Should You Reveal Your Past Salary at a Job Interview?

Should You Reveal Your Past Salary at a Job Interview

The question whether or not one should reveal his/her salary in job interview has plagued many individuals. However, the answer to it is not definite and needs a multi-faceted approach. The reason for that is, resorting to either of the option can be detrimental based on your current situation, and the nature or context within which the question has been raised. Disclosing your salary in some cases can put you in jeopardy as you might end-up receiving a poor offer. On the other hand, not disclosing it can be considered as unprofessional, and you might not be able to convert that opportunity.

So, in order to overcome the dilemma you must do a case-by-case analysis and prepare an effective response that you would give based on the situation.

See what position you are in:

Candidates before appearing for an interview are so immersed in preparing for questions related to their education, work profile, past work experience that they completely overlook questions that can be raised related to their current salary and their future expectations. The result of it is not always favorable, as a candidate might end-up giving a lousy reply or might be in a state of bewilderment when he/she encounters that question. So it is strongly recommended to have a proper backup when it comes to facing questions like this. To begin with, one must do a self-assessment and should gauge their current position. If you are in a position of strength where you do have other options, which can land you a job, or you’ve already been earning a six-figure salary, then you certainly have the leverage. In that case, mentioning your previous salary won’t make you vulnerable, and you can move out of the situation unscathed. The reason for that is, your interviewer will know your true worth and would extrapolate your current expectations well above your previous salary, thus giving you the better end of the bargain.

On the other hand, if you speak from the position of weakness, the recruiter might sense that. If you were previously employed at a place where you were paid below the median level, there is a chance that you might screw-up if you happen to mention that in the interview. Mentioning your previous salary can imply that you could be bought cheaply, thereby not serving it in your interest.

So the next question that arises is: ‘What should a candidate do in that case?.’ Well, a probable answer to it would be ‘decline answering that question’. But, an upfront denial can raise a lot of eyebrows, and might also be perceived as a sheer display of audacity. And remember that as you speak from a position of weakness, a blunt reply can be a deterrence. So it is advisable that you deviously swerve out of the situation by focusing the entire narrative on your skills, abilities, and telling them that how your previous salary was not in congruence with the level of your skills and the amount of dedication that you’ve shown.

Do a prior research to find out the motif:

Most of the experts would advise you to go through the company website before appearing for an interview in order to collect useful insights about the vision and mission of the company, along with understanding its modus operandi. Although it is important to do so, but it is equally important to be well-versed with the process of interview and the context of it. For that, you can use your contacts who have been through the interview process or are currently working in the same company. Else you can also tap into professional networks or go through the reviews on the internet. The reason for that is, it can give you an idea about the recruiters, type of questions that can be asked, and purpose behind asking such questions. So having a general idea about it can help you in tackling tricky questions that are related to your previous employer, your salary, and your current expectations.

Based on your observation and feedback, if asking salary-related question is nothing but a general protocol that the managers follow, then disclosing your previous salary is not an issue. But in case you have a sneaky feeling that there is something fishy or there is an ulterior motive behind asking it, then, perhaps you should hold your horses and try to bypass it in an ingenious manner.

Dealing with questions related to your previous salary can be difficult to surmount. The purpose behind such questions is not always genuine. Ideally, people would advise you to give an honest answer, but in the real world that is not always beneficial. So in order to overcome that hurdle one needs to be astute in deciding when to be honest when to be devious. However, you must strictly avoid lying in such cases (for example, by giving an inflated number of your salary) as it is not difficult for the recruiters to find out the truth. And if at all they find out, you might anyway end-up losing that opportunity.

Author Bio :

Harmion Morris is a career adviser by profession. She is always eager to share her knowledge and experiences on various topics related to myriads of professions through her blogs and articles and also contributor to BSR : Resume Samples

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