Dirty Talk- Dirty Money?

How to TALK salary in your job interview.

I am going to start with a valid question!

Why do we feel talking money and salary at the interview stage is DIRTY?


Now I am only saying this as so many of my clients I work so hard to get through the front door and to interview stage suddenly struggle to use the MONEY word. They FEEL uncomfortable with actually talking money and compensation.

Let me just say FEELINGS are there to protect us! BUT feelings are also just that, FEELINGS. We do have the power to control our feelings and fears.

You need to take a step back and put a very few simple and effective practices in place.

Now, unfortunately, as women, we do have to work harder at the salary talk conversation and not because the company is going to hoodwink you, but because of the lack of self-worth that sometimes imprisons us.

We feel confident and we know we kick-ass in the boardroom, but at some point, we all suffer from imposter syndrome and this can lead to not really knowing what we are worth.

When you don’t know what you are worth, how can you feel confident in asking for it?

Level Out!

You may have already assumed you will be offered less because you are a female and in some cases that may well be the case! The wage gender pay gap is still an issue and as women, we should always go into any business scenario aware of it.


However, regardless of your gender, you will more likely have to discuss your salary when you are interviewing for mid or high-level positions.

Basically, if you are at a point in your career where you are reaching the last four steps of the ladder; you will have to be prepared to talk about money.

More often than not, salary won’t even come up until the final interview, which means you’ve jumped through all those hoops and invested all that time and energy only to find out at the very end that what they’re offering and what you’re expecting are two very different amounts.

Money is NOT a DIRTY word

At some point during the interview process, you will be asked about your salary or compensation expectations. The company is not necessarily trying to trick you or underpay you. But in most cases, the company has budgeted a pay range for the role and want to manage expectations.

In my opinion the earlier this happens, the better! Would you buy a brand new car without taking it for a test drive? You just need to be equally savvy…and know how to sell yourself.

I have recently come to realize women actually avoid talking about money in general.

For example;

I was speaking to a girlfriend and she commented on how she sneaks her shopping bags up to the bedroom and straight into the closet before her husband can notice she has spent money.

I made no comment, but the conversation resonated with me.

My friend is not being deceitful to her husband, she just feels uncomfortable telling him she has spent money. That word again, MONEY. So not only are these feelings arising within the workplace, but we are also FEELING uncomfortable about using the word at home.

Say it LOUD. Say it PROUD.

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No matter where you are sat reading this, I would LOVE to tell you at this point to SHOUT as loud as you can ‘SHOW ME THE MONEY’, but I realize this is not practical.

Come on ladies, let us not shy away from this word anymore. The best way to teach yourself to no longer FEAR something is to face it head-on.

I like to think of the money I earn as my personal army, if I show weakness and fear to the soldiers in my army there is no way they will respect me or salute when I ask them too! When it comes to my personal army I want them respectful and disciplined! Yes, Sir!

Look in the mirror in the morning and before you start your day repeat ‘Money, money, money’ three times and start to feel comfortable with hearing your voice say it out loud.

Who cares if your husband, kids or the dog hear you. Say it out loud and feel empowered. Try it for a week. You are essentially teaching your brain there is nothing to fear around this word.

Let’s get Professional

Whilst you are working on your ‘Show Me The Money Mirror Mantra’ Here are a few tips on how you can discuss money and compensation in your interview.

  1. Confidence

You do not want to walk in the room with a whiff of needy and desperation about you. Walking into the interview with confidence and a positive attitude will put you ahead of the rest. Be armed with your ammunition too, you must know your worth and have a strategy for asking for it. Be confident and believe in your abilities.

      2. Flexibility

Although you want to come across as flexible, when it comes to negotiating your compensation try and keep it separate to other benefits. Often this is how women undersell themselves, they settle for an extra hour with the kids on a Friday afternoon rather than the extra $5k they know they are worth!

     3. Use the word

I am not suggesting you walk in there using your ‘mirror mantra’ but you have to know the subject will arise. Keep in mind that it is acceptable to discuss compensation and money with hiring managers, they are expecting it.

4. Interested!

Are they even interested in you?! This is a hard one to really try and pick up on. You can pay close attention to the length and quality of your interview. Ready their non-verbal queues. Was there laughter? Did they seem enthusiastic about your answers? If you feel fairly certain there was no chemistry and a job offer isn't in the cards, hold off on the salary discussion.


There is no magical time to talk about money or compensation in an interview. There’s just a magical way of bringing it up so that it “sits well” with your counterpart. All you’re doing is pre-framing the conversation

All of the above will further empower your belief in your worth, which in turn makes the compensation and money conversation way more authentic in your mind.

After all, you are only asking for what you are worth. If they cannot offer it and the other benefits do not match up to your expectations. Walk away. Simple.

You are a smart human being, so use your gut feel and take the initiative to approach the subject first.

However, if you get the strong impression talking about it in the first interview is a no go, then again, listen to your intuition and wait!

Money is never a dirty word. The right compensation package can make the difference between a great job and your dream job.

Olivia Jaras