5 min read
It’s resonated in my head ever since I went on my first interview. Wear a suit, bring three copies of your resume and never ask about salary! Two out of three of those are sound advice (thanks, Mom), but the third one is one of the most destructive and bad pieces of advice out there. I’ve seen it dished out on major career sites, but let me tell you, not asking about salary is a horrible mistake for a candidate. If you were buying a house, you would ask the price, if you were trying a new restaurant, you’d likely check out the menu. So why do we dance around salary on interviews like school children that have been chastised?
It’s got to stop.
In a highly competitive market, avoiding the salary and benefits conversation until it’s too late in the game has caused multiple problems on both sides of the fence.
Candidates are investing multiple hours in an interview process, taking time off work only to find out that their dreams are crushed because their expected salary is $30k over budget for a role they’ve already fallen in love with. Hiring managers are avoiding the conversation altogether because they feel like it’s HR’s job to pass along salary information, and HR plays the “what do you think is reasonable for your role?” card. No one wants to talk about it, and it winds up being a vicious game of hot potato. So what can recruiters and candidates do about this horrible phenomenon that’s screwing up a great opportunity?
So be honest! Say you’ve been working at a company for five years and have made a small increase in salary, tell me if that’s a reason you’re disgruntled. I’ll listen. But keep in mind: You should walk into an interview knowing the market rate for your transferable skills. Because I already do.
Candidates and recruiters are both to blame for this sad turn of events. But though both sides are to blame, we can - and will - make it right. So at your next interview, or during your next phone screen, open that door. Or just bring a copy of this blog post to your next interview and quietly slide it across the table. It can replace that third copy of your resume you’re carrying around.