Is it a good idea to ask an interviewer what the salary range is for a position after you told them your current salary? If so, how would you approach doing this?

  • 1
    Never, ever, ever mention yoru current salary.
    – Fattie
    Apr 5, 2019 at 10:37
  • 1
    If someone asks you your salary, what they are really asking is what your expected salary for the position is - they are just asking the question very poorly. So don't say what your current salary is - say your expected salary for the role you're applying for.
    – MineR
    Apr 5, 2019 at 14:05
  • Why would that be MineR. Why not directly ask it? Apr 5, 2019 at 15:49

5 Answers 5


Never share your present wage. It's none of their business.

They may not do it, but it gives them every opportunity to reduce your salary from what you might have gotten.

Best response is to know your value on the market, how much you value your time, and try to find out how much they're getting paid. Then you negotiate your rate with them having as much knowledge as possible. You can ask what they pay their current people, but you'll have to take it with a little more salt than usual.

  • 1
    I agree but what is the best response in that situation? Apr 5, 2019 at 6:01
  • Best response is: I am sorry; I may share wage requirements after myself and the company like eachother. Good luck!
    – Kyslik
    Apr 6, 2019 at 2:17

If you have already told them what you make now, your best bet is to clearly indicate that with position change you also expect a noticeable step up in compensation, to compliment the next step in your career growth. Do not ask what the range is.

  • Why not ask what they presently pay? Apr 5, 2019 at 15:50
  • @RandyZeitman You won't gain anything by doing it.
    – user100470
    Apr 6, 2019 at 19:25
  • If you have a salary requirement there's obviously no reason to ask what they're paying ... you're clearly saying you're prepared to walk if they don't match. If you don't have one and they require to know what you make now then it would seem quite reasonable for you to find out where you would stand in relation to your peers. It's not acting in good faith to ask you what you make and not tell you the range they pay others. Good faith would be that performance not salary would be the sole criteria. Apr 6, 2019 at 22:48
  • Also, in that situation I would likely say that my salary was 75% my intended salary as I opted to receive stock options worth a minimum of 25% at the outset. I could also say I am still employed and signed a non-disclosure but would have no problem sharing the salary with you should my employer allow me to. "Are they aware you're looking for a different position?" Answer. Yes. "Why are you looking elsewhere?" Answer: I make 75% of my peers and I want to correct that. "So you only care about what we're paying?" Answer: "My primary goal is to correct my income." Apr 6, 2019 at 22:56

Knowing what the salary range is is important to you in making the decision to accept the job if it's offered to you. Why this seems to be taboo is something I've never understood. I see no problem with asking what the salary range is. That information is one of the most important factors in deciding to accept a job. I personally try to find this out before participating in interviews. I don't want to waste my time nor the interviewers time. If their salary range doesn't meet what I'm willing to accept then I explain that to them and politely decline the offer to interview for the position.

Unfortunately, you've tipped your hand by telling them your current salary. If your current salary happens to be on the low end of their range then they may offer you nothing more than a token increase over what you're currently making, so you may have effectively "low-balled" yourself. If they ask, redirect the question by telling them that you're more interested in understanding what their salary range is rather than in discussing your own salary.

Know what your skill set is worth in the current market and know what similar jobs are paying in your area before going into interviews. Your best "weapon" in negotiating your salary is knowing what you, or someone with similar skills and experience, is worth in the market.

  • I think it's obvious they're not going to tell you a range if you've not shared your own info. They'd just say that's confidential just as you have. Is your personal experience any different? Apr 5, 2019 at 15:51
  • Why would they not tell you? Do they think that you'll accept a job offer without knowing how much you'll be paid? Why would it be confidential? I always ask. If they won't tell me what the salary range is then I tell them I'm not interested. The only reason for them to ask you what your current salary is is so that they can low-ball their offer to you. I never divulge my salary. If that's a problem for them then I know they're playing games and I walk away.
    – joeqwerty
    Apr 5, 2019 at 16:41
  • @joequerty They won't say how much they are presently paying other programmers. And obviously if you don't tell your salary it's low so what's the advantage? Wouldn't you rather tell them knowing it's only fair to ask what they're presently paying others with your skill level? Apr 6, 2019 at 2:35
  • Not everyone with the same role, skill set, etc. will be making the same salary. I'm not interested in what they're paying other people, and I don't ask them what they're paying other people. I'm only interested in what they're offering me for the position. If a company is reluctant to tell me what the salary is for the position I'm interviewing for then that raises red flags for me. Why are they reluctant? Is it because their salary range is low? Is it because they want to low ball me? If they won't be transparent with salary information then what else won't they be transparent about?
    – joeqwerty
    Apr 6, 2019 at 2:59
  • @joequerty Why is it relevant that not everyone with the same role, skill set, etc. will be making the same salary ... will that range of salaries more likely have a 10% or 50% span? And of course they'll tell you what they're paying, it's either part of the offer or the job description. You say you don't care what they're paying others but it's a problem if they're not transparent ... so how could you ever know their transparency is aligned with what others are making? You're actually saying as long as they give you A number then that's fine ... doesn't matter if it's half everyone else. Apr 6, 2019 at 22:43

I wouldn't ask what the salary range is at an interview, that would however be a question I'd ask a recruitment consultant if they contacted me and I was interested.

It's a good idea to check up on salary ranges using one of the many sites like payscale so that you know your worth if an interviewer asks you what your expectations are.


Just because they know your existing salary range doesn't mean you need to accept an offer at the same level if you are wanting more.

Ask them what the expected salary and benefits for that position is. If they low ball you just tell them you aren't interested at that pay but that you would be interested at $x. The trick here is to know what $x you are willing to accept and sticking to it.

I know people say to never answer the question of what you are making now; and in general I agree with that. However just revealing your existing pay doesn't mean you can't negotiate a higher pay.

You are still in control of whether you accept their offer.

  • I want to hear from people who have refused to give a salary number and received the job offer they wanted. Apr 5, 2019 at 15:52
  • @RandyZeitman: TBH, I think that's unlikely. If someone doesn't give a number most managers I know will offer at the lower end. Which is either accepted or negotiated.
    – NotMe
    Apr 5, 2019 at 17:08
  • Of course. The better option would seem to give them the number and if they make an offer to ask them how they computed the offer number. If they balk, which they will, you can require your salary be adjusted to the required number if they offer to keep you on after the probation period. If they balk at that, perhaps saying your salary would be reconsidered at review, then you have to walk if you're more interested in the salary than the experience because there's no way they are going to hire you unless they feel you're worth at least double your pay - your own profit margin. Apr 6, 2019 at 2:47

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