Salary Question During Job Interview

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Bill McNeal
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Salary Question During Job Interview

Post by Bill McNeal » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:32 am

I’m in discussion with a potential new employer. Salary would be something I’d need to consider to leave my company and relocate.

At what point is it customary to discuss compensation during the interview process? I read that you shouldn’t ask about salary. But I don’t want to fly to an interview and receive an offer to discover that the pay is too low for me to consider.

123
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Re: Salary Question During Job Interview

Post by 123 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:01 am

Historically many employers have asked for applicant salary history as part of the resume submission and job application completion process. California has recently outlawed questions about current salary since they tend to perpetuate (past) discriminatory practices. It's a very good idea for you as well as the potential employer to have some comfort about whether there will salary compatibility. In many cases you can find salary information that employees have posted on sites such as glassdoor.com that will give you some ideas. Generally as long as the potential employer is paying the travel expenses for the interview they will resolve salary considerations in advance. Of course they don't want to pay travel expenses when there is no possibility of a hire due to salary differences. If you are using a headhunter/recruiter they will generally know salary ranges.

If you applied to an out-of-area firm and you are responsible for travel expenses then you are taking a risk that they might not be able to meet your requirements when an offer is made. To avoid a surprise you might want to contact the HR department of the firm to ask about the general salary range for the open position. That said many firms have a lot of flexibility in what they will pay to the right candidate.
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Sandi_k
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Re: Salary Question During Job Interview

Post by Sandi_k » Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:38 pm

Ask for the range, and give the explanation of not wanting to waste everyone's time if the range isn't "in the ballpark." Most companies have them.

DO NOT tell them what you're currently paid, as it allows them to lowball if you are indeed underpaid where you are.

ved
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Re: Salary Question During Job Interview

Post by ved » Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:54 pm

I wouldn't bring up compensation (not just salary) at the initial stages.

If you start the salary discussions now, it could go two ways:
1. they may give you a range...and if you are ok with it, then basically you agreed to the lower end of the range.
2. if you give a number, and they say that it is ok, then you will always wonder if you could have negotiated a higher number after wow-ing them with your candidacy.

Going through the interview process is just investing a little bit of your time - maybe a day or two to fly out there. I don't think it would be beneficial to you to lock yourself to a number now.

stimulacra
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Re: Salary Question During Job Interview

Post by stimulacra » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:02 pm

Second or third interview would be when I would broach the subject. Be interested and passionate about the role and the work you will be doing at the new employer.

Rule of thumb for me has been a 20% bump minimum to jump ship for an equivalent role. It helps offset risk and uncertainty.

Avoid telling people what you currently make.

Trader Joe
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Re: Salary Question During Job Interview

Post by Trader Joe » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:22 pm

Biil McNeal wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:32 am
I’m in discussion with a potential new employer. Salary would be something I’d need to consider to leave my company and relocate.

At what point is it customary to discuss compensation during the interview process? I read that you shouldn’t ask about salary. But I don’t want to fly to an interview and receive an offer to discover that the pay is too low for me to consider.
Always ask for the compensation (base salary range, bonus, stock options, etc.) details for the position upon first contact.

stoptothink
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Re: Salary Question During Job Interview

Post by stoptothink » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:32 pm

Trader Joe wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:22 pm
Biil McNeal wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:32 am
I’m in discussion with a potential new employer. Salary would be something I’d need to consider to leave my company and relocate.

At what point is it customary to discuss compensation during the interview process? I read that you shouldn’t ask about salary. But I don’t want to fly to an interview and receive an offer to discover that the pay is too low for me to consider.
Always ask for the compensation (base salary range, bonus, stock options, etc.) details for the position upon first contact.
That's always been the way I handle it. My wife is constantly recruited because she's in a booming industry (data security) and she keeps her options open. She's generally happy, but would leave for a better opportunity. She doesn't beat around the bush and tells them exactly what it would take for her to leave during the first conversation...she had one of those conversations yesterday and now the CTO of one of her current employer's competitors is trying to come up with the money to get her to come over in May.

JuniorBH
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Re: Salary Question During Job Interview

Post by JuniorBH » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:35 pm

Sandi_k wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:38 pm
Ask for the range, and give the explanation of not wanting to waste everyone's time if the range isn't "in the ballpark." Most companies have them.

DO NOT tell them what you're currently paid, as it allows them to lowball if you are indeed underpaid where you are.
This. For exactly these reasons. I'll never understand the concept of waiting until after multiple interviews to bring up salary; why spend all that time only to find out they are going to offer you 20% less than what you'd need to make a switch.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Salary Question During Job Interview

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:38 pm

It really would do the hiring company a great service to at least put a range on the table. Years ago, I flew from Boston to San Jose to meet with and interview for a new job. Not until I came back home and received an offer did I find out what they would pay. The salesman who represented the company came to deliver the news. After I stopped laughing, I asked him why they wasted all that money flying me out there. I ended up taking a job with another company for a little less than double what the first company offered me.
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lthenderson
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Re: Salary Question During Job Interview

Post by lthenderson » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:41 pm

I've had a lot of interviews and I can't think of one where they didn't either bring up a salary range at some point or ask me what my salary range was. I never brought it up myself but if I ever had an interview where they didn't bring it up, I would definitely ask before I left to make sure we weren't wasting each other's time with more interviews.

