What are your salary expectations?’ will be a key question a recruiter or potential employer will ask you. Your answer can be the difference between an offer or a rejection. It is important never to undervalue yourself, but it is also crucial to be realistic with your expectations to ensure long-term financial stability and satisfaction. In today’s economic turbulence, you do not want to be stuck in a job where you might not be able to deliver or even miss a fantastic opportunity which is loaded with valuable experience and lessons!

How much does one usually ask for in an interview setting?

There will never be an accurate percentage that reflects a realistic salary step-up! As a rule of thumb, we would recommend a step-up between 5% to 20% but bear in mind that these figures can fluctuate based on the circumstances. It is important you know your market value as pitching above that can come across as arrogant but positioning yourself too low could signify low self-esteem.

Always listen to the advice of your recruitment consultant. They know the market, the competition and the company and will have a clear idea where to pitch you to give you the best chance at a successful interview.

We recommend these 4 steps to consider before finalising your salary range:

Step 1: Know the current job market and get advice from your recruitment consultant.

Step 2: Be realistic about your own qualification and market value as well.

Step 3: Consider the non-monetary benefits and opportunities for growth.

Step 4: Consider jobs just above your current mark as well.

1. Know the current job market.

Understand the current economic situation and the impact that it has on the job market. We would highly recommend looking at our recent salary survey to understand what you can expect as a permanent or temporary Personal Assistant or Executive Assistant. It is wise to keep in mind that hiring managers have a budget in place already and would realistically only consider an increase in an event that multiple candidates set higher salary expectations (not as much of a frequent occurrence as one might think!).

2. Be realistic about your own qualifications.

Take a good look at a job description of choice and evaluate which of your skills, expertise and experience would make you valuable to that employer. Write down your strengths and areas of improvement to understand how they align with the requirements. Do you understand how your specific skills match the needs of the job market? Is there a shortage of talent in your field? The advantage of this exercise is that it will help you organise your thoughts so you can best articulate your past achievements and contributions to your previous roles during an interview. It will also help you quantify where in a specific salary bracket you fall in to.

3. Consider the non-monetary benefits and opportunities for growth.

If an employer is truly interested in you, there will be room for negotiation! It sure is tempting to jump straight to the money but what about the benefits that come with the offer? For example, whilst a particular job might not have a huge lift in monthly income, you could be offered private healthcare, a gym membership, equity or even a hybrid work week which is slowly becoming a luxury. Although these seem like an afterthought, they can equate to an additional income in the long run, a better work environment or work-life balance – something which a flashy high salary job may lack!

4. Apply to jobs just above your current mark as well.

Long-term steady growth will always more rewarding than rushing to the highest bidder! When you leave a role try to also look at option just above your current salary. Why? The step-up may be less but what if it is something you are truly passionate about? What if you love the company culture? Also consider what you can learn there which a more high-flying position might not be able to offer. You cannot perform at your best and achieve an outstanding career if you are not happy, not making the most of an experience.

For more advice on your search, the market and up to date salary expectations please speak to one of our consultants on 020 7036 2030