Sorry, what's the salary?

So you find the perfect job advertisement, it is everything you want. So, next step? Obviously, you have to apply! You spend hours editing your resume to make it just right, then comes the cover letter… You need to sound intelligent, personable, professional and you also want to demonstrate your experience, education and interest in the role. All done right? Wrong! Now you need to complete the selection criteria form the company has so nicely prepared for all applicants. So, you power through the questions (for a few hours), making sure your spelling, grammar and answers are extraordinary.  Done? For now!

Then comes the waiting game, dreaming and thinking about this perfect job, hoping for that call or email for an interview. You get a call! You go in for the interview. Filled with general interview-type questions, you get a great vibe and you answer everything to the best of your ability. You leave the interview really confident, feeling positive about this job opportunity. The only problem is, you don’t know the salary yet?!

It sounds crazy, some people wouldn’t be that interested in a position without knowing the potential income for the job, however it’s a great company, a great position and exactly what you were looking for so you applied anyway. You went to the first interview; it went well, but still no idea about salary. You didn’t want to bring it up and look money-focused to your potential new boss, but your curiosity of the supposed income is starting to itch…

A few days later you get another call, inviting you back for a second interview! Apparently they could not decide yet, you’re still in the running (YAY). However, this means another hour and a half round trip and taking the morning off your current job to make the interview, again. You attend the interview (make the relevant sacrifices and efforts necessary) and it goes really well, again. Still, no discussion of salary…. What do you do? Do you wait incase you receive an official offer to see the remuneration agreement? Is that too far away? What if the salary is much lower than your current job and you can’t afford to take the position?

This is a problem many people face during the job-hunting process, feeling awkward and confused as to how to bring up the conversation about the ‘pay’. Your potential employer has not raised the issue, you don’t know how, and you don’t want to come off the wrong way. Here are a few factors to think about when you want to bring up the conversation of income, without tarnishing your image and employment opportunity:

  • You have already had one interview with the company
  • You know the company is quite invested in you, and interested in you for the position (maybe not many other applicants still in the running for the job can be a good indication for this)
  • Don’t let it seem like it’s your deciding focus or only interest in the position
  • Make sure you sound tactful
  • Try to say, “So what are your thoughts for the salary range of this position?”

Remember, as long as you follow these steps and you know the company is seriously interested about you, and you have been able to build a type of relationship or comfort ability with the interviewer, you shouldn’t be too scared to ask about salary. It is important after a while and as long as you approach it correctly, it shouldn’t be a problem!

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