I am looking for a job change and I am attending interviews mostly through Phone.

As far as my industry standards, I am getting low salary from my current employer when I compare myself to my friends who are working as my same role. I tried to give the following reasons when the interviewer ask this question.

  • I am currently in my native place where the cost of living is lower than the city where I am going to work.
  • My current employer is willing to pay me the salary which is lower than my expected salary.

I have posted my profile in job portals where we have to specify current CTC. So the recruiters knew my current CTC.

How to explain more effectively when the new recruiters asking this question?

I am very much depressed with my current salary.

I am from southern part of India.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Jane S
    Commented Feb 14, 2016 at 20:31

2 Answers 2


Never, ever reveal your salary to recruiters - they will use this information against you mercilessly.

When asked simply reply that your current salary is private and you do not feel comfortable revealing that information. Tell them what your intended pay range is:

I'm sorry, but my current salary is a reflection of many factors which are specific to my current employer and situation. I do not feel comfortable revealing the amount as it is private information. I can however tell you that in order for me to move to X city, or be interested in the position we are discussing I would require a salary of at least $$$

$$$ should be what you want to get paid, plus a little bit extra, because they will always try to talk you down.

If the recruiter insists that you should tell him/her the amount simply answer like this:

My current salary makes sense based on the responsibilities, perks, and arrangements which I have with my current employer. This is a private agreement between myself and my employer, and not something I discuss with anyone, not even my coworkers. If the position you had in mind for me offers compensation along the lines of what I'm interested in we can continue this conversation.

  • 9
    I had a recruiter push hard for this information until I finally told him "I expect to be paid for the job I'm hired for, not the job I have now."
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 14:13
  • @KitZ.Fox - well said. Their nerve in trying to push you to reveal private information is simply stunning. They feel they have all the power in the negotiation, and forget that without the talent (ie. us) they would never get paid.
    – AndreiROM
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 14:16
  • 3
    I think approaches to this in India are different from The West. Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 15:19
  • I've had a recruiter ask me that, and I've simply refused. I always do. if they push, I leave. There are plenty of recruiters who realize that they have to sell me as well.
    – BobRodes
    Commented Feb 13, 2016 at 5:52
  • As I've said my salary is confidential information. If this is a blocker for you, I completely understand, and thank you for your time. Shuts them up 10/10 times.
    – rath
    Commented Apr 1, 2019 at 23:32

Be well informed with specific figures about the current rate for the job you're seeking. Steer the question with those figures. "Q: How much is your current salary? A: I'm looking for the current average of XX." When pushed (you will be pushed) for your current salary, it's fine to say you accepted many intangibles (benefits, perks, work-from-home, whatever), and because of that you were willing to accept a salary below the market rate, and that you are not willing to do so again. This phrasing says a lot; primarily, it pushes the topic back to the going rate. It also clearly states "thanks, but no thanks". You're fine keeping your current job at the lower rate, you want the higher rate.

A recruiter would love to place you at half your market value. Their client is more likely to be happy, and they quickly book half the commission or more, with little risk. Recruiting can be a volume business, which means you will not get what you want, you will get what you can be convinced to settle for--or what someone else with similar skills will settle for. They will be the recruiter that knows where to get cheap labor. This may have happened to you last time!

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .