There’s no great secret to performing well in a job interview – it relies heavily on research, preparation and good interview technique
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You’re making good headway in your graduate job interview, having already answered a whole host of questions including 'what are your strengths and weaknesses?' and then hear “what are your salary expectations?” Don’t be surprised. This is very common, but can be difficult for graduates making their first leap into the graduate jobs market to pinpoint. Salary is always an awkward topic to discuss, but you can use it to your advantage by showing the employer your worth and confidence.
We’ve found the best way to tackle this graduate job interview question, is to first understand, why does an employer ask it?
Make sure you research the average salary of the position and sector you’re interviewing for as it will give you a good idea of what amount to put forward. Try using jobs boards e.g. Glassdoor to compare graduate job titles, average salaries and the skills required in the graduate job description. Graduate jobs in London may differ to graduate jobs in Manchester or Cardiff so it’s important to bear that in mind too when thinking of salaries.
Employers will want to know not just for financial reasons, but to understand even more about you and your skills. The Employer will want to see what your expectations are, but also how flexible and confident you are in yourself. Presenting a realistic salary in a confident manner will show them you are pragmatic and self-assured.
Before answering the question directly, sell yourself first e.g. ‘As I’ve mentioned before I have experience in PR, have contacts within the industry and eager to engage with new and existing clients - for this reason, the salary that I think is right for me is £X.’ If you have already been in a graduate job within this sector, mention you are looking for personal development and progression, and an increase on your current salary is important to you.
If you say you would like £40,000 in a Junior Marketing Executive graduate job, the company will see your expectations are unrealistic, and this might say more about you as a person and how you will execute tasks. If the salary bracket is £20,000 - £24,000, and you suggest an amount in between and back this up with valid reasons, the company will see you’re a high achiever, but realistic in your endeavours.
Here at Give A Grad A Go, we are strong advocates of the London Living Wage and believe graduates should know their rights in all aspects of work. It’s important to be aware of the company’s policies, and using the London Living Wage as a point of reference can be a good indication of what is a fair salary.
Read our complete guide to Interview Questions!
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