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I am currently working, but looking to advance my career elsewhere. I began the hiring process, which has been extensive to say the least. After 6 interviews of various types - salary still hasn't been brought up. The general pay bracket was not listed on the initial career page either. I know the more I "make em love me", the more value I may have in negotiations later, but I'm nervous that after all of this effort, if they can't offer me what I'm willing to make the switch for - we've all wasted our time. Furthermore, if I've stuck it out this long and then don't take what they offer, I've hurt myself professionally. Is there a way to bring pay up so far along in the process without limiting yourself? The HR person is not necessarily the payroll person, so I haven't been comfortable addressing it. Thanks!

*Edit: 6 interviews have been 1 virtual recorded, 2 virtual real-time (skype), 1 in-person with the CEO and each department lead, 1 in-person with an outside HR consultant, and 1 day of shadowing. After each piece, I am asked to wait for "next steps" and just when I think it's offering time or time to bring topics like this up, it's another request to come in before a new group of people. This is a newer company so I think they are working out their hiring process. They also expressed they are looking to ensure retention. Honestly, I hadn't brought it up because I had been taught not to, but also, as I said, I thought I'd have the opportunity much earlier than now. I am still waiting on updated "next steps".

  • When you say 6 interviews - 6 separate visits to their site, or 6 appointments within one long session? Certainly in the former case, and probably the latter as well, if they can't decide if they want you and make you a definite offer after that number of meetings, then they are yanking you around. – Julia Hayward Sep 19 '14 at 15:26
  • Hey Michele, and welcome to The Workplace! Just a couple questions to clarify if you don't mind. (1) Do you know how many interviews there will be until they decide who to make the offer to? (depending on the pool and the position, they may have the luxury of being very selective) Have you mentioned salary at all (do you at least have a feeling for the likely salary band you should be expecting, or is it a complete mystery)? If you haven't mentioned salary at all after 6 interviews, why not? It would help if you could edit the answer in to your question. Thanks in advance! – jmac Sep 19 '14 at 15:27
  • Okay, hope that helps some. – Michele Sep 19 '14 at 15:51
  • you are not hurting yourself professionally if you don't take the offer, no matter how many interview steps you go through. You never hurt yourself if you don't take the offer, especially if the reason is "the pay didn't match my expectations". – bharal Sep 19 '14 at 16:13
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6 interviews as described is a bit unusual. At this point, it's perfectly okay to bring this up directly. Talk to the hiring manager and or/recruiter:

"Hi, thank yo very much about talking to me about your position, I'm really excited about this opportunity and want to make this work. While we have talked a lot, it occurred to me that we haven't discussed compensation even at a high level. Would it be possible for you to share some thoughts so we can quickly check that there is no major mismatch here."

You can also throw out a number yourself if you are comfortable with it. If you get a lot of hemming and hawing and no clear answers, this would be a red flag. In combination with rather lengthy interview process it would indicate that the company is very indecisive and, at the very least, not very experienced at this

  • That's a good point -- you don't need to be nailing down the fine details yet, but having a rough idea so 'there is no major mismatch' is a reasonable for both sides. – thursdaysgeek Sep 19 '14 at 22:43
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It's absolutely normal that salary is not discussed until an offer is made. Yours sounds like a long interview process, but I've known longer.

While you may be thinking that you are putting a lot of effort into a process that may not result in a job, you have to remember that cuts both ways. The more effort the company puts into the hiring process for you, the less likely it is that they will reject you purely because of a difference in salary expectations. If they are still working out their hiring process, they are probably still working out their pay scales too, which means that any salary is potentially payable for the right person.

As the comments say, there is no downside to eventually rejecting an offer if the salary isn't what you expect, other than writing off the amount of time you spent in interview. You can bring up the subject of salary if you like, but don't forget that there is more to compensation than salary. You don't want to run the risk of starting salary negotiations, even implicitly, until you've had the chance to demonstrate how great you are.

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