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Completed 2nd interview - no mention of salary yet?

Completed 2nd interview - no mention of salary yet?

First interview was with the person I'd be working with most of the time. Second was actually a series of shorter (approx 45 minutes) interviews 2 with upper management and 3 with various VPs (one of these by phone to another location)
It's been a number of years since I've gone through the interview process, but I remember being told that the interviewee was not 'supposed to mention' salary - only discussing it when brought up by the interviewer. Did I blow my chances by not bringing it up one of the times I was asked if I had any questions? If so, who would've be the right person for me to ask?

Let them hate - so long as they fear... Lucius Accius

RE: Completed 2nd interview - no mention of salary yet?

IMHO you are in a stronger position if you wait to see if they want to hire you and then let them offer you a package they think is appropriate. You can then negotiate knowing that you are person they chose.


The question should be Is it worth trying to do? not Can it be done?

RE: Completed 2nd interview - no mention of salary yet?

I would also wait until they bring it up.  At some point if they want to hire you they will make you an offer.  If you want more money than that, counter it with your own number and see if they think you are worth it.  If they do they will accept the number.  If not they will work with you to find a number that you can both live with.

Last time I did salary negotation it took over a week.

MCSA (2003) / MCDBA (SQL 2000)
MCTS (SQL 2005 / Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 3.0: Configuration / Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007: Configuration)
MCITP Database Administrator (SQL 2005) / Database Developer (SQL 2005)

My Blog

RE: Completed 2nd interview - no mention of salary yet?

Interviewee should never be the first to bring up salary or benefits. If they ask what your current salary is, you should avoid answering that as well if you can. They are trying to find out if you are in their salary range without telling you what the range is. Tell them you signed a non-disclosure agreement and you intend to keep to it if you have to. (yes, sigh, I know, the interview process is set up to force people to lie about many things.) Tell them that you will consider any fair offer. It is not usually in your best interest to tell them your current salary. If it is low for the market, they will give you a low offer. If it is high, they may not consider you even though you would take less to leave your current situation or to have the chance to learn new technology or some other really interesting job. The first person who mentions money loses. You don't ask about benefits becasue you want them thinking you are interested in the job, not what it can do for you. (Yeah I know, here's another place where you are shading the truth.)

Always try to have questions. I ask where I would fit in the organizational structure if they didn't cover that. I them to describe the organizational culture. I ask if they have any upcoming changes or new projects.

Don't be afraid to say you don't know to a question if you genuinely don't know.  Tell them instead how you would go about finding out the answer on the job if the issue came up. Now clearly if you say I don't know to everything, you will get ruled out. Companies want some level of knowledge. But one or two answers should not harm (and if it did would you really want to work there?) and may help you more than BSing through the answer would.

Follow through. A thank you letter or a follow up call can help alot. A thank you letter where you have researched the question you didn't know the answer to and tell them what you found can help even more. If you have non-proprietary work samples (or ones which can be made non-proprietary by changing the names of objects), that can truly impress an interviewer becasue so few peole are willing to show them. Don't do this unless you are sure they are good work samples. Code samples they laugh at will guarantee you don't get the job.

Good luck in your job search.

"NOTHING is more important in a database than integrity." ESquared

RE: Completed 2nd interview - no mention of salary yet?

Thank you all - Great suggestions! As you can tell from my post, I'm quite rusty at this whole interview thing... I've sent followup 'thank you' emails and now am waiting for the next call.

Let them hate - so long as they fear... Lucius Accius

RE: Completed 2nd interview - no mention of salary yet?

Stray Bullet,

I always use their salary offer as a means of not only negotiating a higher salary, but also to create an opportunity for
  • making gains on non-salary fronts,
  • properly setting expectations (on both sides) for promotions and compensation increases
  • letting them know that:
    • Salary is not your only consideration, and
    • You think outside the box
When they present their salary offer to me, I look at it...silently, for several seconds, and say (regardless of the offer amount):


Although this offer is below my marketable value, I look at, what I consider to be, the total compensation package for a position.

What opportunities can the company offer me in terms of performance bonuses, employee-stock-purchase plans, stock options, stock gifts, 401(K) matching, profit sharing, "Comp Day" opportunities for extra hours worked, regular performance reviews for salary increases, opportunities for promotion, education reimbursement, et cetera, that would make my more viable for me to consider the compensation package?
The interviewer's response should shed light on additional ways that the company can sweeten the pot for you while saving face on their salary offer to you.

After you give the interviewer the opportunity to respond, you can add:


I'm certain that following my initial 90 days at the company, my performance will justify a <you-choose-the-number> percent increase to my salary that brings my salary more in line with the market value of my skills and performance. Is that a reasonable expectation?
This sets both your and the interviewer's expectations for an sooner-rather-than-later commitment to revisit your salary.

Let us know if these are strategies with which you would feel comfortable.

(aka Dave of Sandy, Utah, USA)
[I provide low-cost, remote Database Administration services:]

RE: Completed 2nd interview - no mention of salary yet?

Thank you Santa - you've provided me with the wording I needed! Now, if you could just come hold my hand while I use it smile

Let them hate - so long as they fear... Lucius Accius

RE: Completed 2nd interview - no mention of salary yet?

Hey, Stray, the East Coast is only a short plane ride away from my home...I'm there. <grin>

(aka Dave of Sandy, Utah, USA)
[I provide low-cost, remote Database Administration services:]

RE: Completed 2nd interview - no mention of salary yet?

Well, got the 'thanks, but we've gone with someone else' email... sadeyes
I've copied and saved everyone's advice for the future though - thank you all again!

Let them hate - so long as they fear... Lucius Accius

RE: Completed 2nd interview - no mention of salary yet?

I'm with the other guys above in their recommendations. Keep some things in mind that aren't necessarily salary related.

What do you want to accomplish while you're there?

Some things I always keep in the front of my mind (and in a list on my PDA that's in front of me during negotiations):

1. What's their certification/testing policy? Do they pay for tests? Study materials? Study time? Is there a bonus for keeping/updating a certification? Are there some certifications that they would like you to obtain?

2. Technical resources - will they send you to technical conferences, such as TechEd? Do they cover subscriptions to technical magazines and resources such as TechNet?

3. Do they cover some expenses such as cellular phone, home Internet access, etc?

4. What is the salary range for this position? If you negotiate a nice salary, are you putting yourself at the top of the range, and subsequently, short changing yourself later?

5. What are other tasks and responsibilities that can be gained that may result in higher compensation? Team Leader, Project Leader, etc.

6. How often are evaluations done?

If they give you a written offer letter, make sure that everything you negotiated is in the letter. In my current position, the person who I negotiated with over a three week  period left the company not long after I came on board (although he is now a client of ours). Fortunately, I had my offer letter and was able to make sure they met their obligations, which include sending me to several technical conferences every year.

Pat Richard
Microsoft Exchange MVP

RE: Completed 2nd interview - no mention of salary yet?

One thing to remember is that the hiring manager may be constrained by HR rules as to the max salary they can offer.  But they often have more leeway when it comes time to talk about a hiring bonus...

Chip H.

If you want to get the best response to a question, please read FAQ222-2244: How to get the best answers first

RE: Completed 2nd interview - no mention of salary yet?

Thank you chip and sniper - your suggestions have been added.

You've all been so helpful, I feel so much more well prepared!

Let them hate - so long as they fear... Lucius Accius

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