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How to answer “What’s your current salary?”

One of the most dreaded topics around searching for a job is discussing your future salary. 

Talking about money can make people a bit uncomfortable. It’s extremely important that you don’t let that get in the way of achieving a well-deserved, competitive package.

A great way to go about it is to divert the conversation to your salary expectations, not your current earnings.

This approach will give you more leverage, and also a fairer outcome. (In fact, asking about the current salary has been banned in some countries as it is said to be compounding the pay gap).

Make sure you’re fully prepared to justify the number:

  • Check the going rate for jobs in your field (and in your location). Try websites such as
  • Go through the various job boards for broader reference
  • Think about other elements of the package, such as commission, bonus scheme and other benefits i.e. training budget.

Our final bit of advice: work with a recruitment agency and let them make an introduction for you. Your consultant will offer you guidance on salary brackets and will negotiate pay to your best interest, saving you from having this conversation!

Callum Mckenna is an Associate Director in the Finance division at Harvey John.

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