I had some bad experience in past, where I have lost 2 jobs in one year and the last one as well, I will admit that I had been trying to be maverick but ended badly in the 2 jobs I mention. Reason being is technology was changing and I wanted to blend it while recruiters put me for a role that wasn't as it was told/advertised. But my last role lasted 5 months, which was a really high paid given from the last role before that I had for 1.5 the years.

Many reasons contributed to me losing my last role, one of them was a memory and my effectiveness. I was in a position for 1.5 years where I was rejected for things I bring to the table and was told to use legacy code, that and my manager having a trust issue with me because he liked to have control like not letting me do my job when I had a track record of doing it. I quit that one because I was hesitant to do something, which I bought for my new job and I lost it because I became underconfident and got bad memory.

I have applied for roles that are 15% less paying then last one but I think people are getting red flags as of why I will take so much cut, what can be wrong with this person? It is true I want to build my confidence up again also I need to take some time for myself to get up to speed with the tech world, but I cannot say this in an interview. How can I justify when asked about my previous pay and expected pay and why I am ready to take such a cut

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    Why do they know you are taking pay cuts? Are you telling them? If so, why? Jun 20, 2018 at 9:53
  • @user1666620 The question is very common. "What was you last salary?, what are you expecting"
    – user15704
    Jun 20, 2018 at 9:54
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    Just because they ask that question does not mean you have to answer it. It's a tactic recruiters use to try to give you the minimum amount of cash possible to get you to take the job. You'd be awfully silly to answer it beyond "I don't feel comfortable discussing my financials with strangers". Jun 20, 2018 at 9:56
  • @user1666620 they might end the call plus you are kicking a potential employerer in the teeth when they ask you same and you say that?
    – user15704
    Jun 20, 2018 at 9:58
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    I've been using that line for a few years now and it's not ended a call yet. It's part of the negotiation. Jun 20, 2018 at 10:00

1 Answer 1


Given the short duration of the previous higher-paid roles you can answer both this question and the potential "why were the roles so short?" in one:

I took roles that were too senior too quickly and I've realized that I need to focus my career at a more appropriate level

or if you think that sounds too negative:

I have a young family and found that in the more senior roles that my work-life balance suffered too much and that this was harming not only my family life but my performance at work"

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    Or instead of making it about senior vs junior, make it about the content - often, senior roles are about bigger-picture decisions, reviewing/guiding others' work, setting standards, etc - and maybe instead of that, you want to "get your hands dirty" and do the actual work yourself.
    – dwizum
    Jun 20, 2018 at 12:20

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