When you are looking for a job, one of the trickiest questions you will be asked during the recruitment and interview process is “how much do you make?”
Although for many people it seems fairly simple, and they provide an honest answer, this question deserves a lot more thought.
Can you hurt your chances of getting a higher salary?
Without knowing how much the new position is offering, you can hurt your chances of negotiating a higher salary if you say your current one is too low.
Let’s say the position you are applying for is paid at a range of £80,000-100,000 a year; if you list a current salary of £50,000, the company can offer you a 10 percent raise to £55,000, which would be higher for you, but lower than you could have received without revealing the real number.
You can hurt your chances of being considered for the position entirely if you name a salary that is too high.
In the same scenario, if a position has a salary range of £80,000-100,000 a year, and you say you currently make £120,000, the recruiter or higher manager may not interview you at all believing that you may not agree to work for a lower salary.
If this occurs, you can miss out on a potential opportunity that, although pays lower, can offer more responsibility, a chance to move up in your career, flexible hours, great benefits, etc.
There is even a chance that after meeting you, the interviewer will offer you a salary higher than the range to get you to accept the offer.
However, none of that will be possible if you ruin your chances of getting the interview by name a salary that is too high.
Due to the disadvantages of revealing your salary in the interview process, what do you say when asked how much you make?
If you know the range: If you know the salary range, than you can figure out what an appropriate number to reveal is.
Figure in your experience and knowledge; if you are just starting out, you likely won’t get the higher amount.
If you don’t know the range, and are asked early on in the interview about your salary, here is a great answer: “Salary is not as important to me as the chance to grow in a company. I am very interested in interviewing for this position and showing what benefits I can bring to the table. I am sure the salary you are offering is within the market range.”
This answer will let your interviewer know that you value other things besides money, and that you will be willing to negotiate down the line.
It will not tie you to a figure, nor will it leave you out of the process of interviews if the number you mention is too high!
Head of Training and Development
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Mark Williams is a learning and development professional, using business psychology and multiple intelligences to create fascinating and quickly-identifiable learning initiatives in the real-world business setting. Mark’s role at MTD is to ensure that our training is leading edge, and works closely with our trainers to develop the best learning experiences for all people on learning programmes. Mark designs and delivers training programmes for businesses both small and large and strives to ensure that MTD’s clients are receiving the very best training, support and services that will really make a difference to their business.