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Quick opinion on interview questions

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by Cockles, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. Cockles

    Cockles Megabyte Poster

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    Hi all

    Just looking for a bit of an opinion regarding job interviews - not specifcally relating to IT but generally.

    I've found it very common in an interview with a prospective employer that they will ask 'what salary are you on now?'. For all you guys and gals that are employers or who would be on the panel for interviews, if the candidate refused to answer this question, would you see it as a negative, and as such 'mark them down' for it?

    I personally am now of the mind that I wouldn't want to give them the figure, as it has happened before where I have done, I've been offered enough for a job to tempt me to take it, then I have subsequently discovered I am on less than my colleagues. I would rather say 'I would be keen to see how much you think I am worth.'

    Any thoughts on this?

    Thanks in advance

    Cockles
     
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  2. Geekzilla

    Geekzilla Nibble Poster

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    It is propoably worth telling them the truth. If they offer you the job your reference from your current employer will tell them what your salary was anyway. They should also ask what your salary expectations are for the role you are applying for.
     
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  3. Cockles

    Cockles Megabyte Poster

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    Thanks mate. I fully agree about the truth, would never advocate lying about it, I was just wondering what people would think if a candidate just didn't want to answer that question. There's no legal reason why a place would need to know your previous salary
     
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  4. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    I have never, never seen a reference from anyones former employer indicating their salary. Most employers are so scared of lawsuits relating to references, that they barely offer a reference indicating you worked for them, let alone indications of your capability. And certainly not salary information.
     
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  5. Geekzilla

    Geekzilla Nibble Poster

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    Prehaps that says more about the people you have been employing. :)

    My references have normally been, worked here for X years, job title was X, salary was X. It is true they don't normally say anything about capabilities, which is good for me becuase I am horrible at my job. :oops:
     
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  6. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    If they ask you what your salary was, you need to tell them the truth in case it's one of the things they ask on your reference.

    Then you need to prepare yourself for how to deal with the fact that you are applying for a job with a substantially higher or lower salary.

    If you are applying for more, you need to be able to show that your skills and experience actually put you in that salary bracket. You just need to be careful not to imply that your previous/current employer wasn't paying you your worth. At the end of the day, we all want more money and there is nothing to be ashamed of in trying to get a better deal for your talents.

    If you are asking for less, you can blame the current economic climate and say that you are aware that a lot of companies are tightening their belts and that in the short term you appreciate that in te short term, you have to go with the flow. Or you adopt the 'go backwards to go forwards' attitude. Say that the high salary you were paid in your last job was a reflection of the value that your employer placed on your contribution to the business. As you are moving to a new role in a new company, it's only to be expected that they are going to pay you the minimum until they get to know you. Show that you're up for the challenge and that you are confident that you can move up through the ranks.

    Just make sure that you've got some kind of answer that isn't 'well I'm desperate so I'll take anything'.
     
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  7. Cockles

    Cockles Megabyte Poster

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    Thanks for that.

    The reason I ask, I was reading up an article by some employement expert a short while ago, and they claimed that if in an interview situation you are asked to give your current salary, there is nothing wrong with refusing to divulge that information, and it shouldn't be seen as a negative point of the interview. Now from personal experience, i can see why; if I go for an interview for a role, I would want the prospective employer to make me a pay offer based on what they think I am worth to the company, rather than thinking 'he's only being paid X amount, we can probably offer Y to get him here, even though people doing exactly the same job are paid Z'.
     
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  8. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    It is a bit tricky.
    It can work either way.

    Usually when you apply for a job, you're going to know the salary band in advance.
    The chances are, the company will have some kind of grade scheme and if you are applying for a certain grade, there is a limit to how little they can try to pay you.

    So, there is a limit to how much damage you can do by telling them what you earn now.
    However, although there is nothing 'wrong' with it, refusing to answer a question that they ask isn't going to endear them to you, or make you look like a helpful and cooperative potential employee.

    If you are lucky enough to be someone that they absolutely MUST have, then you can afford play it coy and see how high they are prepared to go...

    8)
     
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  9. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    I had it on application forums where you have to fill in your current or previous salary but never been asked it.

    THe question that pisses me off the most is: What do you know about our company?

    I once went for a job interview at a bank where I was asked this, I didn't really know what to say apart from "you lots of branches all over the county, you provide mortgages, loans, life assurance and you also have your own estate agents"
     
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  10. GiddyG

    GiddyG Terabyte Poster Gold Member

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    ... before you sold the estate agents for a quid... or was it not that estate agent mate? No... don't answer... :twisted:
     
  11. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Me personally, I've never asked "what is/was your salary?" as a direct question relating to an interview question. As I really have no interest in what it is/was...

    But I have asked how they feel the salary is (that we're offering) compared to the salary of their last/present job and if they were ok with it.

    -Ken
     
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  12. dazza786

    dazza786 Megabyte Poster

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    they have no right to know what salary i'm on now.
    as others have stated in this thread, its only use can be to gauge their salary offer
    to me, that is not paying somebody's worth.
     
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  13. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    I don't know about anybody else, but I've noticed this question is in decline at the moment.

    10-15 years ago it actually required some kind of effort to find out about a company.
    You had to call, speak to people and ask for a prospectus.

    Now, you just have to Google them, or get all of their financial records for £1 from Companies House.

    I tend to find that nowadays people assume you know all about them and are less inclined to ask.

    However, there is still mileage to be had in knowing insider 'secrets' like gym membership, private basketball court or hookers on tap.

    The ante has just been increased, that's all.
     
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  14. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    Actually I often do my research about the company prior
    I get fed up meeting people who hate their job or their company because they just take whatevers out there

    if the companies not right for me, I want to know that before investing too much time in the process, so i do my homework, so much that i've gone so far as to get in touch with former/current employees to gauge things

    employment is not a one way street, you can get references on them too!


    as for the salary question, I hate it, I avoid it, and if they really need to ask, they probably can't afford me
    I've been asked 'what sort of salary are you looking for'
    thats different, they can ask that, and i'll give them a blunt band to work with, no body ever comes back at the bottom of the band, and if its way out of their expectations we can part ways nice and early on on good terms
     
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  15. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Ive never been asked but if asked I would just tell them. Just keeps things out in the open.

    If asked about what salary I am looking for I now just say I want between X and Y. Before I would say "whatever the maket rate is" but that was in the "I just to get some hands on experience" days. :biggrin
     
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  16. Cockles

    Cockles Megabyte Poster

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    Hmm, some interesting and varied points there. :D

    Personally, I can see no other reason why a prospective hiring company would want to know your current salary other than to use that as a guidance into what they think they can get away with paying you. I think the kind of sector I work in (publishing) seems to have a lot of companies that don't really have pay bands, they pay people purely on what they think they can get away with. In my place, there are people all doing exactly the same job within the same department, and all of them are on different rates.

    Ah well, job hunting season beckons soon, I guess I'll just have to see if I have teh balls to refuse to answer if I don't feel like it :biggrin
     
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  17. Geekzilla

    Geekzilla Nibble Poster

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    I think researching potential employers is a good idea. I went for an interview once and realised I knew very little about the company so I looked them up online while waiting in the reception. This worked really well as I was able to regurgitate what I had just read when I was asked the direct question.
     
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  18. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Ever thought that maybe they just dont want to waste your time if they cant offer the salary you want?
     
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  19. dazza786

    dazza786 Megabyte Poster

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    People usually advertise the salary in the job spec.. or at least the jobs i've seen posted anyway..
    If you know what to expect in salary, then there is no need for them to know. They know that you are content with the pay of the job.
     
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  20. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Really? No £neg or £competitive ? :blink
     
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