Interview - Asked about Salary

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neko06
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Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by neko06 »

Hello all,
I had an interview for a new job yesterday. When we got to talking about salary, he first asked my range which I gave him. He asked for what I'm currently making, and I said I did not feel comfortable telling him. Then he asked if my current salary is in that range, this caught me off guard and I just said no. (I'm currently making $90k, asking for $110-140k). Should I have told him that?

I don't have much experience with interviews and hiring, so I'm not sure what the procedure is for the salary discussion. I'm curious what others recommend I should have done in this situation? I have interviews with 5-6 other firms next week so I want to be better prepared when this question comes.

Any tips about salary negotiations would be very appreciated!

Thanks!
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8foot7
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by 8foot7 »

It sort of depends on which interview this is.

If you are asked point blank how much you're making now, then you can't be evasive; you have to answer. There are two options: 1) say, if true, that your current employer considers compensation information to be confidential and you don't want to violate that; or 2) state it plainly. In both cases, I would add something like, "I'm aware of the current market pay for a position like the one we're talking about, and I'm sure your budget is competitive in this respect."

The interviewer probably thought he could weave into getting more information from you because you answered his question about the range. An answer such as, "My range would be based on a lot of factors, including your benefits package, but my understanding of the market for this position is X," where X is a very wide number aimed high -- i.e., if you're looking to land at $120,000, then say the range is $120-170k. If you have a minimum number at or under which you wouldn't make a move, then make sure the range is above that.
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by JoeRetire »

neko06 wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 2:18 pm I had an interview for a new job yesterday. When we got to talking about salary, he first asked my range which I gave him. He asked for what I'm currently making, and I said I did not feel comfortable telling him. Then he asked if my current salary is in that range, this caught me off guard and I just said no. (I'm currently making $90k, asking for $110-140k). Should I have told him that?
Since you already indicated that you aren't comfortable telling them your current salary, you could have told them that your current salary isn't important, but you feel you are worth what you are asking for.

If they agree, they will end up giving you what you want.

In the future, don't give a range at all. Ranges just let the company focus solely on the lower end anyway. Instead, just say something like "I won't accept an offer less than $X'. Make sure $X is large enough that you'll happily accept it, but small enough that you will walk away if they only offer less.
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by mikejuss »

For reference, in some states, requiring a job applicant to provide salary history is illegal.
Weathering
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by Weathering »

If you answer the question, "how much do you make?" it is best to answer it with the number that best matches your total compensation, rather than just the salary portion of total compensation. So, for example, add in the employer's match to your retirement accounts, add in the employer's subsidy for your healthcare and other benefits, add in a value for your vacation days, add in your total bonus amount, etc. Then you can either say, "that is my total compensation package," or say nothing about it and leave it up to them to figure it out.
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by neko06 »

humm interesting. so I don't even want to tell them my range? This is good to know.

I just got an email from another company saying they're ready to give me an offer. He asked "would you be comfortable giving your current salary for reference or a salary range that you're looking for?" Should I respond with "I'll only consider offers above $110k" ?
Last edited by neko06 on Thu Jul 28, 2022 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by JoeRetire »

neko06 wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 2:42 pm humm interesting. so I don't even want to tell them my range? This is good to know.

I just got an email from another company saying they're ready to give me an offer. He asked "would you be comfortable giving your current salary for reference or a salary range that you're looking for?" So I respond with "I'll only consider offers above $110k" ?
Only if that's the truth.
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by Mr. Buzzkill »

My answer to such questions is something along the lines of:

My current salary is unimportant because I expect that the position would pay in the range of the market rate for this kind of work. If I wasn’t qualified as a candidate by skill and years of experience, then I would not have been considered for an interview. I’ve done my market research and I’m sure your firm knows the market rate for the skills and experience required in the job description. If I’m eventually offered the position, I’m sure the offer will reflect the salary range and benefits that such positions commonly provide.

[left unsaid: If an eventual job offer does NOT reflect a market rate of salary and benefits, then the job is not worth taking unless I’m unemployed and desperate]

And if they insist on getting my current salary, then I say I’ll be happy to provide a copy of my most recent W-2 statement if I get an offer, as part of verification of my past employment history.
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by 8foot7 »

neko06 wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 2:42 pm humm interesting. so I don't even want to tell them my range? This is good to know.

