Bringing Up Salary In An Interview 

Microsoft and LinkedIn HR execs reveal the right time to bring up salary in an interview (copied from CNBC “MakeIT.” article by Ruth Umoh)


Imagine this: You’re seeking a new job and have scored interviews at different companies. You don’t want to waste your time interviewing for a position that won’t pay what you require. Should you inquire about salary during the interview process?

Chuck Edward, Microsoft‘s head of global talent acquisition, says to go for it.

“Absolutely ask about salary,” he tells CNBC Make It. “[At Microsoft], we’re very mindful of being competitive. It’s very fair to ask.”


The HR exec bucks the current trend in which applicants wait for the employer to bring up salary at the very end of the interview process.

Edward explains that knowing the salary upfront is important because money is a key deciding factor when contemplating whether to accept a job offer. Knowing how much a company is willing to offer saves both sides time and effort.


Edward notes that from a legal standpoint, interviewers cannot discuss salary in some states. But for the most part, he says, bringing up salary in the beginning of the interview process is fair game.

The HR exec adds that this is particularly notable at Microsoft, which touts its transparency during the hiring process.

“We are very transparent and hold ourselves accountable,” says the head of global talent.


LinkedIn‘s global head of talent Brendan Browne agrees that salary is an important discussion to have. However, he says that it’s really all about timing. He advises interviewees wait to have the “salary talk” later down the line and says that it should not be brought up in the first interview.

Browne warns that bringing up pay to early and to frequently may be a turnoff for hiring managers. Although the level of pay offered can make or break whether you decide to work for a company, Browne says that you shouldn’t make it seem like it’s the sole reason you want to score the position.

He explains that first and foremost, the employer wants to make sure that you’re a good fit for the company. Browne touches on his own interview experiences at LinkedIn.

“We pay well,” he says.”But what keeps people here is helping us execute on very important decisions.”

He adds that when applicants seem overeager in discussing salary right off the bat, he often responds by saying, “If that’s the most important thing, this may not be the right place for you.”

Microsoft backs up this the rhetoric with their hiring approach. When interviewing, says Edward, the company looks for core skills across various industries.

This allows them to hire top talent that can lead the business through a digital, people and cultural transformation.

Notably, he says, “We don’t screen people out. We screen people in.”