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  • Writer's pictureDini Habib

How should I answer what is your current salary?

When it comes to job interviews and discussions about compensation, one of the trickiest questions you might encounter is, "What's your current salary?" This question often feels like a minefield, with many job seekers unsure of how to answer.

In this blog post, we'll explore various strategies to respond to this question with confidence and poise, while ensuring you receive fair compensation for your skills and experience.

Understanding the Motivation Behind the Question

Before we dive into how to answer this question, it's essential to understand why employers ask it. They typically ask about your current salary to gauge your expectations, assess your market value, and determine whether you align with their budget for the position. While the question may be well-intentioned, it can be a potential trap if not handled carefully.

Do Your Homework

The key to responding effectively to the "What's your current salary?" question is preparation. Research the industry standard for the position you're applying for. Use online resources, salary surveys, and networking to determine the typical compensation range. This knowledge will help you negotiate better and set realistic salary expectations.

Focus on Your Worth, Not Your Past

When faced with this question, it's crucial to shift the conversation towards your value and the contributions you can make to the prospective employer. Emphasize your skills, experience, and achievements rather than fixating on your current or past salary. You can say something like, "I believe my skills and experience make me a strong candidate for this role, and I'm looking for a compensation that reflects the market rate for this position."

Consider Being Transparent

In some regions and industries, it's becoming more common for employers to ask about salary history. If you are comfortable sharing this information, you can provide your current salary, but stress that your expectations for the new role are different due to your increased skills and experience. Make it clear that you're aiming for a fair market salary.

Deflect the Question

Sometimes, the best response is to not answer the question directly. Politely deflecting can help you maintain your privacy while keeping the conversation moving. You can say, "I'd prefer to focus on the value I can bring to this role and discuss a fair and competitive compensation package for the position."

Offer a Salary Range

If you feel that sharing your current salary is necessary, consider providing a range rather than a specific figure. This allows you to give some context while still leaving room for negotiation. For example, "My current salary falls within the range of [low-end] to [high-end], but I'm open to discussing a competitive salary for this role."

Wait for the Right Moment

You don't have to answer this question immediately. Sometimes, it's better to wait until you have a clearer picture of the job and the company's expectations. You can say, "I'd be happy to discuss my current salary once we've explored the fit for this role in more detail."

Answering the "What's your current salary?" question is all about striking a balance between transparency and protecting your best interests. Remember, the goal is to secure a fair compensation package that reflects your skills and experience.

By doing your homework, focusing on your value, and using tactful responses, you can navigate this question with confidence and ensure you're on the path to a rewarding career opportunity. Good luck!


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