I just got an email from another company saying they're ready to give me an offer. He asked "would you be comfortable giving your current salary for reference or a salary range that you're looking for?" So I respond with "I'll only consider offers above $110k" ?
"I'd love to review your offer in more detail and look at your benefits package as well, as there are a lot of factors at play, but in broad strokes I wouldn't be looking to make a move for under $110,000."
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by NearlyRetired »

neko06 wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 2:18 pm Hello all,
I had an interview for a new job yesterday. When we got to talking about salary, he first asked my range which I gave him. He asked for what I'm currently making, and I said I did not feel comfortable telling him. Then he asked if my current salary is in that range, this caught me off guard and I just said no. (I'm currently making $90k, asking for $110-140k). Should I have told him that?

I don't have much experience with interviews and hiring, so I'm not sure what the procedure is for the salary discussion. I'm curious what others recommend I should have done in this situation? I have interviews with 5-6 other firms next week so I want to be better prepared when this question comes.

Any tips about salary negotiations would be very appreciated!

Thanks!
Firstly, who is "he" - the decision maker or an agent who is filtering applicants? In my view that will make a difference to your response and how you phrase it
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Weathering
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by Weathering »

If you want to, consider saying, the range of offers I'm seeing in the marketplace is between $110k and $125k.
It answers their question while also letting them know there are other companies in the mix.
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by Beachey »

I think the best answer to a question about salary is to ask them what range this position pays? If they ask what is your present salary - that is confidential. If they ask for a range, ask the first question above.

If they still won't give you a number, if you understand the market for the position enough give them the market rate.

If you don't understand the market and they won't give you a number, that is a red flag to begin with but you then have to go with what you would work for but the possibility of you ending up underpaid is high.
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by neko06 »

NearlyRetired wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 2:51 pm
neko06 wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 2:18 pm Hello all,
I had an interview for a new job yesterday. When we got to talking about salary, he first asked my range which I gave him. He asked for what I'm currently making, and I said I did not feel comfortable telling him. Then he asked if my current salary is in that range, this caught me off guard and I just said no. (I'm currently making $90k, asking for $110-140k). Should I have told him that?

I don't have much experience with interviews and hiring, so I'm not sure what the procedure is for the salary discussion. I'm curious what others recommend I should have done in this situation? I have interviews with 5-6 other firms next week so I want to be better prepared when this question comes.

Any tips about salary negotiations would be very appreciated!

Thanks!
Firstly, who is "he" - the decision maker or an agent who is filtering applicants? In my view that will make a difference to your response and how you phrase it
"he" is the HR and Recruiting Director
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by muffins14 »

Weathering wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 2:52 pm If you want to, consider saying, the range of offers I'm seeing in the marketplace is between $110k and $125k.
It answers their question while also letting them know there are other companies in the mix.
Something like that is good, or

"I'd love to review your offer in more detail and look at your benefits package as well, as there are a lot of factors at play, and I'm hoping to optimize for a company and role where I can make the best impact and grow my career etc"
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by NearlyRetired »

neko06 wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 3:06 pm
NearlyRetired wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 2:51 pm
neko06 wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 2:18 pm Hello all,
I had an interview for a new job yesterday. When we got to talking about salary, he first asked my range which I gave him. He asked for what I'm currently making, and I said I did not feel comfortable telling him. Then he asked if my current salary is in that range, this caught me off guard and I just said no. (I'm currently making $90k, asking for $110-140k). Should I have told him that?

I don't have much experience with interviews and hiring, so I'm not sure what the procedure is for the salary discussion. I'm curious what others recommend I should have done in this situation? I have interviews with 5-6 other firms next week so I want to be better prepared when this question comes.

Any tips about salary negotiations would be very appreciated!

Thanks!
Firstly, who is "he" - the decision maker or an agent who is filtering applicants? In my view that will make a difference to your response and how you phrase it
"he" is the HR and Recruiting Director
In that case have an honest conversation with him - what do you feel you are worth to this organisation? What value are you going to bring? What are you prepared to accept as a salary(package) to give your time (which you can NEVER get back) to them? Ultimately it is about what do you feel comfortable accepting to work there ... what growth opportunities will you get, what promotional prospects, what enjoyment will you get from the job, what personal development will you get. Ultimately you need to understand what your time is worth to you and thus to sell to others and there are many factors that go into that calculation, but be honest and explain your rational (and be prepared for a discussion with him!)
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by firebirdparts »

I guess you'll find out. The job market is still pretty good, I would think.

