Interviewing for job. When to ask how much it pays, first or last?

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  1. donotfear profile image88
    donotfearposted 7 years ago

    I'm pondering this question, as I've had several interviews lately and worked my way through the whole process.  When we got to the end, I asked "how much?"  Only to find out it's not enough money. I know times are hard, but crap....I just don't want to go to work somewhere if it doesn't 'feel right'.   Some people may say I'm crazy, I should take what I can get, but hot dangit, not if it's something that doesn't float my boat.

    My thinking is, okay, should I waist their time with me if I won't work for less than $$$$$ by asking at the beginning of the interview?  Especially if it's a job that I'm not too anxious to take anyway, but interviewing just for the sake of interviewing. 
    I could cut right to the chase, but then, that might screw up any chance in case IT IS something I want.

    Or I could go through the interview just for the practice. I had a phone interview today and it sounded like she really wanted to consider me, but after we talked.........nope, I just cannot see myself doing that job.  I actually asked her, "Are you offering me the job now?"  And she said NO, but wanted to consider me if I would accept the salary, knowing I needed more.  I left it open-ended, but .......

    I'm quibbling about this, my OCD is taking over.  Any input is appreciated.

    1. SuperheroSales profile image61
      SuperheroSalesposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I always ask about the money last.  I feel like it's not good etiquette to ask about it up front- like you're more interested in the money than the work itself.  You have to just concentrate on the fact that it's good practice to go through the interview process and when the interview comes for your dream job you will do an even better job!

  2. WriteAngled profile image78
    WriteAngledposted 7 years ago

    I was always told never, never to ask how much. It would all be revealed at the end of the interview or if I got a job offer. At that point, I would be free to turn it down and say I considered I was worth more. This might or might not open up space for negotiation if they really wanted me.

    I haven't had much practice though. I've had less than 5 job interviews in over 30 years of working life. Fortunately, as a freelance I never have to have one ever again. It was never an enjoyable experience.

  3. GoingOnline profile image59
    GoingOnlineposted 7 years ago

    I don't bother with an interview if the rate isn't right, to start with. Saves people money and time, both me and the potential client.

    I'd ask when sending the CV, or state on your CV what are your expected rates.

  4. psycheskinner profile image84
    psycheskinnerposted 7 years ago

    You are there, you are going to have the talk anyway, might as well leave it to last.

    Or better yet, but a minimum salary requirement in your application.

  5. brimancandy profile image75
    brimancandyposted 7 years ago

    I usually wait for this question, and it usually comes, you just have to wait for it.

    What do you expect to achieve while working for our company. Or, the final question often asked. "Do you have any questions about the position you are applying for?" that's when I usually ask about salary and possible benefits. But, try to do it in a way that doesn't make it sound like it is my top priority in applying for a job. Job first, then paycheck.

  6. Daniel Carter profile image50
    Daniel Carterposted 7 years ago

    Depending on the job, it actually is okay to lead part of the discussion. Being forthright up front may ambush the interviewer a bit, but honestly, it's considered a strength, depending on your approach and presentation. Being too submissive is equally damaging in today's work place. I think it's fine to ask at any point in the interview that you feel is appropriate. If you see an opportunity, take it. Doesn't have to be last thing. If you see a few red flags, state them honestly and ask for answers to get clear. Nothing wrong with any of that.

    There's no point in being desperate for a job. All that does is say the new employee is still on the prowl for something better. Being smart and honest, and leading certain parts of the interview are great things.

  7. sunforged profile image66
    sunforgedposted 7 years ago

    The nature of the job is relevant. Also, your personal nature.

    For example, a sales job, why not ask upfront. The interviewer should respect that you are money motivated. That is a plus for the position.

    Personally, I always made it clear that I expected as much as possible and was willing to work quickly to prove that i was worth the salary and/or promotions necessary for the pay I required.

    Sometimes, they would say that a certain pay rate was above what the position was worth but that they could keep me under consideration for advancement if my skills and output matched my resume and claims.

