Close cross icon.

How to Discuss Salary Expectations

If you are looking for a new job, the question: “what are your salary expectations” will invariably come up. It’s typically asked at the start of the hiring process to ensure you and the employer aren’t wasting time if your salary expectations are way off the budget for the role.

Sometimes you will need to reveal your salary expectations when you apply online. But usually, you will be asked after a recruiter has reviewed your resume and assessed you as a possible fit for the opportunity. To help answer the money question, we provide a breakdown of the best way to respond.

Do your research, so you know the appropriate salary to ask for

When answering the salary question, it can be tricky to strike the right balance – you don’t want to undervalue yourself or price yourself out of contention. That’s why understanding the current market rates is vital.

  • Clicks’ job salary search outlines the average salary at entry, mid and senior levels for over 200 IT roles.
  • Job ads and job boards provide a rich source of data. Besides salary information, you can see the associated skills, experience, and qualifications expected.
  • Search for job salaries via sites such as PayScale or Labour Market Insights.
  • Ask professional peers online via apps such as Fishbowl.
  • Company review sites such as Glassdoor are also helpful. In addition to compensation data, you can gain insights about the workplace and other benefits.
  • Recruiters are working with new jobs every day and can provide you what the latest salary data in real-time.

“In my experience, in-demand IT skills such as Data, Security, or Development can attract higher rates. However, the pay for the same skills can differ across industries and regions. So, candidates need to factor this in when doing their research,” Jerry Ranatunga, Senior Account Manager, suggests.

If you haven’t had a chance to do your research, request more time:

  • You can say, “I would like to learn more about the role and my fit to the requirements before I confirm if that’s OK.”
  • You could also flip the question and ask, “Can you tell me more about this opportunity and the salary budgeted?

Outline a range and be flexible

Outlining a salary range – rather than a specific figure – is an excellent way to ensure you don’t undersell yourself or hurt your chances of securing the role. Being broad is particularly useful if you are still figuring out what the job is about and your fit against the requirements. You might say, “from what I currently understand about the position, my salary range is $120,000 to $150,000.”

Dee Pollett, Senior Account Manager shares, “it’s also a good idea to be flexible. Flexibility allows you and the employer to negotiate an offer where everyone will be happy. To start, think about the entire salary package and consider what else is important to you. For example, besides the dollars, do you value flexibility, additional paid leave entitlements, L&D opportunities, or a bonus plan? These factors could alter the salary you accept, so find out what’s on offer. Additionally, if you can’t secure your ideal compensation, you can discuss a sign-on bonus or salary review in six months – this might help bridge the gap.

Securing the best salary possible is crucial as it ensures you start a new job feeling valued and motivated to deliver. However, money is only one of the motivators. If you understand what’s important to you, pick the opportunities that provide you with the right rewards.” 

Respond with confidence and focus on the facts

Be confident when you outline your salary expectations. If you’ve done your homework, this will help. Then, as you move through the final stages of interview, you can highlight your target salary. Support your case with facts to increase your chance of getting what you’ve asked for.

“You may like to share what you are currently on. You can include other work perks that have a monetary value (such as car or training allowance) the best thing to do is focus on the skills and experience you bring to the table in line with the requirements and challenges of the role,” says Mellissa McGregor, Principal Consultant

Clicks is an award-winning IT recruitment specialist. As Australia’s favourite IT recruiter, we help candidates in Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, and Sydney find great opportunities each day.

Subscribe to Our Job Seeker Advice Blog

More Job Seeker Advice

Write Your CV to Land The Job You Want

Revisit Your CV to Increase Your Chance of Success Is your CV working as hard as it should be? It is, essentially the step that’s going to get you to the door, before you dazzle the interviewer with your personal skills and charm, so it deserves a little more than a cursory tidy-up every now…

Read More

How to find your next job opportunity

A quick survey of my team revealed that job boards are not the most common way they’ve found work. Yet job boards are still where many job seekers focus their time and energy. There is still a place for job boards, but I want to show you there are many other effective ways to land great roles, fast!
So, if you are on the market looking for your next opportunity, I’ll show you smarter ways to find your next job. From leveraging technology to building human connection and networking, there’s 10 alternative ways you can find your next job.

Read More

The Best Questions You Should Ask in a Job Interview

Interviewee or Interviewer – in a Successful Interview, Both Interviews give employers the opportunity to scout for clues about your interest in the role and insights into how you think. Being prepared with well-considered and thoughtful questions will make you stand out and ultimately, land the right job for you. Not having any questions to…

Read More


Level 35
360 Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

T | 03 9963 4888


Level 13
333 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000

T | 02 9200 4444


Level 8
127 Creek Street
Brisbane QLD 4000

T | 07 3027 2555


Level 9
224 Bunda Street
Canberra ACT 2601
PO Box 129
Civic Square, ACT 2608

T | 02 6202 7700

Scroll to top arrow.