I think it's pretty unlikely that you'll be confronted with exactly that same situation. I could be wrong. I am not sure what sort of raise they think they would need to give you to get you to jump ship, but I know they'll be expecting to give you something. By definition, your current salary WOULD NOT BE in the desired salary range. If you're willing to take a cut in pay to jump ship, they'd like to know that, i guess, but they're not expecting it.
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by Marseille07 »

I screwed up my negotiation because the offer was way too low and I told them how much lower I'm willing to go. They came back with that number.

I'm not trying to maximize every dollar I can get at this stage of my career, so it's not the end of the world. If I lament my comp package then I might start looking right after starting though.
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by KlangFool »

neko06 wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 2:42 pm humm interesting. so I don't even want to tell them my range? This is good to know.

I just got an email from another company saying they're ready to give me an offer. He asked "would you be comfortable giving your current salary for reference or a salary range that you're looking for?" So I respond with "I'll only consider offers above $110k" ?
neko06,

I would respond with

What is the salary range for the job?

Tell me that. Then, I would respond with whether it is in my range to be considered.

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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by Jags4186 »

The salary range for the position you want only matters in that the amount you want to make is in that range. If a company is only willing to pay 80-100k and you want 150k, the job isn’t for you.

Depending on how big the jump is you can always say “my current total comp is X but I would not be willing to leave my current employer for less than X + Y%”. If you get an offer that’s that, then you win. If it’s less than that you can call their bluff and say “thanks but I’m unwilling to move for that amount, are you able to meet my request?”
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by whodidntante »

Use humor that also communicates that you understand the disadvantage that being the first to mention a number will bring.

"I would definitely accept an offer for one million dollars, on the spot, right now! But a realistic offer that is in line with your salary bands will be considered. There are factors other than money that are important to me, and I'm sure it is the same for you."
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by AnnetteLouisan »

I read a book 20 years ago called “Executive job changing at $100,000 - plus.” (The new edition is called Rites of Passage from $100,000 to $1 million+, executive job changing and making the most of your career).

They said take your salary, X, plus the value of your benefits (employer contributions), Y and say, “I’m currently making (sum of X+Y), including benefits.”

I don’t know if that is current practice or what people think of that, but it was in the book and it was a highly regarded book at the time.
Last edited by AnnetteLouisan on Thu Jul 28, 2022 4:16 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by KlangFool »

Jags4186 wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 3:34 pm The salary range for the position you want only matters in that the amount you want to make is in that range. If a company is only willing to pay 80-100k and you want 150k, the job isn’t for you.

Depending on how big the jump is you can always say “my current total comp is X but I would not be willing to leave my current employer for less than X + Y%”. If you get an offer that’s that, then you win. If it’s less than that you can call their bluff and say “thanks but I’m unwilling to move for that amount, are you able to meet my request?”
Jags4186,

For some employers, they have a HR policy that they could not offer a salary above your current salary plus 15%. So, by telling the employer that your current salary, you had forced the HR and the hiring manager from offer you more compensation. In those kind of employer, the HR need VP level approval to override this limitation.

In those cases, they could offer you a lot more if you tell them nothing.

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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by NearlyRetired »

AnnetteLouisan wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 3:41 pm I read a book 20 years ago called “Executive job changing at $100,000 - plus.” (Maybe updated to 200k or 250k today)

They said take your salary, X, plus the value of your benefits (employer contributions), Y and say, “I’m currently making (sum of X+Y), including benefits.”

I don’t know if that is current practice or what people think of that, but it was in the book and it was a highly regarded book at the time.
But why can't you say what you want to work there? Surely that is the only figure that really matters. If you want more than they want to pay, then it is not the right job for you, and if you want less, well then, you have got what you have valued the job at for you
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by NearlyRetired »

KlangFool wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 3:42 pm
Jags4186 wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 3:34 pm The salary range for the position you want only matters in that the amount you want to make is in that range. If a company is only willing to pay 80-100k and you want 150k, the job isn’t for you.

