I had apply to do my thesis project to a start-up company.

In the interview:

Company: -How much money do you expect for this project?

Me: -I know that this is not a full job so I don't expect a full salary. If you believe at the end of the interviews that you will have with other candidates that I am the most suitable guy for the project we can discuss that part. It is not the most important thing for me. The most important thing for me is to finish my thesis until August so I will be able to search for a job.

After 10 days they send me an email that I am the suitable guy. I want to ask them if they are offering any (even small) monthly salary or compensation for the position. It was my first interview and it will be my first job, is there any polite way to discuss/ask that issue?

  • And are you willing to bail out of the project if they don't want to pay you? Or do you have no alternatives to write your thesis, so you may have to work for them for free? This will make a big differences in any kind of negotiations. – Doc Brown Dec 16 '13 at 10:21
  • Were they asking about salary or the cost of materials and other expenses? What do they get from the deal? Use of the data? – mhoran_psprep Dec 16 '13 at 11:17
  • @DocBrown the salary is not the most important thing but I am willing to bail out if the don't give money at all because I will feel not appreciated in that way and I will apply to other companies. I had another interview with another company but they will take the decision in 3 weeks and their projects will start on April which is too late for me. I haven't apply to any other company yet. – user23236245242 Dec 16 '13 at 12:15
  • @mhoran_psprep The project include the development of an iOS, an Android and a Web application using REST for communication between the different parts. I will develop the Android app and also help them to develop the API for the system. – user23236245242 Dec 16 '13 at 12:19
  • @JoeStrazzere I believe it's somewhere in the middle because it is a start-up company and they don't have too many employees, but if I had to choose I'll say intern. At the interview they also told me that after a success project they are willing to offer a permanent job to the developers that will be involved (2-3 people). – user23236245242 Dec 16 '13 at 13:04

is there any polite way to discuss/ask that issue?

Certainly, but you really shouldn't do that via email.

Instead, send them a note saying something along the lines of:

"Thank you for accepting me. I'm really excited to get going on this project! When would be a good time to call you and discuss compensation, start date, hours of work, etc?"

This way, you show that you are eager and ready, but indicate that you are expecting some sort of compensation for your work. You also haven't indicated a formal acceptance yet.

Then, you follow up with a phone call at the agreed-upon time, hammer out the details, and formally accept (or not).

You haven't made it clear if you will be considered a temporary worker, or an intern. In some companies interns receive compensation, in other companies they are not compensated. It's unfortunate that you didn't have this conversation during the interview, but now you need to deal with it directly, before you formally accept their offer.

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  • thank you for your advice, it really seems a nice way to deal with the issue. – user23236245242 Dec 16 '13 at 12:56
  • I think your e-mail is better than mine. And +1 for reinstating that it was bad to not have that conversation in the interview. – Hugo Rocha Dec 16 '13 at 12:56

First of all: If you ask politely, there is no harm.

But i think you should really not ask this by a e-mail. I would have asked that in the interview. Interviews are two-way, the company is getting to know you, and you getting to know the company. This also includes salary.

But if you must do it by e-mail...

"Hey CompanyGuyX,

That is great news! I'm happy to be working with you guys on my project. Could you answer a question of mine? Even being not a full-time job, do you have any sort of compensation for my position?

Thank you for your time, Avraam Mavridis"

But you know, this will probably generate a chain of e-mail. You must analyze each answer and proceed accordingly.

But i really think that this sort of thing should be asked BEFORE they accepted you. And not by e-mail. It's harder to negotiate money by an e-mail.

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  • 1
    My English is bad and i feel bad. Maybe someone can improve my answer? – Hugo Rocha Dec 16 '13 at 12:46

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