How To Answer “How Does An Annual Starting Salary Of $45,000 Sound?”

During your first job interview you may encounter the following question: How does an annual starting salary of $45,000 sound?” Don’t let this interview question catch you off guard! On this page, you’ll learn how to answer this question and negotiate your job salary in a professional manner.  

To provide some context, you make $45,000 at your current job and the interviewer offers you the exact same salary in your first job interview. You want to negotiate and make it at least $50,000 at this new job (Salary not listed in the job posting).

According to Indeed and Glassdoor, that’s within the price range for this position. You’re willing to stay at your current job, but you have no other offers. Then you need to strategically negotiate your salary! Down below you can find the perfect salary negotiation example:

Salary Negotiation Example

Applicant: “First and foremost, thank you so much for the job offer! I want to reiterate my excitement for this job opportunity! Now, before I accept the job offer, I do want to address the proposed salary.

Based on my expertise in [Topic] and current demand for [Job title] in the market, I’d actually consider a reasonable salary around $55,000 annually. Is there anything you can do to increase the number?

Interviewer: Alright, well, I’ll have to talk to my manager, there are no guarantees but I’ll see what he says. [5 minutes later] So, my manager said that the best we can offer is $48,000

Applicant: Thank you for taking the time. Well, I’ve carried out some research and I’m fairly confident that the average salary range for this position in this area is between $50,000 and $60,000.

Although I genuinely believe that I’m worth the upper end of $60,000 dollars based on my demonstrable experience and skillset, I do understand that this has to work for you too, that you don’t know me and I need to prove to you my worth. On that basis, I would be comfortable with a salary of $52,000. 

Interviewer: Unfortunately, $52,000 doesn’t really work for us. We can do $50,000 and give you an additional 6 days PTO. Does that sound good?

Applicant: Thank you so much! I really appreciate you going to bat for me, and I’m glad to accept this offer. What are the next steps in the hiring process?”

Interview Question Tips

  • Don’t negotiate if there is no leverage. You can propose a fixed number or salary range, but after that it’s better to wait for a response. If their counter-offer doesn’t meet your expectations you’d better decline the offer and thank the interviewer for their time and effort.
  • Do contribute to a win-win situation. Instead of making demands, it’s better to ask questions or support your answers with demonstrable skills / experience or information from reliable sources. Remember to stay positive and composed to keep the tension and stress out of the negotiation.
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