When to Talk Pay in an Interview

Whether you’ve interviewed once or a hundred times, you probably know that talking about salary and benefits can be a difficult subject to bring up yourself. At the same time, it could be one of the more important pieces of information you need before accepting a job.

So, when do you discuss pay in an interview, and how do you bring it up without sounding like the money is all you care about?


There is much preparation needed before you discuss pay with a potential employer. The following tips will help your discussion about compensation become easier and come up more organically.

  • Do your research. Conduct research before the interview to get an estimate of what to expect. Find out how much a position like yours pays on average, and get an accurate breakdown of what you currently make. Information like this can be used as leverage to get the compensation you’ve earned.
  • In the interview, talk details. Find out if the position entails travel expenses and whether or not the company covers those. Talk about cost of living differences, as well, if the new job isn’t in your current city. These details are often overlooked but can contribute greatly to how much of your salary you actually get to pocket.

Talk about culture. Of course, you want to make sure that the company’s values are in line with your own. However, the culture and atmosphere can play a bigger role than you may think. Maybe the new position offers less pay, but the leadership and the work/life balance are highly preferable to your current position. Are these changes worth the pay difference? These are aspects you’ll need to consider.


When you know everything there is to know about the position, company, and what your new career would look like, then you can bring up compensation.

Make it clear to the interviewer that you do care about all aspects of the job in addition to the pay, and follow the guidelines for a good interview from the start. Think about the following before discussing salary:

  • Until you understand the full position, intrinsic value of the company, and the benefits, it’s hard to have a firm stance on what your compensation should look like.
  • Understand the role, responsibilities, culture, and any other part of the job that may be important to you before you can consider a number.

When you have a good understanding of these factors, bringing up salary won’t take your interviewer aback. Rather, they too will see it as the next logical point of discussion.

Related read: “How to Avoid Pricing Yourself Out of a Job”


One of the best ways to navigate the tricky job-searching world is by relying on an expert recruiter. Are you ready to take a leap in your career? Let us guide you. Reach out today to learn more about how we can help—and take a look at the openings we are currently working to fill.

Relate Topics


Speak to an Expert