NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- As far as myths go, fears about bringing up salary and compensation at a job interview are as common as talk about the ability of leprechauns to find gold.
The fact is, you should bring money into the conversation, and the sooner the better, one job placement expert advises.
"The conventional wisdom is to let employers bring up salary first," says Ryan Sutton, a senior regional vice president at the career placement firm Robert Half. "We have survey results from two different periods, 2009 and 2014, that suggests employers won't penalize job-seekers for asking about salary."
In fact, he says, "Employers seem willing to talk salary compensation early in the hiring process. It can help hiring managers ensure they are in the same ballpark as candidates, which can save employers time and prevent them from going too far through the process with a candidate who won't be a fit."Also see: 15 Minutes of Every Hour Meeting Are a Waste of Time talking about money with a hiring manager. According to Half, 31% of senior managers said it's acceptable for applicants to ask about compensation and benefits in the first interview, with another 38% saying it was fine in the second interview. Only 8% of respondents had ruled out a candidate for asking about salary too early. Still, Sutton says it's best to let a hiring manager bring up salary first. "Job-seekers should focus on showing why they're a good fit for the position and their enthusiasm for the opportunity," he advises. "You don't want to give the impression you're only interested in a job for the money." If you are shy about bringing up salary, you have other options. "It's understandable job-seekers want to know what the job pays before going too far along in the process, but there is enough external information available to help them get an idea of what a job pays," Sutton says, citing research industry reports such Robert Half's own Salary Guide. "And tap your network contacts for their insights." Also see: 6 Steps to Make Your 'Career Dream' Real