Job Interviews – Strategy No. 7:  Is it okay to ask about salary?
Job Interviews – Strategy No. 7: Is it okay to ask about salary?
There are two sides to the SALARY question in an interview situation: Asking what the salary is and Being asked what you currently earn or your salary expectations.

Either way, this can be a very tricky topic.

Firstly, it can happen that you can get all the way through a recruitment process and right up until you have a formal job offer not know how much the job will pay.  This can be both frustrating and could be a waste of your time particularly if the job is paying less than you are prepared to do it for.

If pay has not been raised during an interview, it would be appropriate at the end to ask about the salary range and benefits of the role.  Asking about the ‘salary range and benefits’ is less confrontational than coming straight out and asking what the salary is.  Sometimes employers don’t have an exact salary in mind, and what they are prepared to pay is truly dependent upon the person’s skills and experience and what they will bring to a role.  

Often hiring managers will ask during an interview about current salary or salary expectations.  In this situation, you can feel a little bit on the back-foot.  Should you say what you are currently earning?  Will that jeopardise the potential to earn more than your current job?  Will placing your own dollar value on the role be a disadvantage to you?  We advise to try and play it down a bit.  Again, you can talk about salary range, or above a certain dollar value and what it would take to make you move from your current job.  The alternative is to say that you expect that the role will be remunerated according to the responsibilities of the role.  If the role has more responsibilities, then you could add that you would expect it would be more than you earn in your current role due to the additional duties and expectations.

One of the benefits of working with a good Recruitment Consultant is that they work on your behalf.  They should know the salary scale and only promote candidates to jobs that fit within their salary expectations.  Good Recruiters will work for you to get you the best salary that they can.

This article is one of a series on job interview techniques. 

Written by the Your People Recruitment team.