You’ve landed that much-sought-after interview. You think everything is going well. The hiring manager seems impressed with your skills and background. The job, as explained to you, seems perfect.
But what about that all-important point – your salary? What is the right way and time to bring it up?
Frequently, you may have to interview numerous times – first with the staffing company’s recruiter, then the hiring manager and then the department supervisor. All this interviewing and time spent can result in no mention of salary.
To avoid that uncomfortable process, the salary expectations need to be addressed early in the interview process. This will save time and money for all participants. After all, if you cannot accept the salary they will be offering, why waste everyone’s time?
The first thing to recognize is that if they are offering you a second interview, you know they are very interested in you. This is the time to become “executive minded” and display self-confidence. You have demonstrated skills that peaked the company’s interest.
Here are a few important things to keep in mind when you are involved in a multi-interview process.
First Interview – This is not the time to bring up salary. This is where you learn who they are and they learn if you are a possible fit for the company. Their conversation is usually based around your skills and background. The hiring manager will expect you ask questions regarding company culture, goals and details of your potential position. Be prepared to ask pertinent questions.
Second Call – When you are called in for a second interview, it is an indication they are seeking to go forward in the process of hiring you. This interview will most likely be with a department manager or supervisor. Prior to accepting the second interview, ask the hiring manager if you can discuss salary first.
By posing it as a question, you are not demanding any set salary. You are opening the conversation you want to have. If they start to ask questions such as what you made in your last position, or how much do you need to make, you must be prepared. You could respond that your previous position did not carry the same amount of responsibility and therefore is not relevant.
If you do respond directly with a salary number, make sure you can live with it. Always present a number you are comfortable negotiating. If you really are looking at $70,000, say you are seeking in the range of $76,000. If they respond it is way out their range – you have your answer. They are not going to offer enough. However, if they agree, you know to move forward with the next interview.