    Unless, it is already stated in the job opening I was responding to , I have always asked before even showing up for an interview. My opportunity costs must be taken into consideration.

    It really depends on the industry and your needs though, I worked mostly in Community Agencies with strictly outlined salaries (paid via grants), Restaurant and Bar Management and Sales Jobs - the former two have high turnovers and rarely a shortage of opportunity so I had the freedom to be selective. Your industry or market may require more tact.

    I do have lots of practice! before I was able to create self sufficient income streams I liked to move alot and would always travel home for Christmas so Ive walked away from a great many jobs and applied for a great many more. I must have held nearly 50 positions by now and interviewed for thrice that.

    I think you should be open and honest about what motivates you upfront. If its money then talk about money first, if its passion then maybe salary negotiations can wait until the job offer.

    1. Daniel Carter profile image50
      Daniel Carterposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Pressing the "like" button here, my friend.

  8. Urbane Chaos profile image97
    Urbane Chaosposted 7 years ago

    I suggest never asking how much a job pays up front.  When I would set down to do interviews, this was always a big turn-off for me.  I always looked first for the type that was passionate about their previous jobs, not just someone looking for a paycheck.

    Most places require you to fill out some kind of application, in addition to your resume.  Your salary requirements should be posted there.  Typically, the ones I liked best were the ones that set a desired amount and also included that the salary was negotiable. Even if your salary requirements aren't listed, there's an industry standard for each type of job that employers go by.  This salary is typically what you'll get offered, depending on your experience.  You can go to to find out standard current salaries in your field.

    As a job seeker, you're going to go through many interviews before you find the right job.  The first interview is always a "getting to know you" type thing, and unless they're looking for a quick hire, they're mostly not even thinking of salaries.  They're weeding out the people that most likely won't be a good fit for the company.  The best time to ask about salaries is at the end of the second interview.  Inquire as to what the typical salary is, not for what you're going to get paid if hired. 

    Remember, with the economy as it is, a lot of people are trying to get the same job you're going after.  Show yourself to be indispensable to the company and then you can pretty much get what you're asking for.

    A couple things to look into:  First, there's a book that I recommend to everyone - this book has helped many, many people get the job they were looking for, as well as the pay they wanted.  If you get a chance, go to your library and check out the book called "What Color is your Parachute".  Also, while you're there, get the book "Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters".

    I wish ya the best!

  9. sunforged profile image66
    sunforgedposted 7 years ago

    Daniel said it well!

    My opinion is tempered by being in independent / performance driven or leadership positions. Dominance and awareness of motivations is respected in those positions.

    If you are applying for a more submissive position my experience is irrelevant.

    I have also been in the interviewer role and asking for salary/pay rates would never effect my hiring decisions negatively .. unless of course it was clearly stated in whatever job posting you responded to then I would make a note of your (lack of) attention to detail and willingness to respond to a job that you had not researched.

  10. Greg Sage profile image38
    Greg Sageposted 7 years ago

    I suppose it depends on the position.  Some positions are completely not right for someone who's not money-motivated, or who lacks the confidence to get to the point.

    Something like a secretary or personal assistant... probably on the other end of that continuum.

    There's a time and a place, of course, but in general, if at any point you find yourself trying to prove to them why they need you, I'd say you're already off on the wrong foot.  It should work the other way, and when it does, they should be squirming and making excuses for the pay they can offer.

    I've only been on a few interviews in my life, but one was for a sales position, and by the end of the day, I was offered 2% higher commission than anyone else in the company so long as I never revealed that fact to my coworkers.

    Starting on my day of hire, and for the next 2 years, all sales reports had the percentage commission area redacted.

    In the only other job Ive ever had, I raised their offer by nearly $20k in 2 days by making a strong impression and being cause in the matter about discussing money... and walking away twice even though I'd been unemployed for over a year.

  11. donotfear profile image88
    donotfearposted 7 years ago

    Thank you for all the good information. I'll take it and run with it.

    I've actually been red-exed from my last profession. Bummer, since I worked so hard to get there.


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