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Read about our latest research, including results from our ongoing surveys of senior managers and workers, and company announcements.

Survey: Managers More Open to Discussing Compensation in First or Second Job Interview

MENLO PARK, Calif. -- Contrary to conventional wisdom, employers are open to discussing salary early in the hiring process, suggest the results of a recent Robert Half survey. The research found 31 percent of senior managers believe it is OK to ask about compensation and benefits in the first job interview, while 38 percent suggest waiting for the second interview, up from 30 percent and 26 percent, respectively, when the question was asked in 2009.

The survey findings also show there may be little downside to asking about salary in early-round interviews. Fewer than one in 10 respondents (8 percent) said they decided against hiring someone because he or she brought up pay and benefits prematurely.

The survey was developed by Robert Half, the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm, and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on interviews with more than 300 senior managers in the United States at companies with 20 or more employees.

Senior managers were asked, “When is it appropriate for job candidates to ask about compensation and benefits during the hiring process?” Their responses:




Phone interview



First interview



Second interview



Third interview or after



Once you make the job offer



Other/don’t know




Senior managers were also asked, “Have you ever decided not to hire a top candidate after he or she asked about compensation and benefits too early in the interview process?” Eight percent said yes, while 92 percent said no.

View an infographic featuring the research.

Robert Half Senior Executive Director Paul McDonald said job seekers should do their homework before broaching the subject of pay with employers: “Make sure you and your potential new boss are in the same ballpark before getting too far along in the hiring process. Come to the interview with a general idea of the salary range for someone with your skills and experience.”

McDonald advises job seekers to tap their networks, including professional recruiters, for insights and consult industry salary reports. “Take your location and market trends into account, and try not to come across as being focused solely on pay and benefits. You should be clear you’re also excited about the job,” he said.

About Robert Half 
Founded in 1948, Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm. The Menlo Park-based company has more than 340 staffing locations worldwide and offers online job search services on its divisional websites, all of which can be accessed

For more insights on compensation trends, download the 2014 Salary Guide from Robert Half at Additional career and management advice is available on the company’s blog at


For further information: Robert Half 2884 Sand Hill Road Menlo Park, CA 94025 Contact: Michael Weiss (925) 913-2645