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Why do Employers ask about Salary History

When participating at a job interview usually applicants are worried about their skills, appearance and mannerisms, and how to answer the employer's questions. Some of the most frequent questions during an interview refer to education, the last job, or salary. Many candidates consider salary questions an unfair one, because they want to earn more than their previous job. Applicants usually tend to lie in an interview when asked about the salary, but employers can easily check with the hiring managers from the company they worked for previously. So, if the employer discovers that the candidate lied about his previous salary, they will definitely not be considered for the position. The question still remains: why do employers ask about salary history? Below are some reasons as to why they ask:


How valued were you at your last workplace?

First employers ask about salary history before offering the job, because they want to see how qualified and how valuable you are. For example, many employers offer salaries with respect to the candidate's experience and skills in a specific area of work. They need to know how much your last employers were willing to invest in you financially. That informs them about your competency skills regarding the job at hand. The best thing you can do is to describe your experience, skills and qualifications so that the employer can see if you are as qualified for the job as other candidates.

Do you comply with the budget allocated to human resources/recruitment cell?

Certain funds are allotted to human resource or recruitment department of every company well in advance. It is from this budget that the recruiters plan the salary for the prospective employee. This is the reason there are employers who ask about the salary, because they want to know the salary range that the applicant has received. They use this information about the salary history if they are about to hire someone. This information also tells them if the applicant is too expensive to hire, and if this is the situation, they will definitely choose another candidate that will fit in their expectations and budget.

Ideal reaction of the employee to this question

When asked this question, the candidate should definitely make it a point not to show any anxiety or contempt.
Some tips on how to react correctly to this question: It is best to give a salary range to the employer. You should not commit to a number or offer a price below or above what you are worth. Employers also ask about salary history to have some idea about how much does the candidate's skills and qualifications are worth.

If you are asked about salary history, tell the employer that you are flexible. Be polite and emphasize on how appreciative you would be regarding the organization. If your previous salary is a low one, and you consider that you were underpaid on the position, then it is better to tell the truth. As discussed before, hiring managers can easily ask your previous employer about your salary. Tell them your real salary, but emphasize on why you should be offered more based on your education, experience, skills and qualifications. Demonstrate to the employer that you have gained more experience or education from your last job or you had a small salary because during that time the promotions were frozen in the company. A decent reason given is the crippling recession. Do not give up and offer reasons for why you deserve a bigger salary.

There are many questions during an interview that can be tricky and which are hard to give an answer to. One of these questions refers to the salary history of the candidate. As mentioned before, employers ask the salary question because they want to see how valuable you are, whether you deserve the salary range and if the company can afford your salary range.

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