Is it OK to ask about salary during an interview? Is there ever a "right time" to ask about salary during the interview process? Bringing money up during the first interview might be too soon, but you also don't want to wait until the end of the process to make sure expectations are aligned. So, how are candidates supposed to navigate these conversations?
Before the interview, it’s important to do your research. Find out the industry standard for the role you are applying for and the salary range for the company you’re interviewing with. Tools like Glassdoor and O*NET Online can help you determine these ranges. This will help you to determine what would be a fair and reasonable salary to ask for. When the topic of salary arises during the interview, it’s important to remain calm and collected. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to clarify any uncertainty and make sure you understand the compensation package. This can include benefits such as health insurance, vacation time, and retirement plans.
What do Recruiters Want to Know?
Why do interviewers want to know your salary expectations? Employers may ask this question to get a sense of whether or not they can afford your help. By getting an understanding of your salary expectations, they are able to determine if they can provide the salary you are looking for and if they will be able to make a competitive job offer to you. Additionally, recruiters will use your salary expectation to determine other factors such as the value of your skills and experience, and if you are a good match for the company.
Tips for Discussing Your Salary Expectations
First thing to know is, employers hire because they have problems and as a potential employee you should focus on how you can solve these problems. At the same time, figuring out if an employer can meet your personal standards and needs for salary and benefits are key determinants of whether a job is a good fit for you.
So how can you ask about salary without putting off the hiring manager? Here are some strategic approaches when it comes to this scenario.
- Research Salary Expectations. Before the interview, research the company and the job role to gain an understanding of the salary expectations. This will give you a better idea of what to expect and how to negotiate if necessary. Moreover, research gives you ammunition to have an informed and honest conversation with the interviewer about these topics.
- Right Timing. Wait for the interviewer to bring up the salary topic. This will ensure that the employer has an understanding of your qualifications and is more likely to offer you a competitive salary. Focus first on selling yourself and wait for the right opportunity to ask about benefits. Don’t bring it up first, as it could be seen as too aggressive.
- Be Polite and Keep it Professional. Asking about salary during an interview is no game. You need to assume a business-minded attitude when approaching such a delicate topic. This is important because a refined attitude when you bring it up indicates that you are concerned about working at the organization and eager to move the conversation properly. No matter what, remain polite and professional throughout the discussions. Maintain a positive attitude and be open to negotiation.
- Demonstrate Your Value. One excellent way when it comes to asking about salary during your interview is to lay the proper foundation first. Before popping the money question, it’s advisable to show your competence and expertise for the role in question.
- Negotiate. If the offer is lower than what you were expecting, you can negotiate and try to get a higher salary. Be prepared to explain why you are worth the salary you are asking for. Make sure you have a clear understanding of what you are looking for and be willing to compromise.
How to Ask About Salary
Here are some diplomatic answers about asking for a salary and other benefits.
- Example 1: I am open to discussing what you believe to be fair salary for the position. However, based on my previous salary, my knowledge of the industry, and my understanding of this field, I am expecting a salary in the range of $XX to $YY. What did you have in mind or what can you share about your budget?
- Example 2: I’m really excited about this opportunity. If we decide to work together, I’m sure we’d find a salary that matches the value I’ll bring to your organization. Can you give me an idea of what you’ve already budgeted for this position?
- Example 3: I am looking for a salary range that is in line with the market rate for this role which is at the range of $XX to $YY as per my research and combined skills. I am confident that I can deliver outstanding results and am open to discussing a mutually beneficial salary and benefits.
- Example 4: My salary requirements are flexible, but I do have significant experience in the field that I believe adds value to my candidacy. I look forward to discussing in more detail what my responsibilities at this company would be. From there, we can determine a fair salary for the position.
It’s important to remember that salary negotiations should be a dialogue between you and the interviewer. Be prepared to compromise, as it’s likely you won’t get everything you want. However, if the offer is still too low, then don’t be afraid to walk away and look for another job. Overall, discussing salary during a job interview can be a stressful experience. However, with proper research, confidence, and the right attitude, you will be able to successfully negotiate a salary that is both fair and reasonable.
Looking for more advice? Here is a video that can be a great resource on how to approach these conversations.