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Updated on Tuesday, November 11


OMG: Do you ask about pay during an interview? How do you go about asking it and when? I always feel like it's a bit awkward asking as though I seem greedy...but then when I don't ask I feel as though I'm not conveying interest :s


  1. "I am wondering what the compensation for the position is?"

  2. Apparently CECA tells employers to anticipate the question, but I've heard a few situations where it did not go well. Play it by ear?

  3. of course you ask, it is one of the most important things about the job.

  4. Always ask, employers should be expecting it since the pay is obviously important to you, and if it isn't you're not valuing yourself highly enough.

    Personally, since I'm usually going for jobs in New York and the Bay Area, I like to bring it up by mentioning that living costs are really expensive and so the details are important to me. It doesn't matter where the job is though, paying for rent is obviously going to cost you.

    A way I like to ask is "Are you the person to talk to about compensation?"

  5. It is absolutely ridiculous that some students go around accepting job offers without knowing the pay. This is a fundamental aspect of the job. If co-op is about preparing you for the work force after graduation, you need to learn to feel comfortable asking this question. Comments above have given a few good examples of how to ask. But for goodness sake, YES FUCKING ASK THIS QUESTION!!!

  6. As citizens in a money based economy, we are dependent on money. If someone thinks that we shouldn't care about money, especially with crippling student debt, and penalize those who ask about it, they don't deserve to have a UW student working for them.

  7. You people should probably realize it actually isn't the norm to ask about compensation in an interview in the real world. Compensation negotiations are made after the job offer is made. You should know that whenever you apply to a large corporation for a full time position that the pay will be commensurate to your skills, experience and education. Governmental and non profit organizations typically have very rigid salary scales, so again you're probably safe.

    That being said, for internships and co-op positions it is acceptable to ask about compensation because

    1) We use a matched job system that wouldn't allow you to reject the offer (like you could in real life)

    2) Interns are very commonly grossly underpaid, even at large corporations.

    So yes, discretely make sure you're getting paid an amount you feel is appropriate.