How Should You Answer “What’s Your Current Salary” While Job Searching?

You’ve all been asked one of the most dreaded interview questions, “What is your current salary?” in every application process you’ve gone through. Unfortunately, somewhere along the line, recruiters felt entitled to this very private piece of information that instantly gives their company or their client the upper hand in the recruiting process. The good news is, is that you, as the talent, always have the advantage, but only if you use it wisely.

Responding to salary questions in an interview is simple. The next time you hear this question in an interview, your proper response should sound like this: “At this point in my career, I’m looking for jobs in the range of XX – XX.” This appropriately gives the employer a target salary to offer you, should you be their best candidate and this is an acceptable range.

Responding To A Rebuttal

This response will trigger one of two rebuttals from a recruiter.

  1. Additional pushes for your salary information
  2. The accusation that you are not being trustworthy and transparent

Proper response to scenario 1: “I understand that many companies ask for this information, but my personal finances are of course private and I’m not comfortable sharing that information just as your company would not be comfortable sharing its finances with me.”

Remember that your finances are between you and your accountant and should not be shared with anybody else. The notion that this information is a “need” in the recruiting process is simply not true. For this application process, the only numbers that matter are the budget of the company and your desired range based on the parameters of the position and your abilities. 

Proper response to scenario 2: “I am not comfortable divulging my private finances to you. I have been 100% transparent in giving you my desired salary range for this role and I trust that your company will use my experience and the information that I have provided to make an appropriate offer given its budget for this position.”

Trust is a two way street. This company knows its budget, so they know whether or not they can meet your desired salary. The only reason why they would want to know your previous salary is to offer you the lowest possible number within their range.

Take Back Your Power

A quick search of the term “talent-shortage” should give you all the information you need to know when it comes to who has the power in the recruitment process. Hint: It’s you!

Another way to stand out in your job hunt is to work with a staffing agency that puts job seekers first. The Reserves Network has all of the resources of a national staffing powerhouse, but with the care of a local provider. We will do everything we can to get you Chicago office jobs, Cleveland industrial openings, Charlotte professional vacancies and Atlanta technical jobs. Contact TRN today to regain your power in the recruitment process.

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