What’s your current salary?
This is a big question many employees who are trying to change jobs always struggle to answer during job interviews.
Of course, you are going for a job interview, and there are chances that you will be asked about how much you are currently earning (in salary), in order to decide your paycheck. Salary negotiation can be very scary. But that’s not a good reason for any employee to avoid it.
This is a contentious situation, and I understand both sides of the argument (to tell or not to tell). But at the same time, I believe that it is a straightforward question that requires a straightforward answer.
I often hear the opposition parties (i.e. employees) screaming that why is it relevant?
Employees feel the Hiring Manager should just talk about the position he/she is recruiting for and the paycheck that goes with it. Then he can decide if it is right for both parties.
But, it is a very important aspect of the recruitment exercise. Here’s the problem, you have been asked a direct question – so what is stopping you from answering it?
Or are you scared of blowing up your chances? Perhaps, you don’t want to get a response like – we are sorry but we can’t afford your service.
But do you really have to hide your current earnings from the Hiring Manager?
Or don’t you trust the interviewer to the point that you can’t be honest?
If you have actually done an outstanding job at an interview, provided you did well, then the hiring company frankly won’t want to lose you – irrespective of what you are currently earning. So just tell them!
There’s nothing like being sincere. And starting off the relationship at a place of trust and openness will be a massive step in the right direction.
However, here are a few tips employees need to know before going into salary negotiation:
- Know your worth: Companies will pay you for your worth irrespective of their payroll. However, be realistic with your self-evaluation because there are thousands of professionals in your role.
- Make enough research: This will give you a range of figures to work with instead of going into the interview with no prior knowledge of the salary.
- Ask for a specific amount: It works better when employees work with specific figures.
- Talk to recruiters: This gives you the much-needed insight you need to negotiate.
Good luck with your next interview.
Co-written with Michael Leonard.
Michael Leonard is a certified leadership and executive NLP coach, CEO and entrepreneur with over 20 years in partnering with you to reach your true potential.