Money talk can come later

Q: I’ve gone through the first and second interviews for a job I’d really like to get. On the second day, I expected them to bring up the issue of salary, but they didn’t. I’m not the world’s best negotiator so I didn’t bring it up either. Should I have? And, secondly, how do I interpret the fact that they didn’t bring it up – does it mean they’re gone cold on me? I haven’t got final word yet. (DL, email).

A: An Irish friend of mine, who was leaving the USA after a successful 20-year stint there, was called aside by a colleague at his going-back-home party. “The big difference you will notice,” said the colleague, “is that here in America, people bring up the question of money early on in the first business meeting, whereas in Ireland they will mention it last, if at all.”

That doesn’t amount to a scientific survey, I accept, but I would conclude with the general view that Irish people can be slow to get around to the question of money. To deal with your second query, no, I don’t think it means they are gone cold on you – I would venture they deliberately declined to mention the money to you or to anyone else in the shake-up for the job.

It’s something they are probably planning to do at job offer stage.

Should you have mentioned it? Perhaps, perhaps not. Overall,  I see job interviews as a sales process and the primary requirement is to make them want you. If you did that, there will time enough for negotiation at a later stage – and, at that point, you will be a stronger position as the chosen one.