The Million Dollar Question

Salary is indisputably important. Often, people see that as the first box to check off before the interview process begins or imminently after. Due to its importance, candidates can be deterred from the interview process and that may not be as time saving as one would think. Candidates should be careful not bring up salary or decline an interview due to salary without considering the following key points:

1)      It’s not all about the base salary

We have heard this time and time again because it’s true. Many people make concessions when choosing their next role. I’m definitely not suggesting you should always do that but perhaps you didn’t realize how interested in this position you were until you went through the interview process, got to the end, and felt that you would take a pay cut. At the end of the day there are opportunities to make more money over time, i.e. during an annual review. Not to mention bonuses, benefits, perks, and the total compensation package can really have an impact.

2)      Salaries can change

Discussing money as a first can derail the conversation and suggests to the interviewer that it is the most important thing to you in your next role. Even if the latter is true, there are countless stories of companies that choose to raise their budget for the role because the interviewee was just that great and someone worth flexing the salary for. Know your worth and rather than decline an interview based on salary, take the time to meet the team and demonstrate to them why you are the right fit. If you’re not the right fit, then learn what you can from the interview process, keep in touch with the people you met along the way, and take the knowledge you’ve gained to support you on the next one.

3)      Salary is not a secret

Salary will come up; you don’t have to be the first to mention it. In my years as a recruiter, I have never had someone get all the way to the end of a long process and salary had not already come up. In this day and age, salary is everywhere. You can find salaries on websites like Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, Indeed, and so on. Companies aren’t trying to hide salary and if they are not disclosing it, it’s still worth it to go through the process to find out if it’s the right fit for you.

4)      Networking matters

This is one of the most important aspects of a growing career outside of the experience you have. Always take the opportunity to network with others because you never know when that connection you made then will come back to you now. Rather than see the role as an opportunity that is not the right fit, take the time to get to know the people involved. This connection always plays a particularly important role in determining if it’s your next career move or at the least, leaves the door ajar.