What’s More Important To You — The Work Itself Or How Much You’re Paid For Doing It?

Interviewers want to know that the person they are hiring will be passionate about the work, so it is common to get asked, “What’s more important to you – the work itself or how much you’re paid for doing it”

Talking about money can be tricky in an interview. Everyone has bills to pay, but at the same time, you want to convey that you genuinely enjoy this line of work and would be an asset to the organization. Prospective employers are looking for an answer that balances both. It is okay to mention that salary is important to an extent, but you want to use this opportunity to reiterate your skills and how you would benefit the company.

Points to Emphasize

There are certain things you want to make sure you convey in your response.

  • Talk about how much you love this kind of work and how much you want to work for the company

    • Briefly mention importance of salary
  • Know what kind of work you will be doing, whether this job is an actual career or a short-term gig

  • Emphasize your skills that make you well-suited to the position

    Ultimately, a good answer to this question is a balancing act between talking about how much you want this job and the amount of money you will be making.

    Mistakes You Should Avoid

    There are very common mistakes interviewees make when answering questions about salary, so look out for these common traps.

    • Don’t just say that salary is most important
    • Avoid saying that money doesn’t matter at all
  • Avoid talking about salary unless the interviewer brings it up first

  • Avoid saying anything negative about the kind of work you will be doing

    Employers understand that their employees are people who need to be paid a fair wage. However, if you can help it, avoid talking about salary in great detail until you are actually offered the job.

    Sample Answer

    When presented with this question, a good response might go something like this:

    As long as the salary is fair to the work I’ll be doing, I’m perfectly fine with it, but I’m more excited about the opportunities offered at this company. The prospect of working with a company that has a great reputation like yours is very exciting to me, and I’d love to be part of this team.

    Hopefully, you actually are interested in the type of work you will be doing regardless of the specific salary. A job you hate generally is not worth sticking with even if you are getting paid a lot.

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