One of the many challenges during a construction interview is discussing salary. You want to present yourself in the best light and not seem overly pushy, yet you also want to receive fair compensation.

It can be intimidating enough to discuss your expected payment with a recruiter. It is, even more, intimidating to do so with a potential employer. Learn how to value yourself as a candidate and find an appropriate answer to questions about your expected salary.

Do Some Research Before the Construction Interview

One of the most important things to do is to take the time to research the average salary for the role you are interviewing for. If you feel comfortable doing so, ask the recruiter about the expected salary. Interestingly, more than a third of professionals in the built environment industry expect to get higher pay this year.

At the very least, look for relevant salary data online. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will show you federal data for your particular construction role. But you also want to factor in the location and your experience. Remember that salaries vary greatly by city. As such, try to find salaries for comparable roles near you.

To figure out where you would sit in the range of averages, consider your experience and skills.

Suggest a Range Instead of a Number

One of the best ways to make salary discussions and expectations more comfortable is to mention a range instead of a specific number. To make this strategy even more effective, explain why you think the salary range is fair.

For example, if you already have a related construction job, compare your expected salary to your current compensation. Or bring up the research you did into average salaries for someone with your construction experience and qualifications.

Turn the Question Back on the Interviewer – But Carefully

If you are at a complete loss as to how to describe your expected salary, you can try to turn the question back on the interviewer. However, you must do so carefully as you don’t want to seem evasive.

For example, consider politely saying that you want to learn more about the role, responsibilities, and team before answering. Then follow that up with something like “But can I ask about the salary range you expect to pay?”

As a bonus, this strategy does more than evade the question. It also tells the potential employer that you care more about the role than the salary.

Assuming the potential employer doesn’t evade your question, how do you respond? Always start by thanking them for sharing the information.

If the salary is within your desired range, let them know in no uncertain terms. However, if the offered salary is lower than what you expected, be honest and tell the interviewer that you would love to continue discussing the role. After all, there is still a chance that you can get them to increase the offered salary.

In the case of lower figures, you can even mention your research into local construction salaries for comparable roles.


Salary discussions tend to be uncomfortable, especially during a construction interview. However, such negotiations are essential. Before the interview, figure out how you will answer questions about your expected salary. This should be based on concrete research on your end, accounting for the role, your location, and your experience. In some cases, you may even be able to ask your recruiter about the salary range for guidance.

How can we help you?

Searching for an opportunity in the construction industry? Contact The Birmingham Group’s team of seasoned commercial construction recruiters today to discuss your career path or browse our open positions.

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