Interview Q&A

How to Tackle “What is Your Current Salary?”

Last Updated on May 10, 2023

OK, so are you finding it challenging to face the interview question related to the current salary? It’s alright! We find it normal to feel worried or concerned, but it is superb if you’re here in search of some suggestions. This article will treat you with the most popular patterns, strategies, and some examples.

Gear up!

When you’re sitting in front of the interview panel, it is customary to find yourself nervous, especially when they ask the “money-related” questions, but this is a different scenario. Here, you need to tell the interviewer about your current CTC.

However, it is not that simple! Employers may save this question for the HR round, but what if they ask it? You must be thoroughly prepared already.

What’s the idea behind it?

You tend to answer the questions more confidently and precisely when you know the reason or intentions behind them. Using the same psychology, let’s discuss the probable reasons the interviewer is asking you this question.

Note: Do you know that it is illegal to ask salary-related questions in several developed countries? Sadly! If we live in a region where it is still legal, you can try some of the escape ways. We will discuss them later in the article.

  • They may want to know the industry standards better. Well, they’re the employers, but that doesn’t mean they’re aware of everything.
  • Or, they want to know if they can offer you better than your previous employer. Otherwise, there’s no point in taking the interview ahead.

Now that you know the possible thought procedures behind the interview question, now is the time to start preparing for the response.

Refuse politely (if you don’t want to discuss)

Indeed, there is no such compulsion that you have to discuss and disclose the salary range to the interviewer. Your salary must depend on the industry standards and your talent and should not be just a little more than the previous job role. This is not the proper aspect to decide.

So you must know that you can always choose to say no, but politely. Don’t be harsh, even if you are entirely against the question—master to control your emotions and respond decently.

Example 1: You can say, “Thank you for asking the question, but I choose not to answer it.” Still, if the interviewer asks, “why?” You can say that you’re not comfortable.

Example 2: “I am not comfortable with the salary disclosure at this point, and I believe that current salary standards are the right criteria to offer me something. I am all-time open to negotiating. Also, I would like to know the additional benefits of my offered CTC.”

Example 3: “I would choose to keep this information private to myself as I believe this is too personal to discuss at any point in time. In addition, I would like to maintain a good relationship with my previous employer, and disclosing the salary will ruin the same. I hope you respect my decision.”

Don’t forget to maintain a smile throughout your response! We believe it acts as a savior, for sure.

Ace the art of Deflection

Yes, we think the better you deflect, the better you tend to perform at your interview sessions. Of course, it is not a great idea to tell your salary straightforwardly. Play smart and gain points. Employers will also like it when they see you intelligently handling the question. Who knows, you get selected for this reason only, no?

But how to deflect?

Example 1: “Prior to applying for this role, I did comprehensive research on the salary range for this role as per the industry standards. As for the professionals of my level in terms of experience, eligibility, and talent, I can ensure that my current salary is accustomed to current market trends.”

In the above response, the interviewee is winning the show without refusing and still not disclosing the exact amount. This is what we call “a true escape.”

Or, you can also say,

Example 2: “I feel like it is too soon to discuss my current salary. Prior to the same, I would like to learn more about the job role and responsibilities. It will help me to understand the upcoming position better.”

A genuine diversion, indeed!

Say it

If you are OK with unfolding the current salary scale right now, you must go ahead. But, if you have chosen to say it, be honest. Don’t tell a lie. It is not an escape at any cost and can backfire quickly.

You can understand this better with examples,

Example 1: My current salary is Rs 8,50,000 per annum. I understand that you need to know this information for several reasons, but at the same time, I believe that the KRAs for the offered role are broad and demand more of my capabilities and hard work. So, I am expecting the salary in accordance with that.

Example 2: I am getting the best as per the industry standards for my field. It is Rs 67,000 in hand with a CTC of 9.5 LPA. I am ready for the new job designation and want to get paid fair in the alignment of responsibilities.

The second example is direct and short, without any “this” or “that.” It works where the employer is looking for crisp and point-to-point answers.

Also, you can follow some protocols when you think it’s OK to mention your salary.

  • Spotlight your promotion and other achievements: If you got promoted in your current job or were treated with any additional achievement benefit, it’s an incredible idea to share them here. It is simply a way to show that you’re qualified enough to get a fair hike.
  • Try knowing the reason: You can mention your salary and ask for the grounds afterward. Yes, this is a right and a simple way to know the reason. Just ask it, and you won’t keep thinking about it.
  • Bring up your salary goals: Fundamental! While negotiation is necessary, you must keep your salary goals clear in front of them.

Take an example of this,

Example 3: “I am getting Rs 9,55,000 per annum in my current role, but I am expecting around at least Rs 12,000,00 per annum in the new role due to the enhancement in part and the additional responsibilities.

Key Takeaways to Remember

  • While expressing the in-depth details of your current job, you can grab this opportunity to negotiate. Well, we won’t recommend this every time and in every case.
  • Maintain a positive attitude even if you’re refusing to answer. We have said it before as well, but repetition is necessary sometimes. As discussed, you are required to control your emotions and don’t go harsh or extreme when diverting or deflecting the response.
  • Help yourself! As we always say, research and dress well. Knowing about the company will give you a fair idea of what they do, how they do it, and even their values and policies. It is simply like leveraging yourself.

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