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

Navigating the question, “What’s your current salary?” is often one of the trickiest aspects of job hunting and requires finesse and strategic thinking.

Talking about money can make people a bit uncomfortable. You mustn’t let that get in the way of achieving a well-deserved, competitive package.

One effective strategy is to shift the focus from your current earnings to your salary expectations.

This not only grants you more negotiating power but is also considered a fairer approach. (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 a broader perspective on industry standards.
  • 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. A skilled consultant can introduce you to potential employers, offering guidance on appropriate salary brackets. Partnering with professionals in this field can streamline the process and alleviate the need for direct salary negotiations. It’s not just about avoiding the potentially awkward money chat; it’s about ensuring that your compensation aligns with your best interests.

So, when it comes to the delicate dance of discussing salary, take a strategic approach, arm yourself with industry insights, and don’t hesitate to bring in the experts. By redirecting the conversation to your salary expectations, understanding industry standards, and enlisting the help of a recruitment agency you’re creating a smoother process and ultimately a more favourable outcome!

David Waddell is the Managing Director at Harvey John.

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