As you prepare for interviews, you want to have answers ready for any questions they ask. But sometimes the questions get a little sticky and, as some feel, a little invasive. One primary example involves an interviewer asking about your current salary, which often does come up. But there’s a way to both answer the question and maintain your privacy simultaneously.


You are under no obligations.

No matter what an application or interviewer might say, you have no requirement to tell what you currently make, nor is any interviewer entitled to that information. Think of it this way: If they don’t have to tell you the salary of the person currently holding/who just vacated the position, you don’t have to tell what you make, either.


Salary as a negotiating point.

Recruiters often use salary knowledge as an advantage to tell how much they’ll offer. Specifically, if they know how much you make, they’ll use that as a starting point (or something just a bit higher) for your salary even if your experience indicates that you should earn more. Gone are the days when employers held all of the cards; you can negotiate as well.


 Suggested responses.

  1. Recruiters may indicate that they can’t properly represent you to the company if they don’t know your salary; tell them you understand if they can’t represent you and offer up only your target salary. Don’t allow anyone to “hold you hostage” to giving up salary information if you don’t want to.
  2. If a recruiter makes the point that other candidates have told their salaries, calmly say that you appreciate their position, and if they have an overabundance of qualified candidates, you’ll move on. If they’re recruiting you, you have a position of power. Keep your responses respectful but firm.
  3. If, in response to your target salary, the recruiter asks how he knows if you deserve that much without knowing your previous salary, tell him you’ll happily answer any questions about your qualifications and background to prove that you’re worth your desired amount.
  4. Say a recruiter tells you his client demands to know previous salaries. You can point out again that you understand, but that of course the recruiter knows which are the most qualified candidates and worthy of certain salaries. He can also point out to his client that this question is no longer standard, and it alienates qualified candidates when they feel pushed or not trusted.

Stick to your guns when the salary question comes up, and keep a calm tone when offering your target salary instead. And the more you practice your answers, the better off you’ll sound if the question arises. To get pointers on this or any interview questions, visit PrideStaff.

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