The salt effects on molecular orientation at air/liquid methanol interface were investigated by the polarization-dependent sum frequency generation vibrational spectroscopy (SFG-VS). We clarified that the average tilting angle of the methyl group to be theta = 30 degrees +/- 5 degrees at the air/pure methanol surface assuming a delta-function orientational distribution. Upon the addition of 3 mol/L NaI, the methyl group tilts further away from the surface normal with a new theta = 41 degrees +/- 3 degrees. This orientational change does not explain the enhancement of the SFG-VS intensities when adding NaI, implying the number density of the methanol molecules with a net polar ordering in the surface region also changed with the NaI concentrations. These spectroscopic findings shed new light on the salt effects on the surfaces structures of the polar organic solutions. It was also shown that the accurate determination of the bulk refractive indices and Raman depolarization ratios for different salt concentrations is crucial to quantitatively interpret the SFG-VS data. (C) 2016 Chinese Chemical Society and Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.