Depending on how big the jump is you can always say “my current total comp is X but I would not be willing to leave my current employer for less than X + Y%”. If you get an offer that’s that, then you win. If it’s less than that you can call their bluff and say “thanks but I’m unwilling to move for that amount, are you able to meet my request?”
Jags4186,

In those cases, they could offer you a lot more if you tell them nothing.

KlangFool
Maybe it's because I'm at the other end of the work treadmil, but surely, you go for a job and accept a comp package the works for you, not that "they could offer you more if you tell them nothing". To me that way leads unhappiness
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by TomatoTomahto »

mikejuss wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 2:38 pm For reference, in some states, requiring a job applicant to provide salary history is illegal.
And in those states, interviewers are often adamant that they don’t want to know. If a company has a significant presence in one of those states, they might also have a company wide policy of setting compensation depending on the position and not based on history.

This is well intended. Unfortunately, before it was implemented, my wife was underpaid for years.
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by AnnetteLouisan »

NearlyRetired wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 3:44 pm
AnnetteLouisan wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 3:41 pm I read a book 20 years ago called “Executive job changing at $100,000 - plus.” (Maybe updated to 200k or 250k today)

They said take your salary, X, plus the value of your benefits (employer contributions), Y and say, “I’m currently making (sum of X+Y), including benefits.”

I don’t know if that is current practice or what people think of that, but it was in the book and it was a highly regarded book at the time.
But why can't you say what you want to work there? Surely that is the only figure that really matters. If you want more than they want to pay, then it is not the right job for you, and if you want less, well then, you have got what you have valued the job at for you
Yes of course you can say that too. I was addressing what to say about your current salary if they insist.
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by 8foot7 »

KlangFool wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 3:42 pm
Jags4186 wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 3:34 pm The salary range for the position you want only matters in that the amount you want to make is in that range. If a company is only willing to pay 80-100k and you want 150k, the job isn’t for you.

Depending on how big the jump is you can always say “my current total comp is X but I would not be willing to leave my current employer for less than X + Y%”. If you get an offer that’s that, then you win. If it’s less than that you can call their bluff and say “thanks but I’m unwilling to move for that amount, are you able to meet my request?”
Jags4186,

For some employers, they have a HR policy that they could not offer a salary above your current salary plus 15%. So, by telling the employer that your current salary, you had forced the HR and the hiring manager from offer you more compensation. In those kind of employer, the HR need VP level approval to override this limitation.

In those cases, they could offer you a lot more if you tell them nothing.

KlangFool
For years this was a line, if not a policy, a large bank with a stagecoach as a "mascot" fed to new employees. I doubt it applied to everyone, of course, but it probably served its purpose in a lot of cases.
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by rob »

8foot7 wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 2:23 pm If you are asked point blank how much you're making now, then you can't be evasive; you have to answer.
In at least my state - and likely others - that is an illegal question. In the and you need to have the convo about what they are offering... I will sometimes give them a number I'm expecting.
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by KlangFool »

NearlyRetired wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 3:52 pm
Maybe it's because I'm at the other end of the work treadmil, but surely, you go for a job and accept a comp package the works for you, not that "they could offer you more if you tell them nothing". To me that way leads unhappiness
NearlyRetired,

If you can be happy at X, you would be happier at X+ 50%. So, why deny yourself the opportunity of getting X+50%?

"To me that way leads unhappiness"

Please explain to me how is that possible.

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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by NearlyRetired »

KlangFool wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 4:15 pm
NearlyRetired wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 3:52 pm
Maybe it's because I'm at the other end of the work treadmil, but surely, you go for a job and accept a comp package the works for you, not that "they could offer you more if you tell them nothing". To me that way leads unhappiness
NearlyRetired,

If you can be happy at X, you would be happier at X+ 50%. So, why deny yourself the opportunity of getting X+50%?

"To me that way leads unhappiness"

Please explain to me how is that possible.

KlangFool
Because if you are happy at X, then you are happy. Otherwise you are always chasing for more, and that does not lead to happiness
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by KlangFool »

8foot7 wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 2:23 pm
If you are asked point blank how much you're making now, then you can't be evasive;
8foot7,

Who says so? The answer to this question separates those that knows how to negotiate versus those who don't. I would definitely would not hire anyone that answer this question for any possible customer facing role.

