How To Ask For Salary Range Anywhere In The Hiring Process

June 5, 2024 0 Comments

Be direct and ask right up front.

These days asking about salary ranges directly so that you can match your expectations with the company’s budget saves time for both parties.

Employers appreciate this attitude.

But there is a way to do it professionally so that you do not come across as rude, money-oriented, or someone less serious about the actual job role.

That’s tricky, right?

If your mind is buzzing with questions like, Should I ask about the salary range? Or wait for them to disclose it? When is the right time to ask about the salary range? How to ask? Can I send an email regarding this? Then you are at the right place.

Keep reading, all of your questions have been answered thoroughly.

Is it OK to ask for salary requirements?

Absolutely! It’s perfectly acceptable to ask for a salary range. In fact, it can demonstrate that you’re serious about the position and respectful of your time and the employer’s time.

Knowing the salary range early on helps ensure that both you and the employer are on the same page.

Have you come across job listings that did not mention the salary range? We often stumble on job listings that do not give the required minimum and maximum wage details. Ever wondered why? According to Jane Smith, HR Manager at Acme Corp, “Companies prefer to keep average salary private to maintain flexibility in negotiations and avoid setting expectations too high or low.”  [1]

So, yes, go ahead and discuss it with the recruiters. 

When to ask for a salary range?

Timing is crucial when it comes to asking about salary.

Bringing up salary too early might give the impression that you’re more interested in the pay than the position while asking too late could mean wasted time for both parties if the salary doesn’t meet your expectations.

So, when is the right time to ask?

The best time to discuss salary depends on how you came across the job opportunity.

However, waiting until the employer has shown significant interest ensures that you don’t derail the interview process by bringing up compensation too early.

Here are the key points to keep in mind on when to ask about the salary requirements during the job interview process:

Ask early if approached by a recruiter

If a recruiter contacts you about a job opportunity, it’s appropriate to ask about the salary range upfront, even before applying.

Make it clear that salary is a key factor in your decision-making process. An experienced recruiter or hiring manager will typically check if your expected salary aligns with the budgeted range for the role.

Wait until later if applying directly

If you apply for a job on your own, it’s best to wait until the employer brings up the topic of salary, especially if you’ve already included your paycheck expectations in the application. Initially, focus on presenting yourself as a strong candidate and showcasing your skills and experience.

Bring it up before a second interview

If you’ve completed the first interview and the topic of salary hasn’t been discussed, it’s fair to ask about the salary terms before committing to a second interview.

Reiterate your interest in the role and express that you’d like to ensure your expectations align on compensation before moving forward to the interviewer.

The ideal time to know the salary range is after strong interest is shown

The optimal moment to discuss salary is after the employer has indicated strong interest in hiring you, such as asking about your availability to start or requesting references. This suggests that an offer might be forthcoming, making it the right time to align on compensation.

Expert tip:

Avoid asking immediately
Asking salary in the very beginning can put-off potential employers, giving an impression that you are more interested in salary rather than understanding job role and company values. So, it is advised to avoid asking about salary right at the beginning of your interaction with the employer. 

35% of Hiring Managers discuss salary in the first interview

Looking at the data, we find that 35% of recruiters discuss and negotiate salary terms in the  first in-person interview  itself. 

While only 13% of hiring managers disclose salary terms in the phone or video interview. [2]

Timing of Salary Discussion% of managers that do it
First In-Person Interview35%
Second Meeting20%
When Making the Job Offer15%
Initial Phone/Video Screening13%
Source: wearedevelopers

How to ask for the salary range?

Made your decision to ask for a salary range? Now let’s move ahead with how to politely and professionally ask for a salary and discuss your expectations.

How you should ask highly depends on when you are asking and what are the circumstances.

During initial phone screenings

Often, the first contact with a potential employer is a phone screening. This is a good time to ask about the salary range, especially if the recruiter brings up compensation first. 

Expert tip:

You can say, “Could you provide the salary range for this position to ensure it aligns with my expectations?” 

Before the interview process

If the salary is a critical factor for you, it’s appropriate to ask for the range before committing to multiple interviews. 

Expert tip:

You might phrase it as, “To ensure we are on the same page, could you share the budgeted salary terms for this role?” 

After an initial interview

If you didn’t get the chance to discuss salary in the initial contact, you can bring it up after the first interview. 

Expert tip:

For instance, “I’m very interested in this position. To better understand the role, could you please share the pay range you have in mind?”

After receiving a job offer

If you receive a job offer, this is the most natural time to discuss salary openly. At this point, you have demonstrated your value, and both you and the employer are ready to negotiate. 

Expert tip:

You could say, “Thank you for the offer. Could we discuss the salary to ensure it matches my expectations and experience?”

Asking For Salary Range in Email?

Don’t want to do it face to face? There is a more professional way- Emails!

Email can be an effective and less intimidating way to inquire about the pay range.

Here are some examples of how to ask for the salary range via email:

General inquiry

Dear [Hiring Manager's Name],

I hope this message finds you well. I am very excited about the [Job Title] position at [Company Name] and believe my skills and experiences make me a great fit for the role.

Before we proceed further, could you please provide the salary range for this position? This information will help me ensure that my expectations are aligned with your budget.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best regards,
[Your Name]

Following up after initial contact

Hi [Recruiter’s Name],

Thank you for considering my application for the [Job Title] position. I am very interested in this opportunity and am keen to discuss it further.

To better understand the role and its alignment with my expectations, could you please share the current salary for this position?

Looking forward to your response.

Best regards,
[Your Name]

Clarifying after an interview invitation

Dear [Hiring Manager's Name],

Thank you for inviting me to interview for the [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. I am enthusiastic about the opportunity and look forward to our discussion.

To prepare adequately, could you please provide the salary range for this role? This will help me ensure that my expectations are aligned with the position.

Thank you for your understanding.

[Your Name]


Can I ask the salary range before an interview?

Absolutely. If you’re applying for a job and the salary offered is a critical factor for you, it makes sense to get this information upfront. This can help you decide whether to proceed with the application process or to look for opportunities that better match your salary expectations.

Is it ok to ask about salary in the very first interaction with a recruiter?

Neither too early nor too late. Rather than jumping directly into money terms, it is advisable to first understand recruiters’ demands, job role, and show yourself as the right candidate for the role. But it is also crucial to ensure that your salary expectations match with the company budget before moving ahead with multiple interviews. 


By asking the salary question tactfully and professionally, you set a positive tone for future negotiations and demonstrate that you value transparency and mutual understanding. This approach ensures you gather the necessary information while maintaining a professional and respectful demeanor.


  1. Including Salary Ranges on Job Postings – Everything You Need To Know
  2. Wearedevelopers. How to ensure reasonable salary