Never ask about salary in a job interview: you are less likely to be hired

No candidate wants to appear greedy, selfish, or lazy during an interview. But research suggests that’s exactly how hiring managers will perceive you if you ask about salary and other benefits.

Therein lies the job seeker paradox– You need to make a living and you want to have a life outside of work, but acknowledging this out loud to a potential employer is a career barrier.

“It’s unpleasant for the interviewers,” he explains to Business Insider Anthony Nyberg, a professor at the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina (United States). “It makes them think you care more about the rewards than the job itself.”

The result for job seekers is that patience and moderation are the key. Remember: you have influence only once the company decides that it wants to hire you.

Nyberg compares it to dating: “Wait until they fall in love with you before you start talking about how many kids you want to have.”

Managers want employees who are “motivated”

Research by Rellie Derfler-Rozin of the University of Maryland and Marko Pitesa of the Singapore Management University concludes that managers are less likely to hire candidates who ask about salary and benefits in job interviews.

Derfler-Rozin and Pitesa also detail that managers better qualify candidates who make work related questions than applicants who are also asking about compensation or benefits.

The researchers attribute this to something called “purity bias in motivation,” which means that managers only want to hire people who are intrinsically motivated by the job itself.

Of course, this notion is a farce, since few workers can afford not to care about the external rewards of a job like salary and other benefits like flexibility and time off.

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Nyberg claims that the workers asking about vacation policy They are viewed in a particularly negative light. “It sounds like you’re walking in the door saying, ‘I don’t want to work,'” she notes.

There are broad implications for managers who could be missing out on talented candidates simply because they ask about salary.

In particular, managers might overlook job seekers from lower economic backgroundswho are more likely to need money; and women, who are more likely to worry about flexible hours, childcare, and family-life balance policies.

Pay transparency laws could alleviate some of this tension. In the United States, New York, Nevada, Colorado and Connecticut already have laws that require organizations to advertise a pay range in advance. California has a similar law that will go into effect next year.

And yet the reports of Bloomberg suggest that these laws are ineffective. Some employers post artificially low salary ranges, both to prevent wages from rising and to prevent current employees from finding out they are underpaid.

Patience can lead to money

For job seekers, the implications are clear: they should do as much research as possible about the job and what the company pays for it.

Erin Andersen, a career transition coach in New York City, recommends resources like and Payscale, which offer salary ranges for jobs and location, with a breakdown based on criteria like education, years of experience. .. “There is a lot of information out there,” he adds.

It is advisable to wait until you are the main candidate for the job to ask your potential boss about the salary. From a strategic perspective, you want the employer to bet on you as a candidate for the position.

Afterwards, you must wait for the moment until you receive an offer. “There’s very little risk in waiting until the employer brings it up,” Nyberg says. “People are afraid to spend all this time on what they think is a $90,000 job and find out it’s actually a $25,000 job, but that doesn’t really happen.”

Never ask about salary in a job interview: you are less likely to be hired