When you are preparing for a job interview, you may be wondering what kind of salary your desired position is offering. While it can be frustrating having no idea if the job you are going through the effort to interview for will pay you enough, it’s important you approach the topic of salary in the right way. So, is it ok to ask about salary in an interview? While it’s often best to wait for the employer to approach the subject, it really depends on the situation. Here are some things to keep in mind when talking about salary during an interview:
1) Do your research to get an idea of what you are worth
Before you go to the first interview, get an idea of what an appropriate salary range is for the position. Websites such as Salary.com or PayScale.com have salary calculators that can show you average salary ranges for that position in your geographic area. Talk with family and friends or colleagues that are familiar with the industry you are interviewing in to get their opinion on appropriate salary ranges. Also, before talking about salary during an interview, know what you are worth based on your skills and experience. If you can prove that you made or saved your previous employer a specific amount of money in your previous position, you can use this as leverage in your job interview salary discussion.
2) Was salary already discussed before the interview?
Hiring managers often like to get an idea of what the applicant’s desired salary range is or what they are currently making. There may have been a question about this on your application, so if you included a number or range on there you can assume the hiring manager is willing to pay at least that. If there is an initial phone screening that takes place before the interview, the employer may mention their budgeted salary range for the position. Or if the person you are speaking with isn’t the hiring manager you will be interviewing with, you can often inquire what the employer’s budgeted salary range is for the position.
3) Know the risks of bringing up salary too early
To help you decide whether it is ok to ask about salary during an interview, keep in mind that talking about salary during an interview before the employer runs a few risks. First, it can make you appear more focused on the money than the actual job. Second, it can take the employer’s focus off your fitness for the job before you have made a good enough impression. The third reason it’s not ok to ask about salary during the early stages of an interview is that you may not know quite enough about the position yet to decide what an appropriate salary range is. There may be responsibilities that go beyond what the job title implies and would imply a higher salary range than you initially thought. Ideally, you shouldn’t start talking about salary during an interview until it has become clear you are the final stages of the hiring process.
Is it ok to ask about salary in an interview? It’s best to wait until the employer brings it up, but in certain situations you may feel it’s a topic you need to address. If you do so, just make sure you are prepared with the right information and choose an appropriate time to ask about it.
Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.