.

Why Do Sales Recruiters Ask About Salary Requirements?

There are four main reasons why recruiters and hiring companies will ask you about salary during the interview process:

  • To see if they can afford you: Many candidates ask for too much.
  • They are looking for a bargain: They may try to hire you at a bargain price.
  • To see how you value your work: Some companies want to see how you value your own work based on industry averages.
  • They use it to compare candidates: Companies use your salary expectations as one of many factors when comparing candidates.

How to Prepare to Answer “What Are Your Salary Requirements?”

Before you offer up your salary requirements:

1. Hold off as long as possible:

This will give you more time to sell yourself and position yourself as a candidate the company wants to hire.

2. Know what the company is offering:

Check to see if the company listed compensation on the job ad or website. You can use this information to get an idea of what they want to pay.

3. Do your homework:

It’s important to do your homework and understand what the market yields. Know the salary range for someone in your position, with your experience, in your location. This will help you make a reasonable salary request when asked.

4. Consider other factors:

If you are moving to a new city, are expected to start soon, or signing bonuses and commission are common in your area of work, make sure to factor these into a compensation request.

Once you’ve answered the question and it comes time for a formal offer to be made, remember, you can counter offer, and if the offer isn’t good enough, you can walk away.

More About Salary Requirements

Top 5 Common Ways Sales Professionals Are Paid

5 Common Misconceptions about Sales Compensation

4 Types of Sales Commission Plans


SalesForce Search is a sales recruiting company which specializes in the recruitment and placement of sales professionals. We recruit salespeople in every sector of the economy including, software, manufacturing, financial services and medical devices. Find the right salesperson for your organization, start your search here.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.