-1

This question already has an answer here:

In the last few weeks, I have been applying like crazy as I am desperate to leave my awful current job as soon as possible.

I had a telephone interview with one recruiter some days ago and was asked about my current salary and my expectations in terms of an increase.

I am aware of the fact that my current salary is quite high, and it could be the maximum salary employers are willing to offer for a similar position. I mentioned that money is not a priority for me at the moment and that I would be happy even with the same salary for a job I really love.

The interviewer then asked me if I would be happy with a lower salary? To this question, I answered that no, I wouldn’t, as I didn’t want to sound desperate for a job at any cost.

Did I make a faux pas by answering in a contradictory way? My wife thinks that even my answer to the first question was unwise and reeked of desperation, as nobody changes job for the same salary.

I haven’t heard from them since which I don’t care much about, but I would like to know how to answer similar questions in my future interviews.

Edited: My question has been marked as a duplicate and also downvoted for some reason. I believe my question is not a duplicate and here I am explaining why: I am not willing to accept a lower salary and wasn’t prepared for such a question. I needed suggestions on how to deal with similar questions in the future without sounding greedy. In my Country a 15-20% increase is considered customary when changing job in the financial sector, hence my impression is that the recruiter was using some kind of psychological trick to understand my real level of motivation/interest but wasn’t really expecting me to accept a lower salary, given my level of experience and qualifications. Thank you to all your inputs, they have been extremely helpful.

marked as duplicate by gnat, Malisbad, scaaahu, Rory Alsop, IDrinkandIKnowThings Jun 24 at 14:07

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • "asked me if I would be happy with a lower salary ... I answered that no, I wouldn’t, as I didn’t want to sound desperate" - but would you be willing to accept a lower salary? – Dukeling Jun 23 at 19:30
  • current salary and my expectations in terms of an increase did you give a range you want your salary to be in? Max value can be your recent salary. – Bernhard Döbler Jun 23 at 19:35
  • @ Dukeling I could survive but I think it would have a negative impact on my self esteem – Perla007 Jun 23 at 19:36
  • How are recruiters discovering your profile? If this is via a Web based platform, have you mentioned your current salary there? Having your current pay mentioned will filter out job proposals that can't afford you. – Nimesh Neema Jun 23 at 19:37
  • 1
    To put it another way: do you want to hold out until you get at least your current salary and lose out on opportunities where they're not willing or able to pay that? That may not be an easy question for you to answer, because you don't know whether you'd ever get that, but you can do some research to determine how realistic it is. – Dukeling Jun 23 at 19:46
7

I am aware of the fact that my current salary is quite high, and it could be the maximum salary employers are willing to offer for a similar position. I mentioned that money is not a priority for me at the moment and that I would be happy even with the same salary for a job I really love.

The interviewer then asked me if I would be happy with a lower salary? To this question, I answered that no, I wouldn’t, as I didn’t want to sound desperate for a job at any cost.

Did I make a faux pas by answering in a contradictory way?

That depends (as it often does).

If you aren't willing to accept a salary lower than your current salary, then what you said was fine. Better that they should know up front what you are willing to accept and what you are not. That saves time for everyone. In that scenario you may prefer to skip the "money is not a priority part".

If you would be willing to accept a lower salary (since you indicate that you are desperate to leave your awful current job as soon as possible) then you probably said the wrong thing.

As always, you need to enter every interview knowing what you want, and what you would be willing to accept.

When asked about salary expectations, I tell them my current salary and usually say that "I'm willing to negotiate", since I am usually in a position where I would accept a slightly lower salary for a terrific job situation. But that may not fit your needs.

My wife thinks that even my answer to the first question was unwise and reeked of desperation, as nobody changes job for the same salary.

I disagree with your wife. I accepted a job for a lower salary more than once. I have never been desperate.

  • @ Joe Strazzere: Perhaps I need to add that I sacrificed 3 years of my and my wife’s life studying very hard for a very challenging qualification (Cfa). This is one of the reasons why I would look like a fool to my wife if I were now to accept a lower paying job. I really like your suggestion about being willing to negotiate. Thank you. – Perla007 Jun 23 at 20:20

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.