When I tweeted about this, I received some responses from people telling me that they refuse to speak about compensation within the first interview, first 5 questions, blah blah blah – because it is an easy way for the company to rule you out.
If your current salary is $80K, and you are talking to a recruiter/hiring manager who has a $65K budget – wouldn’t YOU want to be ruled out? Wouldn’t you want to save your time and energy and bow out of the running for a job you are clearly over qualified for? Or maybe it should be sign that the company either doesn’t know what they want in the position (dangerous for you), or they underpay their staff.
Let’s assume neither, and that you are just over-qualified.
Contrary to popular belief out there people, we are working with budgets. We are required to find talent within a certain range, most of the time, even prior to introducing your resume to a hiring manager. I’m not in the business of wasting anyone’s time. Yours, mine or my bosses. Do us all a favor and stop playing games. Honesty is just plain and simple, the best policy always.
In rare circumstances, you will possess a quality that I may, as an advocate of my company and the hiring manager’s long term goals for his department, pass you through in the process knowing that you are above the salary range that I was given but that happens as a result of who you are, the skills and experience you possess and the value you can bring to our team. That has nothing to do with the number you throw out when I ask about salary. Sometimes, the perfect person forces us to reconsider the salary range we have budgeted. None of this consideration can happen if you aren’t forthright when I ask. When you nervously beat around the bush it makes you look shady.
I’m not saying that you aren’t being honest by not disclosing what you need, or what you are currently (or most recently) making – but it’s annoying. Don’t talk in circles. Own yourself and your worth. If the company you are speaking with doesn’t have the money or is unwilling to offer you the compensation that you have worked hard in your career to achieve, then it’s OK to walk away.
My advice is to be professional. Approach this question as collaboration, not a battle.