Which Is More Important to You- the Job Itself or Your Salary?

Nilda Melissa Diaz
By Nilda Melissa Diaz, Career Advice Contributor Last Updated: October 26, 2022
Is Salary More Important To You Than Job Satisfaction

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When your interviewer asks “Which is more important to you- the job itself or your salary?” you may not immediately know the answer. However- this is one of the overall most common interview questions asked by employers across the globe- and for good reason. This question is designed to place you as the interviewee in a difficult place so that potential employers can gauge your passion for the job and industry to which you’re applying- while knowing that you’re being honest with your answer. After all- everyone has bills to pay- and your employer is aware of this. Therefore- finding a balance with each important aspect of this and similar interview questions is an imperative part of formulating a reply that will impress your interviewer. This may be a difficult task for some- but doing a little research and taking the time to prepare can help interviewees build an exceptional response that will really make them stand out from the rest of the applicants.

How to answer the “Which is more important to you, the job itself or your salary?” interview question

Talk about the job

Overall employers are looking for employees who are dedicated to the line of work into which they’re looking to enter. Therefore- when they ask- “Which is more important to you- the job itself or your salary?” speaking about how important the job in question is (as well as how excited you are to potentially obtain this position) is highly advisable. This shows your interviewers that you’re interested in more than the salary you’ll be receiving and have a dedication to the line of work that will prove invaluable over the years to come. This increases your chances of being considered as a candidate and can help you stand out among the other interviewees.

Know the importance of your salary

While you don’t want to place a huge emphasis on the salary you’ll be receiving- it’s important not to downplay the role it takes in your life- either. Interviewers know that you need a salary in order to handle bills and other expenses. Saying that salary doesn’t matter at all will simply underline the fact that rather than being honest with your potential employer- you’re simply telling them what they want to hear during the interviewing process- which oftentimes does not bode well for your future as an employee of the company you’re applying to. Therefore- briefly mentioning the importance of your salary is important- but do not dwell on it. Furthermore- do not take such interview questions as an opportunity to ask about your potential salary and conditions associated with this. This is a discussion which should be saved until you’ve actually been offered the job.

Don’t be negative

Regardless of what line of work you’re interviewing for or how much your salary is estimated at- one surefire way to blow your interview is to speak ill about the job for which you’re being interviewed. Don’t approach this interview question in a negative manner. This includes statements like “Well- I deserve to get paid well for the kind of work I’ll have to handle-” and “Of course salary is more important – the work isn’t exactly great- is it?” Using a little tact in this area is necessary at all times- regardless of the industry you’re dealing with. As previously stated employers are looking for people who are truly invested in the job which they applied to- meaning that they hold at least some value in the work they’ll be performing on a day-to-day basis. Showing that you care about this job beyond the monetary compensation with which it will provide you is a must for an interviewee looking to make an excellent impression.

Sample “Which Is More Important to You- the Job Itself or Your Salary?” Interview Answers

1. Salary is important- of course. However- I’m looking for more in my work than good pay. I feel like this employment opportunity can offer me a lot more in the way of providing a challenging and rewarding work environment and a place where I can build my skills and increase my education over the years. As long as I’m being paid fairly for the work I do- salary won’t really be an issue.

2. Overall I’m hoping for something more in my next job. A great salary is always a good benefit of any job and of course it’s pretty important- but it’s not the most crucial aspect. I really feel like this company is just as good of a fit for me as I am for it. I look forward to the daily challenges and the opportunity to increase my skills through the duties I’ll be handling every day. I want to help this company grow and really make a difference- so as long as I’m being paid according to the work I’m expected to perform- my salary isn’t my major concern.

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