People, Person, Crowd

"Touchy" Questions

Tim and Rikki here again with a second blog on the topic with the longest title ever........

From the desk of our Recruiters: “The importance of when and how you bring up “touchy” questions, like compensation, in the interview process”.


Rikki and I get hit with every question you can imagine at all stages of the interview process. So today, we figured we would discuss how it comes across in the interview process from our own experience. It’s crucial, from the hiring manager’s perspective, the timing in which you ask about important questions such as compensation and working from home.  


As with many things in life, timing can be everything! When it comes to specific questions about compensation, PTO, benefits, work from home, etc. the time and way you ask the question in an interview can be taken very well. These are areas that absolutely need to be discussed but if brought up incorrectly can completely turn a manager off and be a punch in the gut for that interview you worked so hard for.


Interviews are designed to show the company you are the best person for the job while simultaneously making sure the position and company will meet your needs, desires, and the growth potential you are looking for. All too often, Rikki and I get a candidate blazing out of the gate before knowing anything about the company, position, culture, by firing off questions about how much the job pays and if they can work from home. While we both agree, and so do all the managers we work with, that these questions are important for you as a candidate to know, it is also a complete turn off when that is the first thing that a candidate is seeking clarity around.


Companies and managers know everyone works to make a living and no one does it for free. Focus on showing interest in what the company’s business is, what the role is responsible for, the impact the role will make, the growth potential, and what the culture is like, and what you bring to the table. In our experience focusing on compensation in the first five minutes of the conversation will take away from the great qualities you have to offer in this new role.


Questions, such as compensation, are easier to discuss when brought up by the manager/recruiter. If benefits and compensation are not brought up, it is best to be asked toward the end of the first interview after you have asked some questions showing genuine interest in the company and position. If you feel you must ask about salary, work from home, or any other similar question early on or right out of the gate its best to be diplomatic and professional instead of brash.


You can get away with a lot of “touchy” questions if they are delivered in the right manner. It is still best to play it safe and save it for at least the end of the first phone interview or when you are getting “buying” signs from the manager or recruiter.  


We hope this helps guide you in the right direction when you’re prepping for your next interview! We’d love to hear your thoughts and own experiences so please share with us!


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