Here’s a job interview tip for you.
How can you avoid appearing difficult when you won’t tell a recruiter your last salary?
I was asked by a recruiter for my last salary and said I don’t disclose that information. She said, “I was trying to be difficult and that she can’t move forward if I am not going to be a ‘team player.’” Eventually, the person caved in This was a third party recruiter, not a corporate recruiter.
How can you avoid appearing difficult? How can you stand your ground without you appearing, to put it bluntly, being seen as a “pain in the pot.”
The first thing to understand is that recruiters, whether corporate or third-party work for employers. The employer sets down terms of engagement. They want to know salary. They want to know the salary because the firm has a formula for percentage increase on top of the current base salary that they are willing to pay. Whether with you or with the agency recruiter, they attempt to exert power in order to find out what you are earning.
When I worked as an agency recruiter, I was trained to hang up on people who wouldn’t answer the question. They were signaling that they were making much less, than the job was prepared to pay, and were trying to “finesse” their way into a payday. Knowing my clients, they are not willing to do this. As politely as I might explain to someone that they needed to be compliant in order to proceed with my client, Each refusal indicated a waste of my time was occurring.
What I’ve encourage people to say on interviews is (1) state your actual current salary; then (2) indicate that from your research you are significantly underpaid For what your skills actually are and what you can deliver to the firm. Then, follow up by saying (3) “If you think I’m going to be satisfied with a $5000 raise, I want to assure you that you are mistaken. I bring significant value and want to be paid according to my value. What every salary survey I read indicates, I should be earning between (then state the range that your research indicates you should be earning). I am talking with other firms are prepared to do that. If yours is not, if you are unwilling to minimally assess me for my skills and make a determination of my value then, I don’t wish to waste either of our times.”
For an agency recruiter, this is a better approach then not telling them. After all, you represent a significant fee to them and, for their client, a solution to their problem. If the client is unwilling to pay market value, better not waste anyone’s time.
In addition, frankly, this is a bolder and more likely to succeed approach then not being willing to tell them.
Not every job interview tip is guaranteed to be successful. If you look someone square in the eye and smile that smile that says “Don’t mess with me,” you have a 25% – 30% chance. Frankly, those are better odds than what you had before.
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