As a jobseeker, you want to make sure your salary negotiation puts you in the strongest position possible. If you don’t, you’re leaving cash on the table. But should you discuss salary during an interview?
Every job hunter knows how nerve-wracking it can be to prepare for an interview. The pressure is on! It seems like a high stakes experience for the candidate, who wants desperately to make a good impression. Would you rather discuss salary at an interview or increase your chance of getting the job? You might be surprised to see what my research found out.
Throughout your job search and interview process, you’ll come up against the task of negotiating salary. This is where an incompatibility between what a job is worth to you, how much you’re worth to any given company, and how much they are willing to pay you can break down the negotiation before it even begins. In many cases, you might not get asked point blank about how much money you want at an interview, but rather what your salary requirements are. In these instances, most people will answer with a number based on their previous salary and hope for the best. However, this can become counterproductive in the long run if not handled correctly.
Should you discuss salary at an interview
Asking about benefits and perks at an interview is something that many job seekers do. And normally, asking about salary is the last thing on their mind. But I’m going to break from the norm here, and suggest that job hunters should walk into the interview room with a back-up plan in place, ready to negotiate salary from the get-go.
There’s a mistake many job-seekers tend to make when conducting interviews. They’ll talk themselves right out of the job by revealing how much they currently earn and how much money they expect to earn in the future. Instead of doing this, keep your focus on the position you are interviewing for and how you can do it well. The individual conducting your interview will likely want to pay you what they are willing to pay, not what you want or expect, so there is no need to bring up these issues unless you are asked directly.
Yes, you should discuss salary at an interview.
It’s important to note that this is not the same thing as disclosing your current salary—this is simply a discussion about what the job pays, and whether you’ll be comfortable with it.
Discussing your salary requirements can help you get a sense of how much the company is willing to pay for your skillset and experience. It also helps you figure out whether or not they have a realistic idea of what they can afford to pay you.
For example, if you’re interviewing for a job that will require extensive travel, but the company offers very little compensation for travel expenses, it may not be worth accepting the position unless there are other benefits that make up for this discrepancy (like better hours).
If you have any questions about whether or not it’s appropriate to ask about salary at an interview, feel free to reach out!