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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by KlangFool »

NearlyRetired wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 4:17 pm
KlangFool wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 4:15 pm
NearlyRetired wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 3:52 pm
Maybe it's because I'm at the other end of the work treadmil, but surely, you go for a job and accept a comp package the works for you, not that "they could offer you more if you tell them nothing". To me that way leads unhappiness
NearlyRetired,

If you can be happy at X, you would be happier at X+ 50%. So, why deny yourself the opportunity of getting X+50%?

"To me that way leads unhappiness"

Please explain to me how is that possible.

KlangFool
Because if you are happy at X, then you are happy. Otherwise you are always chasing for more, and that does not lead to happiness
I am not chasing. I am letting the other side making their offer.

"Because if you are happy at X, then you are happy"

And, why won't I be happy at X+50%? By not stating my range, I do not place a limit at the offer.

To each its own.

I do not need my current job. I like my current work life balance. But, I won't mind getting paid 30% to 40% more than my previous job.

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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by 8foot7 »

KlangFool wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 4:20 pm
8foot7 wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 2:23 pm
If you are asked point blank how much you're making now, then you can't be evasive;
8foot7,

Who says so? The answer to this question separates those that knows how to negotiate versus those who don't. I would definitely would not hire anyone that answer this question for any possible customer facing role.

KlangFool
In an interview, your one and only goal is get an offer. Anything not in service of that goal is counterproductive, and being evasive is counterproductive to getting an offer.

Leaving aside the few states where asking the question is illegal, it is poor interviewing to be evasive on a direct question. (I would also argue it's poor form on the interviewER to ask the question so directly, but you play the cards you're dealt in a job interview.)

State the answer, then give additional clarity if necessary. A best practice. No one wins any professional points trying to evade a direct question.
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by KlangFool »

8foot7 wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 4:29 pm
KlangFool wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 4:20 pm
8foot7 wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 2:23 pm
If you are asked point blank how much you're making now, then you can't be evasive;
8foot7,

Who says so? The answer to this question separates those that knows how to negotiate versus those who don't. I would definitely would not hire anyone that answer this question for any possible customer facing role.

KlangFool
In an interview, your one and only goal is get an offer.
8foot7,

That may be your goal. But, it is not my goal. To me, the interview is like dating. It is a two ways street. I am evaluating the employer as to whether I want to work for this employer. So, for the employer that insists on knowing my current salary, they would earn my automatic rejection. It should have zero bearing on how much that they should offer me. If they do not understand that, they would be rejected by me.

I would only accept the right offer.

It is a failure when someone receive an offer and have no idea whether they should accept it. It is a waste of time to both sides.

When a recruiter contacts me and cannot tell me the salary range of the job, they would earn an automatic rejection from me.

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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by JBTX »

Typically I’ll respond with a range, and if they explicitly asked I’d tell them. I don’t have anything to hide. If I expected to make more than my current salary I would state that and why.

The thing people forget is sometimes both parties can waste a lot of time if salary expectations of the position and the candidate aren’t clear.
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by KlangFool »

8foot7 wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 4:29 pm
In an interview, your one and only goal is get an offer. Anything not in service of that goal is counterproductive, and being evasive is counterproductive to getting an offer.

Leaving aside the few states where asking the question is illegal, it is poor interviewing to be evasive on a direct question.
8foot7,

It is great for the employer to ask this question. It is a great way for the candidate to weed out the employer quickly.

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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by KlangFool »

JBTX wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 4:37 pm Typically I’ll respond with a range, and if they explicitly asked I’d tell them. I don’t have anything to hide. If I expected to make more than my current salary I would state that and why.

The thing people forget is sometimes both parties can waste a lot of time if salary expectations of the position and the candidate aren’t clear.
JBTX,

Why do you need to do that if the employer states the salary range of the job explicitly? It goes both ways. The employer should have nothing to hide.

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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by DoubleComma »

I’ve always responded with

“…this is a great opportunity and I know I will be an asset to your team; for me to consider the change, and take the risk that comes with a change, to be worth it I would need at least $XXX”

This has been effective in my world.

As a manager I don’t ask prospective candidates about comp, I expect our talent acquisition teams has. I have not yet met a candidate that I would escalate to finance or a Sr. Exec to break target range on a role. So I assume by the time they get to me we are in the same ball park. That wouldn’t be possible if TA doesn’t ask the questions about comp expectations and then try to validate current comp. I know many candidates don’t like it, but it’s less about getting a deal on an employee and more about make sure nobody is disappointed and had their time wasted on a comp sticking point.

