I applied to a job online in the very beginning of the month. The next day, I was contacted by an HR rep at the company and pre-interviewed over the phone. During this conversation, he asked me my salary requirements. I wish I had given a range, but instead I blurted out a non-padded number. He replied, "I think we could get close; probably to $____ ($5k below the number I stated). I felt it was too early to be entering into salary negotiations since I didn't know enough about the job, which I also wish I would have stated. Instead, I said "I'll have to consider commuting costs and all." We moved on and he scheduled an in-person interview with me for the following week.

It went really well and a little less than two weeks later (two days ago), I got a call that they want me back for a second round of interviews. They said I'm one of three candidates they're asking back and he asked me if I was still interested. I stated I definitely was and we hung up.

The NEXT DAY, I found out from my current employer that I got a small raise as a result of my year-end review. This essentially changes my salary requirements by about $3k. I'm expecting a call today from the prospective employer to schedule my second interview for early next week. When do I tell him of this change? Should I tell them DURING the second interview, before or AFTER I've received an offer?

Thank you!

Update: I edited my original question, because I realized I was asking the wrong question for the answer I was seeking. I'm trying to determine whether it's even prudent at all to mention the fact that my current employer gave me a performance-based raise and whether I can leverage it in negotiations with my prospective employer, even though I'd already given a salary requirement during our initial pre-interview over the phone. Based on my raise, my new requirement would be $3,500 more.

  • If a raise changes your salary requirement at all, then you should consider why you're leaving in the first place. If you're making x and asking for y because you think that's what you're worth, then y doesn't increase just because x did. As a hiring manager, if a candidate tried this tactic it would instantly tint him/her negatively for me. Jan 30, 2015 at 20:30
  • @JoelEtherton I appreciate your feedback. It's exactly what I was hoping to learn, because I wasn't sure what the best way to handle it was. I've heard of so many things being "the norm" that I was shocked to learn were acceptable. Jan 30, 2015 at 20:47
  • Why was your salary requirement pegged against your current salary? They really are two entirely separate things. (Also, in the future, avoid giving specific numbers for salary requirements early in the process. Always keep it vague. Salary can be discussed once they decide they'd like to give you an offer)
    – DA.
    Jan 31, 2015 at 0:07
  • @JoelEtherton not everyone leaves a job purely because of money, but it's nice to get a raise at the same time!
    – Jon Story
    Jan 31, 2015 at 0:49
  • @jonstory: I agree completely but at the same time a raise mid steam doesn't change anything. If you're not unhappy about money, then it doesn't matter, and if you are unhappy about money you can't let it show through in this described manner. Jan 31, 2015 at 0:54

2 Answers 2



Tell him at the end of the second interview.

That is, if you think the interview went well and you'd be happy to go for the position.


It's up to you if you wish to mention the raise but It'd probably be better to skip that part, at best you could state that you've basically received a counter offer since salary comparison between companies is not something taken lightly:

I had salary x so that must mean I'm worth at least that.

They don't think that way, they simply wish to pay you for what you're actually worth to them, not specifically what someone else though you were worth.

You should simply state that you've reevaluated yourself:

I've reevaluated myself and based on my evaluation and research then I'd have to request a salary in the range of y instead of z, which I mentioned to you the last time we spoke-- if you see myself fit for the position. I'm sorry if that's inconvenient for you but that's my current range.

  • I see what you're saying. Perhaps I was thinking of my "worth" in the wrong way. My current job is a "work from home" position with hour-long commutes only a couple of times a month. This new position is something I'm excited about, but it would mean paying an extra $2500 out of pocket per year to get there, plus I'd be commuting an hour each way every day (which is not a-typical for my area). But my point is it'll cost me more to take this job, even if it puts me on a better career track in general. I see what you're saying about not mentioning the raise, though. Jan 30, 2015 at 15:46
  • 1
    "They don't think that way, they simply wish to pay you for what you're actually worth to them." -- I don't think so. Although they would never pay more than you're worth to them, they want to pay you as little as they can get away with. If they could get the employee they need for minimum wage, they would do it, regardless of the value said employee provides.
    – James Adam
    Jan 30, 2015 at 15:46
  • @JamesAdam It varies on how you look at it. You're right about them wanting to pay you as little as possible but it's better to state that a person like you with your specific skill-set and experience is making an average x according to surveys rather than saying "Company Y gave me Z, so give me at least that much monnehh".
    – Jonast92
    Jan 30, 2015 at 15:53
  • @jobseeker22 It's okay to mention the travel and ask for money that would more or less cover it, if they really want you then they'll throw in the extra bucks. This is quite good input.
    – Jonast92
    Jan 30, 2015 at 15:55
  • Companies absolutely CAN think this way. It's a 2 way street. If the company has other candidates that they like just as much who are willing to work for less, than obviously those guys are going to get the job. On the same line, if you are the best candidate for the position, they'd rather reasonably negotiate at a higher rate in order complete the hiring process as quickly as possible. Companies usually have no clue what their employees are actually worth. They know a ballpark range.
    – Triplell89
    Jan 30, 2015 at 16:19

I would mention your revised salary requirements at some point during the interview - when you are talking to HR and not the hiring manager or other potential co-workers who will be evaluating your fit at the company.

But also take this as a "lesson learned" - and have something prepared for future first contact situations going forward.

Instead of giving a number, counter back with "what is the salary range for the position?" or "I'm not comfortable discussing salary without knowing more about the position."

Of course the HR people want to know what you are currently making, but that's not how to open salary negotiations. Invariably, you have the distinct possibility of underselling yourself and growing resentful of your low pay once you have taken the position.

This blogger has many good articles that are relevant to your question.


  • Well, I had already acknowledged that I'd wished I'd handled answering his question differently, but my current issue is when to let him know of the change and it looks like you're suggesting during the 2nd interview. Jan 30, 2015 at 17:51

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