Talking about money is taboo right? But when the subject of salary must be discussed at a job interview, what then? Here are a few tips to guide you through that monetary minefield.

Should you bring it up or not?

Recruiters are divided on whether the question of salary should be discussed at a job interview.

Some will say there’s no way to ignore the elephant in the room and prefer to bring it up and get it out of the way, rather than wasting everybody’s time.

Others will tell you that discussing salary at a job interview is slippery ground at best and it’s better to wait until you’re offered the job.

Use tact and diplomacy

The general rule is that the question of salary should be brought up before or during the job interview by the recruiter and not the candidate.

Even if you have the best intentions, talking about this aspect could be interpreted as excessive interest in money to the detriment of your interest in the position and other conditions associated with the job.

The interview is almost over and you feel that you won’t get a chance to discuss salary?

Wind up the interview by asking questions about working conditions, schedule, etc. Often these related subjects will lead to the salary question.

Do your homework

Each organization has wage scales, which may or may not be dictated by a collective agreement, and its capacity to pay.

This information isn’t always made public and you might feel as though you have to guess at a “fair” figure that meets your expectations and that won’t offend the interviewer.

Even if you don’t know what the pay scale is, you must take industry standards, and your years of experience and training, into account to propose a fair amount that meets your needs.

Be transparent

Don’t mess around. Give the interviewer an exact amount, if they ask.

Inflating your current salary is not a reliable tactic. On the contrary! Recruiters are well aware of what is being offered in the market.

Asking for too little just to get the job isn’t much better. It might not be enough to meet your financial obligations.

Have faith in your market value and ask for a fair salary range, not too high and not too low.

There’s more to a job than salary…

Yes, money is important—it’s what allows you to maintain your lifestyle and financial obligations.

But you have to consider the little extras that can sometimes make all the difference and that are part of what is often called a total compensation package:

  • Group insurance
  • Pension fund
  • Vacation
  • Organizational climate and culture
  • Bonus
  • Work schedule
  • Life/work balance measures
  • Professional development and training program

These are also important when the time comes to negotiate your salary.

Take a step back

You’ve been made an offer. Great!

While it might be tempting to jump on it, take a minute to think it over before accepting.

You know a bit about the job now so make sure the offer is fair.

Negotiating means taking the time to think about the offer and perhaps making a counter-offer or turning it down.

Ask for confirmation

So you’ve accepted the offer and you’ve got the job. Congratulations!


If you haven’t already done so, it is recommended that you ask your future employer for written confirmation of the offer you’ve just accepted.


This way you’ll avoid any ambiguity about your future job.