I will also share our Mega Corp TA tracks candidate attrition from range not meeting expectations of ho we consider qualified. This is the first data point, certainly not only, when setting target comp for specific roles.
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by Flyer24 »

Topic moved to Personal Finance.
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by JBTX »

KlangFool wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 4:46 pm
JBTX wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 4:37 pm Typically I’ll respond with a range, and if they explicitly asked I’d tell them. I don’t have anything to hide. If I expected to make more than my current salary I would state that and why.

The thing people forget is sometimes both parties can waste a lot of time if salary expectations of the position and the candidate aren’t clear.
JBTX,

Why do you need to do that if the employer states the salary range of the job explicitly? It goes both ways. The employer should have nothing to hide.

KlangFool
I eventually came to the point where I wanted both sides to have realistic and agreeable expectations going in. Now if your goal is solely to maximize salary going in perhaps there is a better way to go about it.
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by squirrel1963 »

The perspective employer is usually aware of the salary range for the position they are hiring for, and typically the person seeking a job is also aware of the typical salary range. They can also make a reasonable guess of your current salary and benefits given your resume.

So personally I see no real value in telling the hiring manager (or HR) your current salary and/or total comp. The only exception is if you know for a fact that your total comp is very high, and it can easily happen for instance if part of your total comp comes from RSU and the stock price has drastically gone up since you started your current job (say for instance it doubled). Remember you only need to tell your current total comp, not the past comp.

What I would never ever do is tell how much I want. If you tell them how much you want, you basically showed your cards and you'll give up any upside if they were willing to go higher. This is especially true if you are doing a lateral move and willing to accept a lower comp.

In my last job I did a later move I was willing to accept a lower comp especially because it was my dream job, but alas I said nothing and was offered a lot more than what I was realistically thinking I would get.

Ultimately this can be modeled as game in which the participants both have partial knowledge of the facts, in which case there is no advantage in providing full knowledge to the other party.
Last edited by squirrel1963 on Thu Jul 28, 2022 5:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by epictetus »

I agree with Klangfool- make the employer say a range/number. They are the one doing the hiring. They know what that have budgeted for that position.

You don't owe a potential employer any information re: what you currently make. Or what you have made in any past job.

If you know you are not going to say what you currently make, what you have made in the past, or what your number/range is then it won't be as stressful if you are asked. Because you know you are not going to answer that question. Instead you can stay focused on redirecting the conversation back to what they are planning to pay.

You can do this without being rude, etc. You are just asking what the job pays. That is all. That is a very reasonable question.
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by squirrel1963 »

epictetus wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 5:22 pm I agree with Klangfool- make the employer say a range/number. They are the one doing the hiring. They know what that have budgeted for that position.

You don't owe a potential employer any information re: what you currently make. Or what you have made in any past job.

If you know you are not going to say what you currently make, what you have made in the past, or what your number/range is then it won't be as stressful if you are asked. Because you know you are not going to answer that question. Instead you can stay focused on redirecting the conversation back to what they are planning to pay.

You can do this without being rude, etc. You are just asking what the job pays. That is all. That is a very reasonable question.
Exactly. They can ask of course but you don't need to tell them anything, and you can politely say:

"I don't feel confident in sharing my current comp"

If they ask what you want you can say:

"I would like to see your best offer instead and take it from there"

Only share your current comp if you know for a fact that it is higher than the expected range for your current job.
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by Marseille07 »

squirrel1963 wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 5:28 pm Exactly. They can ask of course but you don't need to tell them anything, and you can politely say:

"I don't feel confident in sharing my current comp"

If they ask what you want you can say:

"I would like to see your best offer instead and take it from there"

Only share your current comp if you know for a fact that it is higher than the expected range for your current job.
Some employers don't state the range honestly, even if asked.

I'm dealing with a recruiter who mentioned a range for the position. Then there was some "mix up" where, she later changed the story saying the range wasn't accurate for the role...and not only that, she started claiming that she thought the range was my salary requirement, not of the role.