When giving a range, I always gave the low point as the amount of money it would take on top of my current salary to get me to move and the high point would be what I thought someone with a lot more experience than me might get offered. We always settled for something in the middle.

carolinaman
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Re: Salary Question During Job Interview

Post by carolinaman » Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:44 pm

Biil McNeal wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:32 am
I’m in discussion with a potential new employer. Salary would be something I’d need to consider to leave my company and relocate.

At what point is it customary to discuss compensation during the interview process? I read that you shouldn’t ask about salary. But I don’t want to fly to an interview and receive an offer to discover that the pay is too low for me to consider.
Usually if you are interviewing with a company in another city, they will conduct a phone interview first to make sure there is a potential fit before going through the expense and time for an in person interview. Salary range should come up during that conversation. If they do not mention it, you should ask. If they are vague, tell them the salary range you are interested in. You do not have to be precise, just give them an idea of the range.

Sandi_k
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Re: Salary Question During Job Interview

Post by Sandi_k » Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:30 pm

carolinaman wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:44 pm

Usually if you are interviewing with a company in another city, they will conduct a phone interview first to make sure there is a potential fit before going through the expense and time for an in person interview. Salary range should come up during that conversation. If they do not mention it, you should ask. If they are vague, tell them the salary range you are interested in. You do not have to be precise, just give them an idea of the range.
I disagree. The negotiating rule is "whoever names a figure first, loses."

If Bill were to say "I consider a range of $175k-$225k annual base salary to be appropriate; what's your plan?" - he has just anchored the conversation at $175k.

What if the minimum for the range he was interviewing for was $200k? He has now told them he'd accept 12% less than they considered the bottom of the acceptable scale.

Instead, he should say: "I know that this title comes with a salary range in your company; could you please share that with me in advance of the travel plan? I wouldn't want to waste your managers' time and the company's money if we're too far apart on salary at the outset." - that says "I know my worth, but I'm considering a change if you persuade me that your company is a good fit."

Much more powerful position from which to negotiate.

jcchen
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Re: Salary Question During Job Interview

Post by jcchen » Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:39 pm

Can you use glassdoor to get a sense of salary range?

sid hartha
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Re: Salary Question During Job Interview

Post by sid hartha » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:49 pm

stimulacra wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:02 pm
Second or third interview would be when I would broach the subject. Be interested and passionate about the role and the work you will be doing at the new employer.

Rule of thumb for me has been a 20% bump minimum to jump ship for an equivalent role. It helps offset risk and uncertainty.

Avoid telling people what you currently make.
This.

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whodidntante
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Re: Salary Question During Job Interview

Post by whodidntante » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:43 pm

I generally expect to discuss salary at the end of the interview, even if the interview involves significant travel. I need to know what I'm going to have to do before quoting a price. Am I going to live in Asia three months out of the year? Is this a "succeed or die" job where I am charged with overseeing a risky venture? Is there a significant risk that the company itself could be dead in 10 years? Is there a culture and expectation of foregoing vacation time and working weekends? Am I expected to be "always on" and answer e-mail at 9 pm in order to succeed at this company? I am OK with all of that, but my price is higher for that than a 9-5, work/life balanced, always home gig at a company that never fires anybody. Another difficulty is some companies have a large bonus in their compensation structure. So you may need to understand what is going on with that, and discuss that in the framework of your compensation needs.

Up to you if you want to discuss salary first. I think once you reach a certain level you have to be more open about your expectations, because you are less of a commodity and have already been warped, painted, scratched up, and pre-molded to fit a situation.

bling
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Re: Salary Question During Job Interview

Post by bling » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:45 pm

it depends on how much you're currently making compared to the market value (which you should know). if you're on the lower end, it doesn't make sense to talk money since you don't really have any leverage. if you're on the upper end of the spectrum, you can be aggressive and on the 1st conversation tell them up front what number you want, and if they can't make that happen then there's nothing further to discuss -- saves everyone time.

michaeljc70
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Re: Salary Question During Job Interview

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:15 pm

I don't like to waste my time so I try to give or get an indication before I even interview. If I have to take a day off work or leave early/come in late I don't want to waste my time. If it is a local interview and not a big deal, maybe I'd wait until the second interview. I do this by asking if there is a pre-determined salary range for the position which there almost always is for larger companies. Another way, and this is showing your hand somewhat, is to say "I am looking to make at least x, would this position be able accommodate that?"

I do mostly contract work though so I need to weed through when I am wasting my time on interviews as I do it more frequently than most people.

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ClevrChico
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Re: Salary Question During Job Interview

Post by ClevrChico » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:33 pm

Definitely ask, especially if taking vacation/travel is involved for an interview.

The only time I wouldn't ask is if it was a local company and a typical corporate job.

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