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Interviewer asking for current salary

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Fergal1982, Mar 21, 2007.

  1. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

    How do you guys deal with an application form/interviewer asking for your current salary?

    I've heard that you are not obligated to answer that question, and in fact they cannot check, but i cant seem to get it verified with a search online.

    Several sites recommend that you be vague about it, since it sets the benchmark for their offer.

    My other half is filling out a form which is asking for salary, and it states (a couple of times) that the form should be filled out in full, but im thinking that you are not required to detail your salary on this, and infact, if they were to reject your application on this basis, you could take action against them for it. But like i said, i cant verify that.

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  2. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    If they were to reject your application because you failed to tell them your current salary, how would you know, they would just file it in the little round bin? They are asking what you are earning now, so that they don't waste their time and yours offering you a position which only pays half as much as you are on. It's a tricky one but personally and i have interviewed more people than i can remember, i like to know what they are currently earning, it a very important piece of information, which clearly will affect your decision as well as theirs.
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  3. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    Gee, I dunno Pete. I think it's an invasion of privacy. The only ones who are supposed to know what I'm making are my boss, my wife, and the IRS (in that order). If I was pressed, I might answer by giving a range but I don't think I'd break it down into dollars and cents.

    Most employers won't tell you what they are willing to pay until they're pretty sure they want you. Government agencies must provide a pay scale by law but most private employers usually say it just depends on the candidate's experience (DOE) which tells the interviewee nothing.

    I think it is valid for a potential employer to ask what the interviewee's pay expectations are. After all, if I think I'm worth $35.00 an hour but the top of their pay scale is only $20.00, then even if I take the job, the boss will know that the first chance I get to earn bigger bucks elsewhere, I'm out the door.
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  4. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

    I have to agree with Bluerinse, if you put £90,000 on the form then they would just bin it and not waste your time with an interview.

    I was asked about what wage I wanted when I was being interviewed for my current job. I said I wanted X as that’s what I needed to pay the bills. They offered x + £2k.
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  5. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

    Asking what you are looking at is fair enough - althoug i read on one site that they recommend reflecting it before answering by asking what their expectations are for paying. If they are unwilling to answer that question, then its not unreasonable for you to also refuse to answer their question.

    I have to agree with Trip - there are only a few people who need to know my salary. At the end of the day, i dont think salary should be discussed until they decide if they want to make you an offer, and even then, the employer should make you an offer, and you can tell them if its not enough. you can then negotiate and either accept or decline based on those negotiations. At no point should your current salary be indicated.

    Case in point. I am currently paid WELL below market rates for the job i do. I know, the employer knows it, and i know im worth a lot more. If i state my salary the a prospective employer, they will use that as the benchmark for offering me the job, and that means ill be stiffed in most cases since, they would pay me at the bottom of their range as this would still be a step up from my current wages.
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  6. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

    I agree that they dont need the answer, and it cant set a benchmark lower than you expect when it comes ti what they offer

    i dont really think of salary as a private piece of info, i dont care who knows what my salary is, it's not really a piece of info that will cause me a problem if known

    i can understand why people in the same team are unlikely to share that info due to any differences causing resent and unhappyness, never good in the workplace

    i'd pass it back with 'im not willing to disclose my exact salary but am happy to discuss what I am in the market for, what are your expectations salary wise for this role?'
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  7. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

    I dunno about this - it has always been a bit tricky with me. I'm always of the opinion that whatever I'm being paid it isn't enough :biggrin

    I tend to exaggerate my salary by about 10% for most roles, but you really need to ask the agency what sort of money the role they're offering is paying. Get them to give you a lower and upper figure and see if you think its worth your while - for me it doesn't matter how great the role is, if it ain't going to pay my bills, then I ain't gonna do it!
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  8. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

    If you work in the public sector then when you apply ofr jobs you have to put your current pay scale on the application form (even though I filled the app form in for my current job AFTER getting the job!).

    Since public sector pay scales are available for anyone to see I tend to just put the scale that I'm on and not the actual sallary. That way if they really want to find out then they can go looking for it.


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  9. webslinger2k

    webslinger2k Byte Poster

    Surely in cases like this though, as they cannot actually check what your salary is, you just enter the figure you are not willing to move jobs for less than and everyone is a winner?

    i.e. ur currently on 24k, you want to move jobs, but its only in your interest to do so for 26k, you say your current salary is 26k - anything else is a bonus, and if they are not willing to meet the 26k, then its not worth wasting your time and theirs, as the position isnt for you?

    doesnt that make sense?
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  10. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

    Well thats a feasable approach
    however that would obviously be lieing, and if they were to ask the quesiton when seeking / contacting your references (not sure on the legality of it though) then they could find out and that would not bode well
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  11. Sandy

    Sandy Ex-Member

    I never discuss money until they make me an offer.

    Once I had an offer by phone and burst out laughting when they told me the salary! Asked them to double it and it would be getting close to where my lowest price was - needless to say I did not get the job and I keep seeing adverts for the same job every few months!
  12. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

    I get plenty of emails for some really stupid offers, I once replied back to the agency asking if they actually had my CV on record, which they did and yet for some reason there computer still felt i was a good match for a job paying about 75% less than my current salary!

    Suffice to say i had them remove me from thier mailing lists :)
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  13. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

    Good debate :thumbleft

    This answer, IMO, can only be given under individual circumstances. It would depend on what your current wage is, and whether you're happy with it; whether the wage is market rate; whether the job you're going for is a promotion, a side-shift or even a downgrade.

    If you do disclose the figure, but think they may benchmark you, try bringing in other factors.

    For example, I was in a sales job earning X per year. This figure was above the average benchmark for a 1st line job, but I couldn't under any circumstances afford a drop.

    I was asked what my current wage was; because the interview was a month before a projected rise due to inflation, I added my 4% on and gave them my current wage. Then they asked what I expected, and added £2K to that figure.

    When they asked me why, I explained that the extra hours spent commuting, and the costs incurred, would mean that any raise I had would be nullified in my eyes by the travelling costs for the job; I couldn't afford to take a wage at my current level, as it would leave me out of pocket.

    Think around the situation; I don't think letting them know your wage can put you in a benchmarking 'position' as there are other factors that you should be able to bring in to maneouvre things the way you want.
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  14. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

    In my current role I knew the site was short of staff and got 3k more than I expected.

    Since joining 3 months ago, I've found others are on about 4k less than me and one is 1k more than me - all of us have between 1-5 years 1st/2nd line experience.

    Seems less to do with experience and more to do with getting butts on seats as and when we're short staffed. The team is trying to get new staff now so who knows where it appears on the scale - most are turned off by having to wait 3/6 months for security clearance!
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  15. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    Sure, it might be none of their business, but they're requesting it... and if you don't provide that information, they very well may end up rejecting your CV immediately.

    For those companies who request my current salary, I'll put my current salary as well as the salary range I am expecting. They can decide if they want to come to that level, and if they don't, it's fine if they trash my CV.
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