We have all been there or about to be at some point: You pass your first and second interview and suddenly your recruiter asks: What is your current salary and what are your salary expectations?
Some recruiters might think: I need to learn the number because I have a budget to stick to or because that numbers tells me how high or low this potential employee thinks of him/herself.
While this is true in essence, the answer you can give about your expected salary in an interview has a 99.99% chance of hurt your future employment. Let’s examine some scenarios when asked “what is your current salary” :
1- You get flustered and say a Number that is too Low
This gets you in one of two situations; the first being the recruiter feeling you are not very sure of yourself which casts a negative light over your skills and capabilities, he/she therefore rejects you. The second is probably worse: the recruiter takes you up on it and you end up doing a job for a lot less than you should be paid for.
2- You get flustered and say a Number that is too High
Now this is a scary situation. You will say a number that too high by market standards and company standards resulting in you, of course, getting rejected for a job you almost had in the first place.
3- You get flustered and ask the Recruiter what He/She thinks your Salary should be
Even worse, you have totally and willingly given up your right to negotiate for a higher salary or a better bonus scheme.
So what do I do when someone asks “what is your current salary” ?
Discover Jobzella’s top tips for getting the salary you have always wanted to get
1- Don’t Lie
Please don’t lie or put your dream salary as your current salary in hopes of getting the number you have been wanting. Your recruiter has several means of knowing your salary and the ranges in the current market and economy.
2- Know your Worth
We suggest saying something like “I am not at liberty to say my current salary but I believe I wouldn’t change my current job for less than XX”. Why do this? You have just stated your desired salary without lying about your current one or lowering your negotiation abilities by highlighting what you currently make.
3- Best Defense? Offence!
Instead of feeling cornered with this question, start asking your questions instead. Ask about insurance, benefits, company car, equity shares, flexible hours’ scheme, telecommuting guidelines… etc.
Why do this? Because getting a job isn’t about that one paycheck at the end of every month, company benefits will help you make the choice to either refuse or reject the offer.
4- To Market…
Because we have established that the recruiter already knows his/her compensation budget as well as market range for said vacancy. Why don’t you say that you don’t have a specific number in mind but that you wouldn’t take less than market price? This shows how informed you are and at the same time confirms that you know your true worth and that you wouldn’t settle.
It all boils down to your negotiation skills, stand your ground because the moment you start accepting without discussing anything you have just lost a lot of money that you originally deserve.
Good luck in your next job offer.
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