What is the Salary Screen?

Early on in the interview process is it quite common for the interviewer to ask you questions about your salary expectations or previous salary. These questions are asked to make sure that your salary expectations are aligned with what the company is willing to pay. The key is to answer the question but not provide too much information or be too specific which can limit your ability to negotiate when you are offered the position.

How To Respond To The Salary Screen

Here are three possible responses. You can use one or a combination of all of them to respond to salary questions.

  • Avoid naming a specific salary figure. Try to get the interviewer’s range first. “At this time, I am flexible with salary. Perhaps you could tell me the salary range this position has within your company?”
  • Try to learn more about the position before providing a number: "I understand that you would like to know this, however, I am not comfortable giving a range without more information about the responsibilities of this position. Would you tell me more about it?"
  • Provide a range based on your research. "Based on my research, this position pays between $50K and $65K annually. How does that compare with your company’s range?


Here are some resources to assist you with collecting current salary data. Click here to view a list of sample interview questions where the salary screen techniques could be used.