Interviews are a tricky thing; you can count on there being more than one if all goes well. But interviews are also a bit like first dates, since the potential is there for another “date,” you don’t want to blow it by seeming to eager or moving too quickly on the first one. Interviews work much the same way. You and the employer are in a phase of getting to know each other; if things go well you get called back for a second interview. WorkSource has some tips on when to bring up salary and how to deflect the question if it is brought up to soon.

Let The Employer Guide The Salary Talk

According to recent surveys bringing up salary in a first interview is not a bad idea—as long as it comes from the employer. Employers today are trying to reduce the amount of time that is needed to find the ideal fit in a candidate. To do so they are being more upfront and honest about salary and benefit packages. The last thing they want to happen is to get three interviews in, become invested in the candidate and then find out the candidate wants much more than they can offer. Many employers are even bringing it up on the phone before an interview even takes place; according to a Forbes report in 2014. So instead of worrying about bringing up salary, let the employer guide that discussion in a first interview.

Wait Until a Job is Offered

Do not give specifics about salary until a job is actually offered. The point is to give information about what you have made in recent past jobs and discuss how A, B, and C are your primary goals in a good fit with an employer. You want to show that, while salary is important, so too is the cultural fit, room for growth, advanced training opportunities, and the ability to apply your skills in the right setting. If all of that comes together, then the employer will realize that you are the ideal candidate and will do what they can to make sure the salary and benefit package match what your needs are as well as theirs.

Defer The Salary Question Unless You Know The Company Well

If you’re in a first interview and the employer asks what you are looking for in salary, it’s best to try and defer the question as much as you can. There are two reasons for this. One—you don’t know enough about them yet, and vise-versa. Unless you are very familiar with what the company brings in for revenue and what a position similar to what you are interviewing for makes, you don’t want to throw out any number and hope it sticks. There should be a solid ground for what and why you ask for a particular salary. Second—they could be throwing the question out there to see what you are made of. Is money all that concerns you? Are you looking for big advancements quickly or looking to make the kind of money a senior level position would make? Your best bet is to mention briefly a ball park of what you made in your last job and then discuss other needs within the company that culminate in a “full-rounded” position.

It is not necessarily unwise to mention salary in an interview, but how and when you bring up the discussion can play a big factor in whether or not you get the job. Do your homework ahead of the interview and know what kind of job you are walking into. The job should be a good fit for both you and the company; that should be a big part of your ultimate goal.

WorkSource, a WRC-certified premier staffing agency, is committed to quality and service. Our resident staffing experts can guide you through the interview process from start to finish. Contact our team at WorkSource today.

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