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agalisgv
03-17-2011, 08:41 AM
Personally I would try to avoid giving actual numbers until you are offered something. At that point they are invested in you and won't dismiss you based on a high previous salary. Prior to that they very well could. Instead, I would say something like, "My previous salary was within current industry standards, and I'm confident we can work out an acceptable salary from both of our perspectives should I be hired here." I would leave it at that.

jmho

You mentioned you've had interviews already--have you received any feedback on how they've gone so far?

BaileyCatts
03-17-2011, 08:57 AM
No feedback at all. At least I got standard "some else more qualified" letters to at least close the loop though. I've had several phone interviews, and then you never hear anything. Why can't they at least follow up. :(

agalisgv
03-17-2011, 09:29 AM
Do you have a sense how the interviews have gone by the end of the interview? Has the interviewer given you any clues during the interview?

Skittl1321
03-17-2011, 12:06 PM
Say my salary was $12,000 a year at old job. My BIL says I should say my salary was $9,000 so that I am just under that "10/rounded" mark, and you could always say you forgot about that last salary increase if you are ever questioned about it, which he says you never would anyway.

Don't lie. One of the questions I was authorized to look up and answer when I worked in an HR department when checking references was what the salary was. (And there was NOT much we could say for references "yes, he worked here". "3 years", "$12,000" "He did not leave on negative terms" "I'm sorry, I am not authorized to give a character assessment.")

If you have room to right you could say "Started at $9,000" but if your salary was $12,000- well, you don't just "forget a 30% raise!" Lying in an interview is a really bad idea, getting caught is NOT a good thing.

Aceon6
03-17-2011, 12:17 PM
I've never answered that question with a number. First, bonuses and non-salary benefits vary widely from company to company. A $60,000 salary at a company with no bonus plan, a high deductible health plan and less than 3 weeks vacation is actually less than a $50,000 salary with a company with a decent medical plan, opportunity for bonus, and more generous vacation.

I've said things like "my total compensation consisted of x, y, and z and I feel it was comparable to the total compensation for similar positions in other companies" and "the total compensation package at company A included factors that may not be relevant at company B"

Company B KNOWS what Company A pays. Don't give them a reason to exclude you from the applicant pool before you find out what the job pays.

antmanb
03-17-2011, 12:33 PM
I don't understand why having a highly paid last job would be a turn off to a new employer. If the job you are applying for has a clearl salary expectation, then you must be prepared to work for the money they are offering, if in your last job you were paid 20% more than then the maximum this job offers then i would expect a reminder in the interview about it but that's it.

In this ecomony I have heard of a number of people in my indutry who were on six figure salaries who have taken a 30% cut of that salary just to have a job. Employers know they can get really good people for not nearly as much as they cost before the recession :yikes:

ArtisticFan
03-17-2011, 12:51 PM
I don't understand why having a highly paid last job would be a turn off to a new employer. If the job you are applying for has a clearl salary expectation, then you must be prepared to work for the money they are offering, if in your last job you were paid 20% more than then the maximum this job offers then i would expect a reminder in the interview about it but that's it.

While it stinks, it is true that potential employers look at previous salary as an indication of qualification. We recently hired a part-time writer where I work. The applications that were submitted were for the most part very impressive. However, the general attitude about them was that most were overqualified for the position that would only be 19 hours a week. People applying for this job that paid $15 per hour were coming from jobs where they had been making $70,000-plus a year.

Yes, the economy stinks and a year ago I was looking for work too. The unfortunate thing it is still an employers' market. There are hundreds of applicants (or more) for almost every opening out there. Looking overqualified (by skill set or salary) gives the impression that you are willing to take "any" job and that you won't stick around very long once higher paying jobs start opening up again.

That being said, I appreciated the ones that were honest about their salary history when asked. "Yes, I made $70,000 a year in my previous job. However, it is time for a change from that career and I feel that this job would provide me the opportunity to learn more about ______ field. Obviously I realize I won't be making the same salary here and am prepared to work at an appropriate rate of pay for this work, as it is something I am very interested in doing and something I know I could be successful at for you."

Yes, it is a load of BS, but we were hiring for someone in PR who needs to know how to spew BS.

genevieve
03-17-2011, 09:44 PM
I really don't get the benefit of saying you made less than you did (I'm ignoring the fact that lying about your salary is just a terrible idea - which it is). That just reduces your value in the eyes of the interviewer.

I've been fortunate to be in the position where I can be choosy, but in general I don't respond to ads where the salary range isn't available. Based on previous experiences, I just assume it means they pay less than my minimum requirements.

Susan1
03-17-2011, 11:28 PM
No feedback at all. At least I got standard "some else more qualified" letters to at least close the loop though. I've had several phone interviews, and then you never hear anything. Why can't they at least follow up. :(

That bugs me too. And I haven't been on an interview for over a year (for the temp job). I don't even get responses when I apply for a job beyond the website generated email "we have received your resume".

But I do understand why they can't follow up on every rejection personally. Before my last "real" job, I called to follow up after applying for a job I was perfect for and really wanted. The HR person said they had over 3,000 resumes to weed through. (I didn't get the job.) And things are 10 times worse out there now.

Castlerock
03-18-2011, 03:03 AM
I have done plenty of interviews on the employer side and we have never asked how much they made at their previous jobs (I can usually guess from the type of job they had).

We usually end the interview with the question "Why should we hire you?" We want to see if the interviewee is confident and can explain what they can bring to the job. To me this is one of the most important ones to answer (and many struggle with it).

