Application tips

3 ways to a yes answer to the salary question

Lost in the jungle of salaries?

What do you want to earn? Fear hits many applicants around the heart. Yet it is an essential question in any interview. We like to show you the way in the jungle of salaries. Of course, in this jungle you will not only find gross wages, but also extra-legal benefits. Preparing yourself well for this question is very necessary in order to obtain the best possible package for you at the time of recruitment. You are unique and you want your salary package to suit you as well as possible. How do you find out what fits in your salary backpack?

3 waypoints in the jungle of the payroll country:

1.    Make a list of your needs and requirements

What is the absolute minimum for you? What is your current salary? What would you like to earn? It is best to work with a salary range (between x and y). In negotiations, for example, you have the most flexibility in function of the extra-legal package that is offered. List your current benefits and think about what extras you would like to have. There is a whole range of possibilities. A few examples:

  • very practical matters (smartphone, laptop, company car, fuel card or ironing service),
  • insurance (hospitalisation, pension, life),
  • additional remuneration in the form of an annual bonus, 13th or 14th month, and
  • meal vouchers, eco vouchers, consumption vouchers, etc.

Make a distinction for yourself between essential advantages and nice-to-haves. Remember that a company usually does not offer the full range of benefits.

2.    Peeking at the neighbours

Are you a starter, are you planning a career switch or have you been working for your current employer for a long time? Investigate the labour market before you enter the untouched jungle of salary land. On the internet you can consult salary guides or take a look at sites such as "Glassdoor" where (former) employees anonymously share a salary indication. Also take a look at similar vacancies where sometimes the remuneration is explicitly mentioned. You can even make a simulation on sites such as Jobat. Simply ask around in your own network. Or take the bold step of asking your intermediary (selection office, vdab or actiris counsellor...) for advice.

3.    Put together your negotiating fork

On the basis of all the information collected, it is best to establish a minimum survival package for yourself. Make the split between pay and benefits. Then see where you can lay a realistic top line. Be realistic and precise. During an interview you can then formulate a clear message. In this way you avoid surprises or unpleasant situations. 

We hope that you can see the path through the wage jungle more clearly and that you have confidence to answer this difficult question in a well-founded and balanced way. Still questions about the salary jungle? Contact us. We will be happy to help you. We wish you a lot of success in your applications.

PAs or EAs can find detailed salary information here:

Looking for more tips and tricks about applying? Like and follow our LinkedIn or Facebook.

Recent blog articles


Arcadius uses cookies to remember certain preferences and align jobs interests.