Should You Discuss Salary in an Engineering Interview?

Your hard work on a resume and personal cover letter paid off with a scheduled interview at a top engineering firm in your area. Naturally, you are likely worrying about meeting with the company face to face, with concerns about proper dress, etiquette, and simply being able to give clear answers regarding your technical skills and professional experience.

One other point worth your attention is whether or not to use this opportunity to ask about your salary and benefits package. Let’s look more closely at this issue so you are better prepared for the big day.

Preparation Is Key

In addition to your other interview preparation tasks, spend some time reviewing average salaries for engineers in your area and at your experience level. This helps give you a ballpark idea of what to expect from the open position for which you are interviewing. Be sure to take into account other factors, like if the job is with a government agency, which will probably be at a lower salary with a more robust benefits package.

Let the Interviewer Bring Up Salary

Make sure you aren’t the one to ask about salary during the interview. Expect the interviewer to broach the subject sometime towards the end of your meeting. If you ask the question, it gives the impression you are only interested in salary – instead consider a meaningful question about the company’s project work when prompted.

Consider Your Acceptable Salary Range Ahead of Time

Before the interview, consider your own acceptable range of salary for the position in question. Doing this ahead of time helps prevent you from making the wrong answer when negotiating. Once again, consider the cost of living index in your area, the benefits package offered to you, and whether or not the job is with the government or even a startup. In the latter case, stock options may part of the overall compensation package.

Other perks of the position, like the ability to telecommute, flexible work schedules, the company culture, and even innovative project work also need to factor into your final decision. Keep these points on your mind during the negotiation process.

Ultimately, don’t get overly stressed out, as a relaxed and clear mind will help you make the right choice. Don’t be afraid to say “no” if the final compensation package isn’t acceptable.

When you need additional help navigating the engineering job search process, talk to the experts at Venteon. As one of the leading technical staffing agencies in the Midwest, we also know the best companies looking for talented professionals. Connect with us soon!



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