New York recently placed a ban on interview questions that request your current or previous salary information. Similar laws exist in New Orleans, Oregon and Puerto Rico. The goal is to decrease the wage gap and create more pay equity. If a woman or person of color was underpaid at the previous job, then that burden shouldn’t be carried through to their next position.
However, even when the question is illegal, you may still find employers unknowingly asking it. And what do you do if you live in a place where the question is legal? How do you handle this question?
My advice is to politely refuse to provide your current salary details. Rehearse replying with something along these lines: “Respectfully, I decline to provide my salary details. I plan to judge how well your firm values this position and my ability to contribute to it based on the total compensation package offered uninfluenced by my salary history. I trust you can appreciate my position. Hopefully you see this as an indication of how I value options based on their merit, which I hope is one of the things you are looking for in an employee.”
Going into an interview after having done research on what is a fair salary for the position, industry, and your experience is the wisest choice. This way you can be prepared to counter a question like, “What salary do you make at your current job?” with an answer such as the one above.
You can even show your enthusiasm for the position by further elaborating that you would be open to discussing compensation packages and the range of pay you feel comfortable with for the position.
New York’s recent ban on this most uncomfortable interview question is important legislation for the movement toward equal pay. However, it doesn’t affect the entire nation and even New Yorkers may not see immediate change. it’s important to know how to respectfully deflect the question.
Do you have any similar advice? What are your thoughts on the ban? Further help people in their job search by describing what a day in the life of your type of job is really like on UltiCareer.
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