Thursday, August 8, 2013

Asking About Salary in a Job Interview

Why is it that some employers are so resistant to tell prospective employees how much they pay until the last minute? Personally I think this is one of the most important factors when deciding on a place to work and should be clearly disclosed right from the beginning on the job listing. I have had some experience with this topic that I would like to share here in this article.

Years back I applied for a new job. It was an entry level tech position in a school district. They did not say how much they paid, but I was hoping it would be at least as much if not more than what I was currently making at the time. So I took the time to fill out the application and a couple weeks later was lucky enough to get called in for an interview.

At this time I had not much experience with interviews. I didn't know that it is generally not a good idea to bring up salary unless they do. So in the middle of the interview when they asked if I had any questions, I asked how much they paid. I made it clear that I was only asking because it was not displayed anywhere such as the job listing. Immediately after I asked the question, I could tell the interviewer was turned off by me asking such a question. She did tell me, but mentioned how that kind of thing would be discussed later in the process.

We continued on with the rest of the interview. I ended up not getting offered that job, but here's the thing, when she told me how much they paid, it was less than I expected and less than I was currently making at my previous job. If I had known that ahead of time, I may not have even applied for the job in the first place, let alone gone in for an interview.

This is why I think employers need to be up front about salary and how much they pay. When they keep it undisclosed, you end up with a situation that could potentially be wasting everyone's time. Like I said before, if I had known how little they were offering, I probably would not have spent the hours applying, preparing, and interviewing. They also would have saved on unnecessary interview time.

This was just a little rant that came to my mind after observing the same kind of situation today when someone was asking a job interviewer how much they would be paid and the interviewer, dismissed them by saying they would discuss it at a later time. I still say salary information is very basic and important information that should be transparent to job seekers right from the beginning. It's not a secret. Hiding it just ends up wasting people's time.

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