When & How to Bring Up Salary in An Interview

There’s no denying that bringing up salary discussions during your interview can be tricky. On the one hand, you don’t want to seem greedy. However, you also want to make sure that you’re not wasting your (or the interviewer’s) time, and you can get what you’re worth. Not to worry, we are covering when and how to bring up salary in an interview so that you can feel confident and prepared during your job search.

When To Bring Up Salary in an Interview  

Before we jump into when you should broach the salary question during an interview, please keep in mind that every situation is different. In an ideal world, you would wait until the hiring manager brings it up. In some hiring processes, the company wants to clear the air right off the bat and asks you to disclose your salary expectations in the application or initial phone screen. If the interviewer does not mention it by the end of the first interview, it is appropriate to bring it up. However, you must do so strategically!

How To Bring Up Salary in An Interview  

First and foremost, it’s essential to be upfront and honest. Explain why you want to discuss salary so that the interviewer doesn’t get the impression that you’re all about the money. Then, try to get them to disclose their salary range before you disclose your expectations. That way, you can keep your cards close to your chest for the time being!

Then, set clear expectations. In other words, you need to do your homework before the interview! Perform searches on salary websites such as to establish a range you’re comfortable with earning. On one of these sites, input your exact job title, location, and years of experience. This information should give you a solid baseline for what you can and should be making. Then, consider your personal factors such as cost of living, family, and unique skillsets you offer.

Here are some example scripts

Here are a few examples of how to bring up salary in an interview:

“Before we get any further, would you mind sharing the salary range for this position? I want to make sure it aligns with my career goals as I sincerely value your time and investment in this hiring process.”

“For my next position, I expect to make $76,000. This is based on comps in my area, my experience in the field, and the unique skills I can offer your company.”

No matter what, understand those salary conversations are essential in 2021 and beyond. You bring value to the table, and you deserve a company that will recognize and honor that value! Don’t be afraid to broach the subject of salary in an interview but do so with tact. Now that you understand how to determine your worth take a look at our available job opportunities! We have hundreds of exciting positions across North America.

Interview Question: What Are Your Salary Expectations?

What they want to know

It is highly likely that a hiring manager or HR professional will ask you for your salary expectations during an interview. This question may seem like a trap, but most of the time, employers are looking for two things:

  • Do you fit in their salary range?
  • Are you willing to budge on your salary?

One of the biggest mistakes interviewees make is stating their salary expectations but ending their answer with something like “but I am flexible” or “however, I am willing to negotiate.” If you announce that you are willing to budge, the employer will most likely try to negotiate with you, resulting in a smaller salary for you. On the other hand, you cannot provide a salary range that is way out of this world in hopes that if they negotiate with you, you will still come out on top.

The best way to tackle this is by understanding your worth. Do a little research before your interview to form a range that matches the position and your background. There are tons of resources for reviewing salary ranges such as Indeed, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Payscale. These sites allow you to input your job title, years of experience, education, and location and they will provide a pay range that you should be making. You can use this information as well as your current salary to form your salary range expectations.

Example answer for “what are your salary expectations.”

“My salary expectations for this role are $75,000 and $80,000. That is the average salary engineering professionals with over five years’ experience with AutoCAD and designing commercial plumbing layouts are earning. Plus, I have my Six Sigma Greenbelt certification, which has helped me become more efficient and reduce waste.”

Final comments

This answer is an excellent example of answering what are your salary expectations. The answer is short, straightforward, and exudes confidence. The answer also illustrates that you know your worth and reiterates the value and experience you bring to the table. Moreover, it doesn’t open the interviewee up for a negotiation battle by stating you are flexible.

Overall, this is how you navigate this tricky interview question. However, you wouldn’t even have to deal with this question if you are working with a recruiter with JSG. When we represent you, we make your salary expectations clear to the hiring manager and help you through any possible negotiations.

Need help answering more common interview questions?

Don’t worry; at JSG, we have an arsenal of interview prep advice to help you nail your upcoming job interview. Good luck!