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The Big Q: When should I talk about money during a job interview?

Posted on 25/02/2020
by Client Server

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Q: I'm a JavaScript developer in the middle of interviewing for a new job. I realise any questions about money are tricky, but how should I bring it up?


A: You're right - salary is a tricky thing to bring up in an interview. That's why you shouldn't discuss it unless the interviewer does first.

There's an obvious reasons for this: It gives the impression you're in it for the £££ and nothing else. Companies want you to be excited about the opportunity, the work, and being part of the team.

But if the interviewer asks you about your salary expectations, there is a correct way to answer.

Don't give a salary range

One of the easiest ways to stall your job hunt is to give a salary range - i.e. "I'm looking for between £40,000 and £55,000". This will lead to one of three things:

  1. The top figure may cast doubt that the company can afford to pay the salary, making you a less attractive candidate.
  2. The bottom figure is the least-desired amount, meaning you ultimately don't get what you want.
  3. The middle figure never gets discussed anyway.

Instead, say "I'm looking from..."

When you're working with a recruiter, one of the most important things to mention is how much you want your new job to pay. If you're open and honest, the recruiter will only tell you about jobs that fit your criteria. 

So, if you're looking for £50,000, tell your recruiter you're looking for a salary from £50,000.

When your recruiter briefs a client about a list of candidates, they will include your "from" figure. It's about being transparent with the client about your expectations and means no one's time is wasted contemplating a job that was never going to suit.

If salary is brought up during the interview, say that you’re looking “From £X”. There's always a chance the client will love you and offer you more - result!

But transparency is vital

Honesty is the best policy. When you talk to your recruiter about your salary expectations, tell them exactly what you want. If you want £60,000 instead of £50,000, that’s the time to tell them. Nobody likes surprises late in their job hunt. If you’re everyone is on the same page, it will make the job offer process a lot smoother.

Always let your recruiter know about any changes in your circumstances. They’re here to make your job hunt easy. Keeping them in the loop is the best way to ensure you find the job of your dreams.


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