How do I set a target salary for an interview?

One of the main challenges when looking for a new job is setting the salary that we want to earn in the new company.

This is a very personal decision but it is important to do some research and find out what is being offered in the market for similar job positions to the one we want. If we do not take this into account, we might ask for a salary much higher than the one being offered and the chances of getting that much-wanted salary increase may decline dramatically.

There are websites that show us salaries for different job positions in different countries. In some countries, the data is relevant and up-to-date while in others it is not.

The aim of this article is not to criticize and analyze other sources so we will not consider these websites and we will focus on other alternatives that might help you.

First things first

Although it can be a bit awkward sometimes to ask about income, one very important source of information is your colleagues and friends in the field of expertise (former university classmates, work colleagues, etc.). Asking them is the first step, not without mentioning always that you are asking because you are looking for a new job and you need help! Not everyone likes sharing their income but if it is for a good cause they might be more willing…

Another good source is during the job interviews that we have. In practice, one should have a number in mind before going to the interview but after the interview, we can ask the interviewer, as we are facing a specialist that knows exactly how much is being asked by candidates and paid by companies in the market. It is important to clarify that the question is not only for the job proposed in that interview.

Once we are happy with all the information gathered, we can calculate the average and use it as a reference. After considering how salaries are set in the market, we suggest that your desired salary is not 20% above the average estimated, otherwise it might be over the amount being offered at the time.