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I currently work for a large blue-chip IT company as a technical consultant, and have been sought by a recruiter for a similar role in another organisation.

Before they'll arrange an interview, he says he needs current salary details and salary "expectations" for the new role. This seems odd to me; I can just about understand the expectations, but current salary he has no way to verify anyway (I assume).

I'm keen on the role, but want to proceed with caution (I don't need it). Is it normal to have this information requested at this stage? If I push back, I wonder if I will be seen as uncooperative.

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  • Yes it's completely normal. What's the big deal? Although the recruiter has no way of verifying the salary details it's not unusual for UK references to state salary details so I wouldn't lie about it. Feb 26, 2016 at 17:39
  • If the recruiter/initial contact doesn't bring it up first, I've taken to asking what the pay range for the position is. After getting through an arduous series of technical interview torture sessions and then getting an offer 30% (or more) below your current rate, you learn to just be up front about things :)
    – James Adam
    Feb 26, 2016 at 18:49
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    You may want to state your salary expectation as a range, but you don't need to state your current salary (at least not this early in the process). Personally, I would push back on that second point. Is this recruiter a third party recruiter? Or an internal recruiter with the same email address as the company you want to work for? Definitely, do not give out that information if he's just some random third party recruiter. Feb 27, 2016 at 14:58

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Yes, it is normal, as for how to answer, it depends on how badly you want the job.

You can reply with your current salary, and say that you'd like a bit of a bump in a new position.

You can research similar positions on sites like Salaries.com.

What I recommend most of all is, after you've researched what similar positions pay, give a range. "Well, I'm looking in the neighborhood of "x" to "y". I usually also say that I am flexible because I am really very interested in this opportunity"

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  • I'm basing this on the US, rather than the UK: stating a desired salary range is normal, giving current salary or salary history is less so. As I recall I did that early in my career, the last few jobs (say the last 15 years) I was definitely not asked for current salary, and I'm not sure if I would have responded if I was asked.
    – DaveG
    Jan 18, 2020 at 15:26
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Yes, it's normal. They do that so they don't waste your time and theirs if your requirements are out of the client's range. And I would say this is likely universal, regardless of your location.

Think about it. Would you want to hire someone without knowing how much they're expecting? Imagine going through the interview process, discussing it with your coworkers and then making an offer that the prospect thinks is ridiculous.

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In the uk this is very normal. You usually state the going rate +10%.

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