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How to Ask an Employer How I'm Getting Paid

by Kristin Swain, studioD

One of the first questions you may have for a new employer is to ask how you will be paid. Will it be once a week? Once a month? Pay is an awkward subject with a new employer because you don't want to give the impression you're only there for a paycheck. There's no need to be cautious about the question as it's one every potential employee needs answered and the employer expects to discuss pay. Approach the question at an appropriate time and keep the conversation with your employer simple and to the point.

At the Interview

Often when you're engaged in a final interview with a potential employer, the employer brings up the subject of pay. At this point, they may be considering you for the position and you may even receive a job offer. To that end, the employer wants to broach the subject of pay to make sure that you are on the same page with regard to how much your services are worth to the company. In final interview stages, the employer brings up compensation and lets you know how much the salary is for the position. It is appropriate at this time to ask about pay schedules and benefit packages.

First Day

On or before your first day of work at a new job you are expected to fill out your human resources (HR) paperwork, including tax information for payroll. If your pay schedule has not been discussed with you previously, now would be a good time to ask how and when you are going to be paid. HR should have this information added as a permanent record to your employee file. In the event HR has not yet received your pay information from your immediate supervisor or the hiring manager you may ask to be informed when the information is received.


Medium and large companies have their own payroll departments and this department is your source for any payroll questions, including tax deductions and payroll distribution schedules. You may ask payroll department representatives regarding when you should expect to receive your first and subsequent paychecks, any benefits that you are eligible for and how paid leave, such as vacation and sick leave, is accumulated. Payroll should receive your salary information by the first day of your employment.

Talking to Your Boss

Your boss should be able to answer any and all questions you have regarding your new job to include your reporting chain, your essential job tasks, the company's goals for your position and pay schedule. If pay issues arise, schedule a private meeting with your supervisor and keep the conversation short and professional. Ask about your pay schedule and when you should expect to receive any benefits that were discussed during the hiring process. Typically, most employees are paid on a set schedule, such as twice per month, therefore expect your pay adheres to a similar schedule.

About the Author

Residing in Los Angeles, Kristin Swain has been a professional writer since 2008. Her experience includes finance, travel, marketing and television. Swain holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from Georgia State University.

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