Sue Montgomery Potrait

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When Should You Discuss Salary?

Published by Sue Montgomery on

dollar-sign-with-hands_optIn a perfect world, salary would be discussed after an offer was on the table.  However, many companies will address salary early  in the interview process.

Salary may be talked about as early as during the first telephone interview.  You may be gien a range of what the job pays and told that someone from HR  will call to verify the salary range you’re expecting before shceduling a second interview.


I suggest you run the numbers to see how much you and your family need to maintain your standard of living and see where it falls in the range the company is offering for the position. If what you come up with is in the middle to upper part of it, state your expectations at the higher end. (You can always come down but can’t go up.)

If the company counters with a lower amount, keep in mind that the first offer is usually about 10% to 15% below what they’re really willing to pay, so you will have a little wiggle room. However, if the company’s final offer is below what you are willing to accept, keep in mind that great benefits might make up some of the difference. Ask about paid healthcare, bonuses, paid vacation, car, phone, computer, 401(k) plan, working from home, etc.  All factor into your salary.

But, the bottom line is if you are out of the range, the company won’t budge, and the benefits are not good, you should probably pass and keep looking.

Sue Montgomery PotraitSue Montgomery is founder and president of Resume Plus ( She is a professional resume writer and career coach who markets people for the jobs they want. Contact Sue directly at 937-254-5627 or email