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Headhunter explains what to answer when recruiters ask you about your current salary

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There are a lot of awkward interview questions that you need to get right: Why should we hire you? What is your greatest weakness? Where do you see yourself in five years?

One of the most difficult questions when applying is the question of current salary. Is it easy to tell the hiring manager, or does it ruin your chances of getting a higher salary? After all, one would like to improve as much as possible in terms of salary.

Nick Corcodilos, who has worked as a headhunter in Silicon Valley since 1979, revealed on his “Ask The Headhunter” website what he thinks is the right way to answer this awkward question.

Do not reveal your salary when you apply

“I advise job seekers not to reveal their salary to prospective employers,” Corcodilos writes. With his clients (employers), he routinely refuses to say how much the applicants he has recruited currently earn.

Of course, recruiters don’t ask about your salary out of curiosity. The company is trying to save on personnel costs. That’s why you shouldn’t expect employers and recruiters to immediately agree at the interview that you won’t disclose your salary. They will ask you questions and give a supposed reason why they know your salary I have to.

Explanations could be, for example: “We need to know your salary, otherwise we cannot proceed with the application process” or “We need to know your salary because it is company policy.”

Corcodilos advises not to be pressured and politely decline. “An employer may have the right to ask about your salary and the right to deny your application if you refuse, but they also have the right to say no.”

According to human resources expert Liz Ryan, when asked about your current salary, you can answer with one question: “When I apply, I look for jobs with an annual salary of (insert number). Is the advertised position above this limit?”

Ultimately, it’s up to you to disclose your salary, says Corcodilos. “But you have to keep in mind that by responding, you’re probably reducing your chances of getting a great offer.”

Do you want to know more about the application? Here we have summarized the most important tips for you about the job interview.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider in November 2019. It has now been reviewed and updated.

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