Job interviews have two separate and distinct phases. The first phase is where you tell the hiring manager about your skills, accomplishments, and why you are the perfect fit for the position. Phase two is where they show you the money. It is very important that you never mix up this order. Imagine you are doing well in an interview. Very well. So well, in fact, that you become overconfident and pop the question prematurely, “What compensation can I expect from this position?” And just like that, the interview suddenly goes downhill.

Obviously, compensation is very important, and must be discussed in great detail. Timing is the key. During phase one the hiring manager is learning about you and assessing if you are a good fit for the team. Regardless of how comfortable you are feeling this is never the time to discuss money. This introductory phase often lasts over two or more interviews. Many people become overzealous during a second interview and jump the gun. Interview two doesn’t necessarily equate to phase two.

So how do you know that you’ve entered the second phase of the interview process? Look for cues from the employer. If the interviewer has decided to make you an offer, you’ll notice a change in tone, demeanor or atmosphere. It may be subtle or overt, but what you are looking for are signals of commitment coming from the hiring manager. Perhaps the manager’s words have subtly shifted and are more inclusive as if she has psychologically brought you onto the team. Or she may have been more direct and said she is prepared to make you an offer. Either way, the employer has entered into a committed frame of mind. You are now firmly in phase two and it is the right time to discuss compensation.

Your patience and vigilance not only kept you from blowing the interview by bringing up money too early, it also increased your value. The employer has decided that you are the best candidate for the job. This means that you are valuable to the organization and puts you in a good place to negotiate a favorable salary and benefits package. Next month we will go in depth about how to successfully negotiate your compensation.

Danielle Foppe is a Recruitment Manager at Business Centric Technology. If you are interested in learning more about how to get the best IT talent in the Dallas metroplex, contact Danielle specializes in recruiting IT talent in Dallas, Ft. Worth and North Texas. If you are looking for a rewarding career contact us us today.