Interviewing: How to Talk About Salary … Don’t!


How do you handle salary during an interview?

When preparing candidates for their interview, we always stress the importance of not talking about money. As your recruiter, it is ProEdit’s responsibility to match the correct job with the correct person. Salary is one of the many things we must take into account. If an applicant is looking for $70,000, we are not going to send them on an interview for a job paying $50,000. Every person we work with enters their interview knowing that they are applying for a job that can satisfy their salary requirements.

Putting a price tag on yourself is a very bad idea.

Prior to the interview, a representative at the company you are interviewing with may ask you to fill out an employment application. Current salary and desired salary are often questions on the form. It is important that you be honest about your current salary. In the desired salary box, you should write the words “open” or “negotiable.”

During the interview, when the question of salary arises, you should answer the question in the following manner:

“I’m very interested in this opportunity, and at this time, my salary requirements are open and negotiable.”

Putting a price tag on yourself is a bad idea. It can lead to two serious problems. First, asking for too much money can stop an interview in its tracks. The interviewer might not realize that there is flexibility in that number and negotiation is always an option. Second, if you ask for less money than what would be generally offered, negotiating for more money in the future will be very difficult.

By answering the salary question in the above manner, a candidate has left room for negotiation and a better chance at being invited back for a second interview.

When asked about money by the prospective employer, the response should be, “The reason I am here is about an opportunity. Money is not the motive, but I am assuming that you will make me your most competitive offer.”

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