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November 01, 2007


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#1 rings true for me, I made the mistake once of interviewing at a company who I had heard paid well and was interested in. After 2 interviews (and taking a day off for them from my employer) they offered me the job - at about 40% of what I was making at the time. I was kind of in shock and told them what I was looking to make, and they pretty much said we can't pay you that much. Now I always get the salary range out of the way before pursuing an interview.

Never Lie but be smart. Show all the advantages you were getting like:

1) Freedom
2) Extra benefits
3) coupons
4) Good colleagues and blah blah which is not counted under CTC

It is known as BATNA, the better BATNA you have better will be the offer. So keep your BATNA very high.

Another thing you can ask (besides their desired salary range for the position) is if they have a policy of never offering someone above a certain percentage or dollar amount over what they make now.

Smaller companies are usually able to be more flexible when the hiring manager thinks it's warranted.

Matt is completely right, some companies will not go over a certain salary percentage over what you make at your currently company. I work with HR and that is how some companies do it.

Therefore, I am all for lying about your salary, they shouldn't worry about what you were making at your last job. It is none of there business.

Nick Corcodilos (Ask the Headhunter - would tell you not to lie about your salary, but simply to refuse to disclose it, instead "politely and firmly state your desired salary range for the particular job."

I've always disclosed my previous salary when pressed for it, but usually mention first that money is not the reason I'm looking for a job. I'd rather have an employer pay me what they think I'm worth. For the right job, I might take a significant pay cut (although I haven't needed to yet).

Good point, Anitra, you don't have to disclose your salary. Of course, some potential employers might not like that. Then you have to weigh how much you want to work for them anyway.

I think #6 is really key. I don't have decent health benefits at all (pay for private insurance instead) but my boss pays me overtime AND gives me 10% of my compensation every year to my retirement. That obviously more than makes up for the money I shell out in insurance. & is really key to me next time I bargain salary. If I don't get 10% or overtime than I need a decent raise and/or decent benefits.

There is a lot to negotiate outside of salary, for sure.

I had the same experience as Chuck. I did a phone interview and 2 physical interviews for a position as an independent contractor for a small defense contracting firm. I knew the salary for others in the field who were independent contractors in the same line of work but was willing to be flexible as I really wanted to move to the area. They offered my $20k less a year than I was making as a W-2 worker with good benefits which equated to less than half what I am currently making once considering my true carrying costs by my current employer. They were really shocked when I didn't accept their offer even though they full knew my current salary.

My current employer has told me that Human Resources will confirm employees' and former employees' job title, dates of employment, and salary level to anyone who asks. So a potential employer may not even have to ask for pay stubs--people at the new company can just call people at the old company.

Lie. The immense benefits of getting a new job at a salary above what you are making now are completely worth it. I went through a "job hopping" period in the mid 90's and wound up making more than double than where I started. Now imagine sticking with the last job and getting good increases and compound in your savings that over time. I'm generally a truthful man but you are talking about the rest of your life (kinda) and the well being of your family. This may sound blunt to some, but it is what it is.

I agree with Anitra. I'm of the opinion that previous salaries are irrelevant. What's relevant is what my unique skills and experience are worth and what a new employer is willing to pay for a particular position.

I've always stuck to that line -- diplomatically -- and been willing to walk away from places that expect me to just be a sheep and follow "policy".

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