Published on June 27th, 2012 | by Rahul Vijay Manekari


An answer to this question – What is your expected CTC?

Before joining into any company, this question may appear in any context of the interview process. Before making any commitment you need to notice the occurrence of the question, either at the initial screening or near the end of the interview process. If it’s asked at the beginning, the employer may want to know if it’s even worth talking to you, given your salary expectations, or the employer may genuinely have no idea what the position should pay. If you cant escape this question in the early stage of an interview, try to give a range of salaries the amount that you want at the low end. This gives you good bargaining room later.

If you are asked the question near the end of the process, this can only indicates good things. If the interviewer has no interest in hiring you at this point, he wont bother you asking you this question. Generally, larger companies have less latitude in compensation packages than smaller companies. If you are asked this question, it probably indicates the company is willing to negotiate.

Before getting in to the loophole, you must be clear yourself about particular terms and the bargaining procedure.

+ What is CTC? (Click to expand).
CTC refers to “COST TO COMPANY “. This includes Gross Salary + incentives and benefits which includes many things like meal, medical facilities, phone facilities, accommodation, travel allowance etc.

It’s important to do your homework ahead of time when answering this question. First, if you find that people with simmilar jobs in your area are making 3 to 3.5 Lakhs per year, you are not probably going to make 6L a year. Second, Never undersell yourself. If you are looking for an annual salary of 4L, don’t tell an employer that you are looking for 3.5L a year. Third, consider carefully what you want in local compensation package.

in general, try not to tip your hand too early when answering this question. Instead of answering a question about salary directly, ask what range the interviewer is prepared to offer. There are four possible answer to your question.

First, the range is about what you expected. In this case, you can usually gain slightly higher salary but following this rules: First, Try not to act too excited – Stay Cool, Next, say you had a slightly higher range in mind and present the new range in front of the interviewer.

The second possibility is that the negotiator starts with a range higher than you expected. Bingo, this is great!

In the third case, the negotiator may not answer your question. He or she may give a response like “We have a wide range of salaries depending on the applicant. What are you expecting?” This response is quite favorable because it indicates that he or she has the authority to pay you a comparative salary.

Avoid weaker expressions like “I’m hoping for….” or “I’d really like……” Just say your range confidently like “I’m expecting….”.

The forth option is that the offer may be less than you expected. In this case, here are some tactics to try to increase the offer. First, re-emphasize your skills and state the salary range you were expecting. You can say that “I’ve to admit I’m little disappointed with that offer. Given my extensive knowledge and contributions I can make to this company, I’m expecting salary of 4L a year.

At this stage he or she will often cite one of the following three reasons:

  1. The amount wasn’t budgeted.
  2. Similar employees at the company don’t make that much.
  3. Your experience doesn’t warrant such salary.

None of these is an acceptable reason. First, the budget may be a constraint on the company, but it should’t be a constraint on your salary. If the company really wants you, it will find money and a way around this artificial barrier. If the company truly can’t find the money, it’s such a crash-strapped, close-to-death organization that you probably don’t want to work there anyway.

Here are other few final thoughts on salary issue. Some people are embarrassed or shy about talking about salary. You should realize that you’re already looking to engage in a business relationship, and salary is just one more part of the picture. No employee expects you to work for free, and there’s no reason you should act as if compensation isn’t important.

I have compiled this article on the basis of my personal experience and excerpts from the book “Programming Interviews Exposed – John Mongan”

Just remember my mantra “Be confident and don’t express yourself, sell yourself.” All the best.

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About the Author

A curious techie who like to legwork on various technology gadgets and software. A Software Developer by profession and a blogger by his likeness. IT Graduate, Ex Microsoft Student partner and an official writer at Technorati. Follow Rahul on Google+

7 Responses to An answer to this question – What is your expected CTC?

  1. Deepak says:

    truly fantastic !!

  2. Sagar Morakhia says:

    Nice Article. Will be helpful. Thanks.

  3. Mani Rathinam says:

    Thanks a ton!

  4. Arjun says:


  5. KAVITHA V K says:

    Thanks Rahul Vijay Manekari , its really helps me very much

  6. Aravinth Kumar A says:

    Excellent. . .Useful information. Thank you so much!

  7. hardik says:

    NIce! I really get encourage after reading this!

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