Raising the issue of salary during an interview is always a touchy subject. Most career counselors advise waiting for the hiring manager to bring it up, so you don’t appear as if you are only interested in the money.
But, conversely, you do want to get some idea of what the job pays.
When to Wait, When Not
Waiting for the hiring manager to raise the subject is a useful strategy if you know that there will only be one interview. If that’s the case, the manager will probably talk about salary near the end of the meeting.
But these days, the interview process generally involves several interviews with different people, and so you may have to wait a longer period of time before you get some indication of what the job pays.
Waiting for the hiring manager is generally a good idea if you are new to the job market, with little experience, because in this case, you’re generally open to a wider salary range anyhow.
But if you are someone with a good deal of experience and many professional accomplishments under your belt, you may be less willing to settle and have a more definite salary in mind. You don’t want to waste your time going through several interviews only to find out that what the company is willing to offer is nowhere near what you would accept. You want to find out earlier in the process what kind of salary range is offered so you’re not wasting your time or the company’s time.
In this case, some career counselors advise raising the salary issue at the start of the second interview. You should ask for a salary range. This is a signal to the interviewer that you are open to negotiation.
What Not to Do
But there are two things you should avoid. First, don’t reveal what your current salary is. Second, be careful not to start salary negotiations at too low a number. Doing either one of these things will tie your hands in the negotiating process.
If, for example, you reveal your current pay, asking for anything more than a 10 percent increase may make you look greedy.
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