What is Your Expected Salary? How to Navigate This Tricky Question

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PHOTO BY Shutterstock

(SPOT.ph) Eager to find a new job before the year ends, data analyst Gelo keeps a list of all his expenses in an Excel spreadsheet to help him determine the salary he would ask his future employer, taking into consideration his monthly rent, his weekly groceries, and his daily allowance.

The 27-year-old from Taguig City is hoping for a salary bump when he transfers to a new company to pay off his loans and save enough money for emergency funds. Next year, he’s also planning to go on an out-of-town trip in celebration of his 28th birthday.

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Medyo marami akong gustong i-achieve kaya kailangan talaga yung magiging sweldo ko sa next company is more than enough. Kung hindi man mabigay yung maximum salary expectation, at least within my range sana,” Gelo said.


In any job interview, applicants should be able to tell their recruiters how much they are expecting from the role they are gunning for considering their skills, experience, and financial needs, and it all begins with an effective salary negotiation, a human resources expert said.

Mag-negotiate ka, kasi minsan nag-aantay lang din si HR na mag-negotiate ka. Mag-negotiate ka kung ano talaga yung gusto mo,” human resources consultant Rhondale Florentino told SPOT.ph.

Kapag sinabi ni HR na talagang hindi kaya, saka ka mag-move on. Kapag sinabi ni HR na sige, balikan kita, that means may room for negotiation,” she added.

Why recruiters ask for your salary expectation

Most of the time, recruiters ask for the applicant’s salary expectation during the initial interview to see whether they can provide the expected earnings based on their budget for the position being applied for. It will help them determine if it’s still worth it to proceed to the next step of the application process, Florentino said.

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Kung sobrang layo ng salary range, doon pa lang alam na kaagad nila na malamang hindi na kami magpro-proceed kasi masyadong malaki doon sa kung ano man yung budget for the position,” she said.

May mga instances din na kahit medyo may kataasan yung salary expectation mo pero kung talagang gustong-gusto ka nila, napakaganda ng background mo, minsan si company mismo willing na mag-adjust,” she added.

In most cases, a company looks at their own salary structure in deciding whether or not to give the expected salary of the applicant, Florentino said. The salary structure contains the job grades and their corresponding pay depending on the value of the employee to the company and in the market.

Ang susundin ng HR ay kung ano yung nasa salary structure. So kung ang nasa salary structure starts at P25,000, then you start at P25,000,” Florentino said.

Kung si applicant ay nag-negotiate na taasan to P30,000, kapag hindi pa lumalagpas doon sa first quartile nung salary range na yun, then pwede kang pagbigyan doon especially if sobrang ganda ng iyong profile,” she added.


How to determine your salary range

While the company has the final say how much you will get from the job, you can still earn your desired income by telling your prospective employer your salary expectation. For those who need help in determining their salary range, Florentino gave the following tips:

Do your research

Applicants can do more than just waiting for what their prospective employers offer them. Before starting any application process, do your research on the company as well as the basic salaries for the positions they are applying for, Florentino said.

Yung salary hindi naman yan something na totally walang nakakaalam. Meron kang Jobstreet, Payscale, Salary.com, Glassdoor. Pwede kang kumuha diyan ng idea kung magkano ang binibigay sa position na yun,” she said.

List down your expenses

Make sure that you know how much you need to sustain your daily living, including your recurring expenses, allowance, savings, and even your leisure activities. That way, you will be able to determine the income you need every month to survive, Florentino said.


I-consider mo yung gastos mo tapos probably around 10% more, that could be the net pay that you can target,” she added.

Consider your skills and experience

Always back up your salary expectation with a list of the skills and experiences you obtain from your current job, or from your university days if you are a fresh graduate. This way, the hiring manager will be more convince to give you the salary that you want, Florentino said.

“Companies oftentimes are more willing to provide a higher salary if you have latin honors. And as much as we say na wala namang impact yung school, in reality may impact yung schools,” she said.

“If you spearheaded projects in your current company, use that as a leverage to get a higher salary,” she added.

Try increments of 5

When it comes to salary expectations, Florentino suggested to use increments of P5,000, meaning if you are expecting at least a monthly salary of P25,000, make the range up to P30,000, not lower than your minimum amount, Florentino said.


Kapag pinababa mo, that gives the signal to whoever is interviewing you na pwede kaming mas mababa. Kapag tinanong ka ng recruiter, 'Is this negotiable?', sabihin mo yes but my minimum is this amount,” she added.

In the end, if you’re looking for a bigger salary in your next work, be upfront about it to your future boss, especially if you think you can perform well in the job.

“Be sure with what you want to have. Kasi later on, iisipin mo nang iisipin yan, it will eat you up, so hindi ka rin makakapag-perform nang maayos and you'll keep comparing yourself sa iba na may ganung sweldo,” Florentino said.

Kung hindi ka masaya sa sweldo mo, hindi ka rin magiging masaya doon sa trabaho mo,” she added.

Rhonadale Florentino is a human resources consultant and strategist who serves as CEO and President of UpRush Social Geekers, an HR consultancy company. Access their services here.

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