I genuinely want to believe this was unintentional, but somewhere deep inside I suspect this might have been how they negotiate my comp package.
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by Jags4186 »

KlangFool wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 4:44 pm
8foot7 wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 4:29 pm
In an interview, your one and only goal is get an offer. Anything not in service of that goal is counterproductive, and being evasive is counterproductive to getting an offer.

Leaving aside the few states where asking the question is illegal, it is poor interviewing to be evasive on a direct question.
8foot7,

It is great for the employer to ask this question. It is a great way for the candidate to weed out the employer quickly.

KlangFool
No problem with my strategy then. If the company is only willing to pay X +15% and comp is most important then you know it’s not the company for you. If they’re only paying new hires a max of +15% then you know you can never get a decent raise as well.
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by Ron »

Depending on the state/location your current salary cannot be discussed:

https://www.hrdive.com/news/salary-hist ... st/516662/

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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by TJat »

I would have asked for the range he had in mind for the position. What another company is paying you is irrelevant.

If you liked a car and were willing to buy it for 35k, would you not buy it if I would only pay 30?
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by squirrel1963 »

Marseille07 wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 5:34 pm
squirrel1963 wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 5:28 pm Exactly. They can ask of course but you don't need to tell them anything, and you can politely say:

"I don't feel confident in sharing my current comp"

If they ask what you want you can say:

"I would like to see your best offer instead and take it from there"

Only share your current comp if you know for a fact that it is higher than the expected range for your current job.
Some employers don't state the range honestly, even if asked.

I'm dealing with a recruiter who mentioned a range for the position. Then there was some "mix up" where, she later changed the story saying the range wasn't accurate for the role...and not only that, she started claiming that she thought the range was my salary requirement, not of the role.

I genuinely want to believe this was unintentional, but somewhere deep inside I suspect this might have been how they negotiate my comp package.
I never ask what their idea of comp range is, I just tell them to make their best offer.
For many industries including my own (high tech) there are several websites you can go like Glass Door to see what is the comp range. I don't know if you industry is represented on glass door, but keep in mind that in any case those are typical ranges, and they usually never really apply to highly compensated employees.

I don't think there is a good reason to ever ask the perspective employer what their comp range is, as it opens the door for them to ask you about your compensation.
Ultimately the only number you really care about is the offer they make you.
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by Marseille07 »

squirrel1963 wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 6:14 pm I never ask what their idea of comp range is, I just tell them to make their best offer.
For many industries including my own (high tech) there are several websites you can go like Glass Door to see what is the comp range. I don't know if you industry is represented on glass door, but keep in mind that in any case those are typical ranges, and they usually never really apply to highly compensated employees.

I don't think there is a good reason to ever ask the perspective employer what their comp range is, as it opens the door for them to ask you about your compensation.
Ultimately the only number you really care about is the offer they make you.
I'm in tech. The twist here was that they disclosed the range for the role themselves without me asking, then started changing stories saying that wasn't the range and that they thought that was *my* range.

I had checked glassdoor, this place does not offer high salaries to begin with, so there's that.

I ended up mentioning how much lower I'm willing to go (since their offer was low), and they bumped it up to meet it in the end.
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Re: Interview - Asked about Salary

Post by squirrel1963 »

Marseille07 wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 6:21 pm
squirrel1963 wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 6:14 pm I never ask what their idea of comp range is, I just tell them to make their best offer.
For many industries including my own (high tech) there are several websites you can go like Glass Door to see what is the comp range. I don't know if you industry is represented on glass door, but keep in mind that in any case those are typical ranges, and they usually never really apply to highly compensated employees.

I don't think there is a good reason to ever ask the perspective employer what their comp range is, as it opens the door for them to ask you about your compensation.
Ultimately the only number you really care about is the offer they make you.
I'm in tech. The twist here was that they disclosed the range for the role themselves without me asking, then started changing stories saying that wasn't the range and that they thought that was *my* range.

I had checked glassdoor, this place does not offer high salaries to begin with, so there's that.

I ended up mentioning how much lower I'm willing to go (since their offer was low), and they bumped it up to meet it in the end.
No one told me comp range in the interviews I did, but of course everyone's experience is different.

I have followed my playbook consistently and I was always happy with what I got, very often I got more than what I would have asked. Maybe salary negotiations are very similar to playing a poker game, so perhaps the optimal strategy changes with the players.
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