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Valentin Silvestre
Valentin Silvestre

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Is talking about money OK at first interview ?

I'm young, about 20 years old, french and I'm working in an IT society.

There's always the moment that make me feel bad at the interview when interviewer ask you

Any questions about the job/society ?

Talking about salary is something I want to do when we sign, it's not really the topic.
My question is about advantages I can get -> Ticket restaurant, 13 month, incentive award..
These talk about money and I'm afraid to upset the interviewer.

Maybe I'm wrong ? Could you share your experiences please ? Thanks !

Top comments (16)

craser profile image
Chris Raser

I'm from the USA, working in southern California. I've never interviewed or worked outside the U.S., so take my thoughts for what they're worth.

On the very first phone call, I clarify the responsibilities of the job (Will I have to be on call? Will I be expected to travel?), and then make sure they're offering a salary that works for me. If not, I politely end the call. I say something like, "Thanks very much for your time, but I think we're too far apart on salary."

Like Jorin pointed out, the salary you discuss during the first phone call will be the maximum they will offer you. So pick a number you'd happily agree to, and insist that they offer something concrete in return for a lower salary. (More vacation time, bigger bonus, etc.)

Don't worry too much about offending the interviewer. If you're negotiating in good faith, that is more important than having perfect etiquette.

And here's something I wish I'd done early in my career: take a few interviews for jobs you honestly don't care if you get. (Don't waste anyone's time. But go through the interview process knowing you can walk away without a second thought.) It will sharpen your interview skills and make you more comfortable with the process.

Best of luck!

jorinvo profile image

Not sure if I understand your question 100% right, but in my experience it is common and also important that you state your compensation expectations as early on as possible.
If it is clear from the start that this job doesn't match your expectations, there is no need to waste time with continuing the interview process.
It also helps the employer to know how to judge you during the interview process by comparing the value you can give to the cost of hiring you. This may sound a little harsh, but every company is calculating about their expenses in some way.
That being said, you should not start with too low expectations since when you have to bargain later on, the salary will only go down, never up. Also be clear about other benefits apart from money that you are expecting. Keep in mind that this is only a first general impression and you don't have to figure out all details in the beginning. Instead try to set the right course for the rest of the interview process.
Expectations and process will vary from company to company and often also depend on the culture you live in.

vasilvestre profile image
Valentin Silvestre

Compensation, thanks ! I'm not english native and linguee was wrong this time.

This said, it sound logic. All my process was shot, surely because it's contract with school and that I can't except a lot of things.

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Yes, I agree. Stating expectations early on is your best bet for priming the conversation in the direction you need it to go.

mihohl profile image
Michael Hohl • Edited

How does the new law work in practice? There is a similar law in the EU for quite a few years. They even have to put the salary on any kind of job advert. However, they are allowed to answer like „starting at X € + depending on your skills“ which usually is pretty useless information.

robencom profile image
robencom • Edited

I hear this a lot, especially from France, that for some reason talking about money in an interview is not a very bright idea or so.

Everyone knows that we ALL work for MONEY!!! Or else why would you "slave" yourself 40-60 hours a week for people or/and a company you don't really care about??

I know someone who went through a series of interviews with a company, and in the last interview when they spoke about the money, it was ridiculously LOWER than expected! That someone have wasted time, energy and money to reach back to square 1!

So please, everyone, cut the crap! Let's talk about the money first, excite us about the job, tempt us with the money, show us the BANANA for which we are selling the best time of our week and the best time of our lives!

In the world of business, you need to have brass balls! Don't hesitate to ask for what you deserve!

eljayadobe profile image

Depending on the company, you may be interviewing with many people.

Only the hiring manager is in a position to discuss compensation, the other interviewers will likely be your eventual team members or project leads.

If they give you a range, say good to better, set your expectation that when an offer is presented it will probably be the good number, not the better number.

So if good isn't good enough, be prepared to say "no" (which can be hard to do!), and politely turn down the offer.

advdheijden profile image
Adriaan v/d Heijden

Hey! I'm a recruiter and this is a hard question to be honest.
I always ask for an expected salary in the first interview. Why? Because I don't want to waste anybodies time. From you, doing technical assignment and more interviews, but also from my colleagues who grade the assignment and do the interviews. It doesn't make sense to do this all and at the end find out you and the company are not on the same salary level.

I do know other companies see it as a bad thing. They might see you as a moneygrabber. But as long as you be honest about it, I think it is not a problem. Talking about money is always hard, but it is necessary and normal :)

forfer profile image

Well, my personal experience (I've interviewed for positions in Portugal, Netherlands, and Spain, based in Spain) is that every time I was afraid to be too polite to ask, it took longer than I would have wanted to realize whether or not it was a position that was of interest (economically) for me. And, being a bit more frank, I have been tricked two times with the compensation I would be receiving, both times when I didn't want to ask about the salary out of fear of being impolite. So, maybe on the first interview test the water, and if you go further in the process, then you can start asking more thoroughly

javierg profile image
Javier Guerra

Yes. If the expected compensation by the candidate doesn't meet the budget of the recruiter is better to known in advance. Better will be to advertise jobs with salary ranges from start. That will save time to every body.

bgadrian profile image
Adrian B.G.

Theoretically they cannot say how much they are willing to pay YOU, because they haven't finished the assessment: how much value can you bring to the product/company.

But can ask for a range, or at least the minimum amount and what other perks and obligations the position comes with.

elouanc profile image
Elouan Cottenot

I think it's good to know about the expectations about salaries or Ticket restaurant at the first interview.
Because you can end the conversation here, if something is not to your liking. You don't lost time about another interview for technical purpose or HR purpose, if at the begin what they want to pay you is not what you want.

And be carefull about the "package" in France where a lot of ESN like to give you an amount where Ticket restaurant and other advantages are included inside.

As a French myself I think it's good to be clear at the first interview about the salary and asking the other salaries advantages (Ticket restaurant, 13 month, CE, participation, etc...)

dramaticbean profile image

I'm from Portugal and still in college. When an interviewer enters in contact with me they usually talk about how much I would be making.