When and how to talk compensation

With any luck, money will be brought up at some point during your interview. This is a sure sign of an employer’s interest in you and your skills. But, you should not push the issue. Never bring up the subject of compensation until the prospective employer broaches it first. Otherwise, you risk sending the wrong message — that you’re more interested in money than in what you can do for the company. This might cause an employer to think twice, as it were, about your candidacy. No one wants to hire someone whose only interest is getting paid.

Worst-case scenario: The salary discussion is a screening device. If the subject of pay comes up early in the interview, you should understand that this is probably a screening question. The wrong answer here could take you out of further consideration for the position. Thus, your best strategy at this point is to avoid answering any questions related to money. If you must respond to such questions, you should ask the interviewer to first tell you what his or her compensatory range is for the job. …For better results, try to focus on the job, what it requires and what it should pay instead of your own economic needs. This will help keep you calm and collected. You don’t want to let emotions guide your salary negotiations.