Our first question is to tell us about our company - what they know. Even if they just printed out something from our website or say they googled us, we are fine with that. We are always amazed at how many people have no idea what we do and make up things! I would rather have them say, "I am not sure, can you tell me about your company". Agree with everyone here about NOT lying in an interview.

Louis
03-18-2011, 03:12 AM
About accepting a job that is far below your previous salary..... Employers (rightly or wrongly) may feel you will leave as soon as the economy gets better or a better offer comes along. Turnover is costly and reflects negatively on the manager/department.

In 2008-09, my department head hired a lot of people who were far overqualified for the positions they were hired to do. The economy was weak, the industry we are in had massive layoffs, and people were willing to take any position that paid something.

Well, all of the people hired are now gone (several of them lasted less than a year), and we have a massive staffing problem that has attracted all kinds of negative attention. As soon as the economy picked up, recruiters started calling and completely raided the department.

In our current search, we are being extra careful with people who have been laid-off from higher-level positions or who were previously earning much more. The thought is that if we can't bring someone in at their previous salary, we'll pass unless they convince us beyond a doubt that there is something extraordinary about this position that makes it appealing long-term to them.

My advice would be not to lie, but to emphasize the unique qualities of whatever position you're applying for that interests you.

Cupid
03-18-2011, 01:56 PM
You have to remember that in an interview you have to basically "sell" yourself. When asked why they should hire you, that is when you make your "sales pitch." You say what they wanna hear, basically, and try to be sincere about it.

As to salary expectations, don't sell yourself short. The job that I have now I learned about through a help wanted ad in the local newspaper. The ad said to send a resume along with my salary expectations, those not listing that would not be considered.

Well, I put in my salary range (I was hoping to get the middle range figure at the very least). When I went to the interview and the discussion of salary was brought up, would you believe he started talking about the lowest figure in my range as if I had already accepted that! It was then that I said I was hoping for the middle range, but I didn't get it. He came up a little bit but not much. So, be careful with your low salary figure because that is most likely what they want to give you. But, the health benefit package makes up for the lack of salary. I have my entire family on the plan at no extra cost to the employee. But still I wished I had gotten a bigger salary.

So if I were ever to look for a new job, I would say my total compensation would be "X" amount which includes salary and benefits. I would certainly NOT want to start off somewhere making the salary I'm currently making, with perhaps NO benefit coverage for my family and a farther drive.

Good luck, and keep us posted. MY only other advice is to act happy and enthusiastic in the interview, upbeat, the kind of person everyone would like to have around on a daily basis.

Aceon6
03-18-2011, 02:24 PM
So if I were ever to look for a new job, I would say my total compensation would be "X" amount which includes salary and benefits. I would certainly NOT want to start off somewhere making the salary I'm currently making, with perhaps NO benefit coverage for my family and a farther drive.

Well said. Your current compensation is the value of your paycheck + incentive pay (bonus, commissions, etc.) + benefits + other factors such as commute time and expense. A typical benefit package for a white collar worker costs the employer 20-25% of salary, so the total package "price" for your labor is higher than just your salary. If you were an independent contractor, you would need to charge $x to equal your current situation.

For the analytical among us, you can take all the factors including commute time, cost of benefits, difference in vacation/holiday time, and calculate an effective hourly rate for your current job and use that to compare offers.

FiveRinger
03-22-2011, 02:52 PM
I know this isn't my thread, but I wanted to take the time to thank everyone who contributed to this thread. And a special thanks to BaileyCatts for starting this.

It's amazing how the current happenings on FSU parallel what's going in my world, but as of late, that's been happening. I just had a job interview this past Friday, and thanks to everyone and their great advice, I think that I did well and impressed my interviewer.

For those of you who didn't know, I had been looking for a professional position since I completed my B.A. almost two years ago. I applied for this position on a Monday, received an email response from human resources Tuesday, responded to said email that evening and had a phone interview that Wednesday. The following Tuesday I had an interview scheduled for Friday. I have been told that I will know something by end of this week, first part of next week, and, justified or not, I am optimistic, especially since I was there for 4 hours being introduced and shadowing.

Anyway, much of what was said here really helped a lot. I did some research on my potential employer and the interviewer was really impressed with how much I knew about the company. She remarked about that. I also had some questions prepared for her. I don't know if I was going in the right direction here, and I hope someone here can tell me. One of the things that was obvious from the website is how this is a not-for-profit organization, and is extremely member based. I asked how/if the organization encourages employees to contribute locally to the community. This never would have crossed my mind except that the organization that I currently work for actually requires that we work at the local food bank during our work schedule once a quarter......

I do have one question, though. Because time is of the essence, and I was concerned about a thank you note getting lost in the mail (not just because this is a large organization and has to go through office mail, but decisions are expected to be made within the week), I sent my thank you as an email. I wanted to know how acceptable this is. I read on the internet that it is, but I feel better about getting some confirmation from people who actually work in HR who could give their opinions.

Again, thanks for all of the great advice and good luck to all of you job hunters!

Aceon6
03-22-2011, 03:04 PM
I do have one question, though. Because time is of the essence, and I was concerned about a thank you note getting lost in the mail (not just because this is a large organization and has to go through office mail, but decisions are expected to be made within the week), I sent my thank you as an email. I wanted to know how acceptable this is. I read on the internet that it is, but I feel better about getting some confirmation from people who actually work in HR who could give their opinions.

I'm not in HR, but am one of our department's team interviewers. I always appreciate the follow up email. When choosing between two equally qualified folks, I figure the one who sent the follow up might be more interested in the job than the one who didn't. The followup can be the tipping point for us.

As for snail mail, it's beginning to look quaint as it frequently arrives days after we've made our decision on the best candidate(s). YMMV.

Keeping my fingers crossed for you!!!