How To Ask About Pay In An Interview

Even thinking about mentioning the words “pay” or “salary” in a job interview is enough to make a candidate sweat and shake with nerves.

It’s never an easy topic to talk about, but at the end of the day, candidates are well within their rights to ask about pay in an interview.

Truth is, a lot of jobs nowadays won’t disclose a figure for salary (whether monthly or annual) in the job description. There are several reasons for this, but at the end of the day, it puts job candidates in a tricky position.

You don’t want to come across as greedy and only caring about the money, nor do you want to waste your time during the interview.

Luckily for you, we’ve got you covered. Here is our guide on how to ask about pay in an interview!

When To Ask About Pay In An Interview

The key to asking about pay in an interview is the timing. If you mention the salary too soon into the interview, you can come across as money-hungry, which can be a huge turn-off for the employer.

They want to know why you would be perfect for the job, not that you only want the job for the money (even if that is the reason).

The golden rule is to wait until the employer brings up pay first. Ideally, a business will disclose the expected salary in the job posting, allowing potential candidates to immediately figure out if it’s the right job for their personal financial situation. However, this isn’t the case for most job postings.

Sometimes, an employer will mention how much you can expect to earn should you get the job. This is also ideal, because it means you don’t have to worry about asking for the salary.

It also means the employer is comfortable talking about money and similar subjects often deemed awkward to discuss.

However, if pay doesn’t come up at all during the interview, it’s up to you to ask the all-important question.

The best time to do this is generally at the end of an interview, when an employer should ask if you have any questions for the interviewer. This is also an ideal time to ask more questions about the role.

If the interview is too fast and leaves no room for questions, then you’ll have to wait for a second interview to discuss your pay.

You might even have to call the employer back if you are immediately offered the role, because you deserve to know about the salary expectations before you start your new job.

How To Ask About Pay In An Interview


You’ve got to be strategic when it comes to asking about pay in an interview. Here are the key points to remember.

Know Your Worth

A lot of the nervousness surrounding asking about salaries is to do with lack of self-worth. Truth is – everyone deserves to be paid fairly. You need to know roughly what salary you should expect to earn depending on your previous experience and skills.

You’ve got to be confident in asking about pay in an interview. Every candidate has the right to ask about how much they will be paid in the role, otherwise the role isn’t suitable for them.

Not only should you know your worth in terms of pay, but you should also do your research to understand what other employers are offering for similar roles.

Look online to understand the salary of similar jobs, as well as any company schemes, benefits, and pensions.

Ask During The Question Section

If the topic of pay hasn’t been covered in the interview, use the question section at the end to rip off the band-aid. Approach the question with confidence and clarity so there is no awkwardness and no misunderstanding.

If you’re worried about coming across too abrasive or blunt, you are free to explain your reasons for asking the question.

Don’t go into too much detail about your personal life and financial situation, just explain that you want complete transparency to know what to expect in the role.

Contact Them In Another Way

Employers understand that asking about pay is a necessary part of an interview, but it’s also one of the most awkward questions.

If you’re too nervous to ask about pay in person, you have every right to email or phone the employer prior to or after the interview.

Contacting them through email or via phone call before the interview gives you the chance to understand whether the job is right for you or not without wasting your time by doing the interview.

It also gives you a chance to properly script what you want to say.

Likewise, if you forgot to ask about pay in an interview, you can still email or phone the employer to ask about the salary. Make sure to explain that you forgot to ask and that you look forward to hearing from them again.

When An Employer Asks You About Pay In An Interview

In other cases, an employer might ask you about your salary expectations. This can put you on the spot, which is why it’s important to prepare your answer to this question beforehand.

The key is to research the standard salary expectations for the role you are applying for. Some businesses will offer less than what other businesses are offering, including the additional benefits and compensation within the salary.

When an employer asks you about pay in an interview, don’t go for a solid figure. Instead, opt for a salary range and explain your answer.

You should back this up with your research about the job role, as well as your experiences and skills in previous jobs.

The key is to make them want to hire you for your invaluable knowledge and experience, so if you suggest a higher salary range in correlation to your worth as an employee, they might consider it.


Asking about pay in an interview is always awkward, but it’s so much better to get the question out on the table. Remember, you have every right to ask what the role’s salary is like before you potentially accept their job offer.
Search Programs

Get information on programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

Sponsored Search

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

One thought on “How To Ask About Pay In An Interview

  1. Linda Patterson says:

    I always negotiate with the interviewer if they are about to hire me. It’s not that bad if you ask too but most of the time they will discuss it before ending the interview.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *