I work for more than year as a junior backend developer. I have found an internship (in fact something between entry-level position and internship) advertisement: junior machine learning engineer and I am interested in applying for this internship. The salary for potential position is given without range. It is quite well, but less than I earn. I would like to ask, if this fact is worth mentioning during job (internship) interview.

Imho adventages:

  • it will show me as someone who value earning skills and knowledge rather than money

Imho disadventegs:

  • it may be found as conceitedness

EDIT: to precise, I would like to increase my chances for being accepted, not to make them increase offered salary.

  • With respect, you're overthinking this. You can simply say, "I am eager to get into this new field and your internship seems like a good way for me to get started." – O. Jones Jun 5 '19 at 21:32

The salary for potential position is given without range. It is quite well, but less than I earn. I would like to ask, if this fact is worth mentioning during job (internship) interview.


While taking less is important to you, it will mean nothing to the employer. It doesn't make you any more valuable, nor will it increase your chances of being hired. If anything a potential employer would wonder how long you would be happy accepting less.

Instead, focus on what makes you the best person to fill the role.

  • Is not willingness to lower my salary a kind of measure of my determination? Is not determination a value for employee? I have doubts, but I, let me say, accept your and the others' answers. – Jacek Jun 4 '19 at 6:34

This is true for any job offer: How much you're currently paid is irrelevant.

What you have to know is how much you're worth and how much you're willing to sell yourself.

If an offer is bellow what you're currently earning and you want to apply be prepared to accept what is advertised. It doesn't mean you can't negotiate for more if you think you're bringing more value to your prospective employer but that's all.

  • 3
    I would add that by stating that you're taking a pay cut you could be suggesting you're overqualified, and it would be a signal that you'll bail at the earliest moment and go to a higher paying job. – Keith Jun 3 '19 at 16:06
  • Or that you are just not very good at what you are doing, and will be more of a burden than an actual contributor. – gnasher729 Jun 3 '19 at 21:54
  • If they explicitly ask the question why you are looking to take a paycut, then obviously you need to answer it. If they ask why you are interested in the role (And they probably will) then talk about the learning opportunity and the chance to steer your career in the direction you want. – Carlovski Jun 4 '19 at 15:42

No. Don't mention money until the job is offered. I get what you're saying, but coming from my experience on both sides of the table as candidate and interviewer, it just makes you look like you'd be preoccupied with money -- exactly the opposite of how you want to appear.

You may also come across as someone that doesn't want to be challenged by a job and just wants an easy job.

  • My perception is that someone willing to trade a fixed position for an internship in a different field while being paid less is actually interrested in the job more than the money. But I see the question was edited after your answer so maybe this explains that... – Laurent S. Jun 3 '19 at 16:16

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