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.

Your Modern Salary Negotiation Guide

Historically, salary negotiations have been pretty straightforward. The employer offers a salary, you counteroffer, they accept or decline. However, a modern salary negotiation is much more nuanced. Harvard Business Review (HBR) explains, “As with other dealmaking, career negotiations should not be solely about getting as much as you can. The best negotiators generate mutually beneficial solutions through joint problem-solving and creative trade-offs, along with compromise.” We understand that it is a challenging time to navigate career and salary negotiations, so we’ve put together a quick guide to help you get started.

Understand The Different Types of Negotiations

Let’s revisit HBR for definitions of the different types of negotiations:

Asking: You propose something that’s standard for someone in your role or at your level.

Example: Asking for a certain salary level based on your research and qualifications.

Bending: You request a personal exception or an unusual arrangement that runs counter to typical organizational practice or norms.

Example: Requesting to work remotely three days a week when the position is advertised as “in-office” with valid justifications.

Shaping: You propose ways to play a role in changing your organizational environment or creating a new initiative.

Example: Proposing a new business unit that will help the department run more smoothly.

Think Beyond Salary

In modern times, our work lives are becoming more and more intertwined with our personal lives. Between remote working, relocation, work-life balance, and benefits, the decisions we make at work often directly affect what happens in our home. Thus, you must think beyond a salary number when considering your next negotiation. Make sure to take a look at the whole compensation package – including PTO, benefits, flexibility, and innovation. Consider not only how this offer will affect your professional aspirations but your personal goals as well.

Focus On Your Future

It can be easy to become short-sighted when faced with a job offer. In a competitive market like today’s, you may feel fortunate just to be presented with one! However, don’t forget about your long-term career goals. It’s not always about the highest salary or the best benefits. Sometimes, an opportunity will come along that looks lackluster on paper but will be a stepping stone to greatness. Consider factors such as career path, lifetime earning potential, company values, and whatever else contributes to your ultimate career goals.

Final Thoughts On Salary Negotiation

We’ll leave you with one final thought from HBR, “great careers are not authored alone. Your narrative will be co-written with work and life partners, and negotiation is at the heart of finding mutually gratifying ways for the story to unfold.” No matter where you are at in your career, recognize that your voice is important. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you deserve!