Application: You should answer that when asked about your salary

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There are numerous uncomfortable questions in the interview that you have to answer correctly: Why should we hire you? What’s your biggest weakness? Where do you see yourself in five years?

One of the most difficult questions when applying is the question of the current salary. Is it easy to tell the HR manager, or does it ruin your chances of getting a higher salary?

Nick Corcodilos, who has worked as a headhunter in Silicon Valley since 1979, revealed the correct answer on his website “Ask The Headhunter”.

Do not reveal your salary when applying

“I recommend job seekers not to reveal their salary to potential future employers,” Corcodilos writes. With his customers (employers) he routinely refuses to say how much the applicants he recruits are currently earning.

Of course, HR managers don’t ask about your salary just out of curiosity. The company is trying to save on personnel costs. That’s why you shouldn’t expect employers and HR managers to immediately accept in job interviews that you do not disclose your salary. They will ask you questions and give you a supposed reason why they know your salary have to.

For example, the questions could be “We need to know your salary because otherwise we cannot proceed with the application process” or “We need to know your salary because it is part of company policy”.

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

Also read: Headhunter explains which four words can massively improve your application

According to HR expert Liz Ryan, you can counter the question about your current salary with a counter question: With my applications I’m looking for jobs with an annual salary of (insert number). Is the advertised position above this limit? “

Ultimately, it is up to you whether you disclose your salary, Corcodilos said. “But you have to be aware that with the answer you are likely to ruin your chances of getting a great offer.”

Would you like to find out more about application? Here we have summarized the most important tips about the job interview.


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


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