Most Hiring Managers Expect You To Ask About Salary By The Second Interview

You're obviously allowed to ask about compensation when you interview for a job. A recent response from an online delivery company to a job candidate was extreme, but it brings up an interesting question: When do you bring up salary?

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Taylor Byrnes says she was on her second job interview for an internal office position at an online restaurant delivery service when she sent them a quick question about compensation and benefits. They then cancelled her second interview, saying her "priorities weren't in sync" with theirs and that her inquiry was a "concern", suggesting it conflicted with their environment of perseverance and motivation. She shared the exchange on Twitter:

It's a pretty harsh and unusual move, especially considering this 2014 survey from staffing service Robert Half, which found that the majority of senior hiring managers say it's appropriate to ask about compensation in either the first or second interview. Here's how the numbers break down:

Poll: "When is it appropriate for job candidates to ask about compensation and benefits during the hiring process?"

  • Phone interview: Nine per cent
  • First interview: 31 per cent
  • Second interview: 38 per cent
  • Third interview or after: Eight per cent
  • Once you make the offer: 14 per cent

They also asked managers, "Have you ever decided not to hire a top candidate after he or she asked about compensation and benefits too early in the interview process?" The vast majority, 92 per cent, said no. Forbes contributor Liz Ryan says it's perfectly fine to ask about the salary range from the beginning, but you should certainly be prepared by the second interview:

If you go on an interview and you like the job and the people you meet, get the salary issue out on the table before the second interview...Don't go back for a second interview until you establish what these folks are willing to pay their new employee. Many a job-seeker has lived to regret keeping his or her mouth shut about salary until an insultingly low offer was put on the table

If the employer considers your inquiry a "concern", the bigger concern might be how they treat and compensate their employees.


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