Answering salary questions can be tricky because as much as you want to get paid well, you also don’t want to risk the job by asking for a higher paycheck.

Recruiters ask this question because they want to know if they can afford you before they invest time and resources to hire you.

The recruiters usually ask these questions later in the interview process. Candidates are advised not to ask salary-related questions early on before they are sure that they’ve won the recruiters over.

If the recruiters do ask you about your salary expectations during the initial interview stages, it’s best to try and put off answering these questions by flipping the question or by simply providing them with a range.

It is because when you provide an exact figure early on, you can risk agreeing to a lower pay scale than you deserve or lose your chances of getting hired if you ask for a higher salary range that is out of their budget.

So how can you evade providing them with a figure or turn the question around?

Option 1. Diffuse the question.

You can diffuse the question by highlighting your skills and capability without giving them a figure. Your answer can be something along the lines of:

“I’m highly skilled in the MERN stack, and I’m certain that my skills will help you develop your product further. I’m confident that you’ll offer me a salary that’s competitive in the current market.”

This answer works well because you’ve expressed your trust in the recruiters to offer you a fair salary range wishlist shedding light on how you can be an asset to the company.

Option 2. Delay the discussion of the salary.

You can put off the question by emphasizing your interest in learning about the other aspects of the job before talking about money.

“I would like to know more about the job requirements first because I’m sure we can come to an agreement on the monetary aspect once we see that we’re a good fit for each other.”

Option 3. Provide a range.

If the recruiter press for a specific number, don’t give them that; instead, provide a range.

“Based on my research, an annual salary between $70,000 and $90,000 is in line with the industry average with respect to my skills and experience level. However, I’m open to hearing about the company’s salary expectations for this position.”

However, keep in mind that the employer may opt for the lower end of your range, so make sure your target number is as close to the bottom number as possible.

Option 4. Flip the question.

You can, in fact, subtly turn the question around on the interviewer to hear the interviewer’s best offer.

You can say, “I would want a salary that’s consistent with current employees at the same level. What is your pay range for this position based on my skills and experience level?”

Make sure that before you go in for the interview, you’ve done your share of research about the industry salary standards based on your skills, experience, location, and industry. You can refer to sites like,, and

That way, you know what salary range is fair for you and the recruiter as well.

In addition to that, be sure to check to see whether or not it’s legal for the recruiters to ask you about your current or previous salary in your state.

Some US states like New York and California, among others, have implemented the salary history ban, which restricts the recruiters from asking you about your past or current pay.

This ban is implemented to encourage fair pay and narrow the pay gap between men and women.

You can follow these guidelines to prepare to answer salary-related questions in your interview.

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