Help! When should I ask about salary?

Dear Aunty,

I have found that many jobs in the Philippines fail to mention salary in the job advertisement. It is a waste of time submitting applications and attending interviews only to find out at the end that the salary on offer is not sufficient. 

At what stage should I ask about the salary on offer?

Aunty says,

This is a difficult question. If you ask too early you risk upsetting the employer and could damage your chances of getting the job, however ask too late and you run the risk of wasting both the employers time and your own.

Why might the employer not mention the salary in the job advert?

  • The employer may not know what salary to offer and might be seeking to let the market decide the salary. In this situation, even if you ask about salary, the employer would be unable to give you a definitive answer. You therefore would have risked your application being rejected for nothing.
  • The lack of information on salary in the advertisement might simply mean that the employer is prepared to be flexible. This could mean that the employer is prepared to negotiate if an outstanding candidate emerged.

In the Philippines employers usually receive lots of applications from candidates who are able to demonstrate that they meet the requirements for the role. In this situation employers are often looking for reasons to reject applications. An applicant who asks about salary right at the start of the recruitment process could provide such a reason.

While it might seem a waste of time to attend an interview if it turns out that the salary is below your expectations, you will never know unless you attend the interview. I would therefore suggest that you do not mention salary until the issue is brought up by the employer. If the employer agrees you are the most suitable candidate for the role and offers you the job this is the time to begin negotiations about the salary package.

I hope that this advice is of use to you. As always, I would be eager to hear the opinion of others regarding this issue.


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