Tips for Talking About Your Past Earnings in a Job Interview

Preparation is a main element of success when it comes to job interviews. One of the questions many potential employers may ask is what salary the interviewee is hoping for. Answering this question can determine whether or not an employer will call an interviewee back for a second interview or to offer him or her the position. If the question of salary is addressed in a job interview, the potential employee can assume the interviewer is interested in having him or her potentially fill the vacant position.

Salary negotiation and the discussion of past salaries can become tricky to navigate during interviews. For many potential employees, it is frightening to discuss salary but when it is discussed properly, it can contribute to the hiring potential of the interviewee. Learn how to discuss past salary or hourly rates with a potential employer without compromising your hiring potential or underselling your own value. Here are a few different ways to approach the question of past earnings at an interview.

Avoid Discussing Exact Figures of Past Earnings in Colorado

Discussing exact figures can be detrimental for many reasons. The interviewer may view the interviewee as being too expensive to hire or the interviewee may feel the need to lower his or her salary offer for the position. If the question of past earnings has not come up during a phone interview or in the job application process, do not assume the question will not be asked during the in-person interview. It is a common question that a human resources representative or potential boss may ask.

If the question is not pushy and exact figures are not requested, responding with the simple answer that includes the market value of the occupation is fine. If the potential employer pushes for exact figures or an answer that is more direct, you may need to tell the interviewer that salary history should not affect a future salary at a different company, especially if it is in a different industry.

If the interviewer requests exact figures and will not accept the previously aforementioned solutions, including a salary range is another good way to discuss salary history without disclosing exact figures. To understand the appropriate salary range for the positions you held at previous employers’ companies, you should research salary ranges for the duties you completed. Interviewers ask about salary history to gain the upper hand during the negotiation and they may ask about past earnings history to determine if interviewees are qualified for the respective positions.

Another way to discuss past earnings in Colorado is to list a range that includes the past salaries an interviewee earned at previous companies. For example, if the interviewee earned $45,000 annually at his or her previous company, he or she could offer a salary range of $45,000 to $55,000 during the interview. This leaves room for negotiation, and it gives the interviewee an advantage because he or she has the potential to earn a little more at the new position. However, if the past earnings at the previous company were higher than the industry standard for that position, a range of $40,000 to $45,000 would be a more realistic suggestion.

What to Do If Past Earnings Are a Requirement in Colorado

Some employers will require past earnings history be disclosed before an interview or during the interview process. The important thing to remember is not to lie about a past salary because a potential employer has the right to call a past employer and verify the interviewee’s salary. If you lie about a past salary or earnings, it can affect your potential hiring.

If the potential employer insists on learning your past earnings history, respond to the question positively without stating a specific amount, if possible. Another way to counter this question is to mention the desired salary for the position while concluding that the salary is negotiable, depending upon the position’s duties. To ensure you provide accurate information, be sure to prepare a list of your previous positions and their salaries. The list should include the name of the organization, the position, the compensation received and a brief summary of the position’s duties. Additional information that may be helpful to include is bonuses, benefits and any other compensation received during tenure at the previous company.

It is important to remember not to include salary information on your resume. If the salary is asked for as a requirement to apply for a position, you have two options. First, you can decline to apply for the position and move on to another one. Secondly, you can choose to apply for the position but list the salary for previous positions as confidential and only to be discussed with a hiring manager. This demonstrates you have read the aplpication instructions and are following them but does not give away your power to negotiate salary in the future. It is important to make sure to state that your current salary does not affect future salary in either way. You should also communicate that the potential position’s salary should be based on your skill set and worth to the employer, and not you have earned in the past. If you are firm about this, a respectful potential employer will understand and look past current salary to determine your potential worth.