I'm in the process of looking for a better job, and before setting up a bunch of interviews and going through all the processes before being offered the job and seeing what I make, is there a way to ask before hand?

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    Maybe consider not asking for the pay, but instead telling your minimal salary expectation at some point during the first interview. It's likely they will stop the process if they really can't afford that Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 15:49
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    @Sugar Don't tell anyone your minimum salary ever if you care at all about what you get paid. Why would they ever offer more than what they know you'd accept? Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 17:44

4 Answers 4


If you are dealing with a recruiter, it should be fine to ask directly about pay and state clearly your acceptable range. I have had success with that as they only get paid if you take the job and they don't want to waste their time on getting you interviews for jobs you won't accept.

If you are applying directly to a posting by a company, they may want you to express more desire for the work than the money (play the game a little). Keep in mind that your current salary is not relevant to the job you are applying to and you can decline to answer that question.

If you feel you can manage it tactfully, it might be helpful when communicating before the interview to say something like:

It wasn't in the job posting, but I wanted to inquire about the salary range for the position to make sure we have similar expectations. I'm very interested in the description of the work, but I wouldn't want to take a pay-cut for it.


is there a way to ask before hand?

Before an actual interview or other way of knowing what that job is about I would not recommend it.

Surely you can ask right away what is the salary they are offering, but I doubt that would be seen as something professional (or tasteful perhaps).

Some may even think that you are only interested in the money and not in the job, which may discourage them from hiring you or going further with the hiring process.

I would suggest you carry the job seeking process a bit further, to a point where they inevitable give you an offer or you are in a point where you know more about the job and can ask for such without seeming too greedy.


No. That is not how the game is generally played.

At best the company will ask your desired salary during the submission process of your application. This is less than ideal for you as you might not get a good feedback on how realistic your expectations are but will filter out incompatible offers without much effort on your part.

If this does not happen then pretty much every company will ask you about your salary expectations during your first interview real interview.

On the off chance this doesn't happen either, your first interview is a good place to address this topic yourself, as - in general - neither party is keen on continuing negotiations if it's clear you'll never agree on a salary.

As others have said. Jumping the gun on the money issue gives a bad impression. But your question is about how you can reduce the effort on your part to find out. There are a few things you can do:

  • Consult online salary calculators/lists to get an impression of what range you can expect
  • Keep track of how the salary discussions go during the interviews you DO have and use that information to extrapolate what you can expect for similar positions.
  • Ask your network if they've got information on the salaries in the jobs you're looking at

But the only way to get the exact figure is playing the game for each position.


There's a bit of a silly game here. Employers routinely indicate that they are put off by candidates who bring up the subject of salary too soon, that they want someone who will be dedicated to the job and not just looking for money. Frankly, I think this is just silly. Yes, I want a job where the work is satisfying and I feel like I am accomplishing something of value and contributing to the company. But I also have a mortgage to pay, and I like to eat now and then. I'm not going to work for free. If I am presently employed, I am unlikely to take a pay cut to go to your company. I sincerely doubt that the person doing the interviewing is working for free, or that he doesn't care about what pay raises he gets. But nevertheless, that's how it is. It's considered uncouth to ask about money too soon. So best don't. If the interviewer doesn't bring the subject up by the end of the first interview, then ask. (Well, if it looks like there's a realistic chance they'll offer you the job. If it's obvious that they've already written you off and they're just trying to get you out of the building as quickly as possible without being rude, than don't waste both of your times.)

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