I recently applied for a new job. I passed the first test and they've booked me in for a face-to-face interview.

With the confirmation email they sent me a form to fill, where I should state my current and previous salaries (for the past 3 years). What concerns me is that they also want to know if I have other incomes (like stock options) and how much it is. Sounds more like a tax return than a job application.

I've been asked about my current salary before but this seems to go a bit too far. Is it common practice? Why would they need this kind of information? They said it's to better tailor their offer, but if I have other sources of income why should they care?

UPDATE: I've just received a reply from them and they say the form is completely optional.

  • 3
    Have you asked them why they need that info?
    – Masked Man
    May 24 '17 at 8:55
  • Yes but they haven't replied yet
    – algiogia
    May 24 '17 at 8:57
  • We can tell you how to handle that, but we can't tell you if what they do is legal, that would be on law.stackexchange.com
    – sh5164
    May 24 '17 at 9:26
  • 1
    Just tell them market rate
    – Ed Heal
    May 24 '17 at 10:04
  • @sh5164 I think this falls under the type of legal advice we can handle, which is the type that an HR professional should know. See this Meta discussion on what "legal" is allowed here.
    – David K
    May 24 '17 at 14:27

Illegal depends on the law of the land you are in. But a general piece of advice is to not to give a number first, to help you during your negotiation phase. Leave it blank and you could say

I would like to talk more about how I can contribute to this role and what skills I could bring to the table.

If they come back

"I have signed a confidentiality agreement with my current employer by which I will not be able to share salary information of the past. I hope you would respect and appreciate it".

Hope that stops them. Push this discussion on salary until the offer stage.

  • The only think I don't like about this answer is the potential waste of time. If the employer is large-ish they have a range that they are willing to pay a a person with certain qualifications. If the OP wants more than the range, there is no reason to waste anyone's time.
    – Pete B.
    May 24 '17 at 14:52
  • 3
    @PeteB. then they should make the candidate an offer on the basis that that is what they value them at, not based on external criteria such as what past employers paid. If the offer is too low, thats fine, its still worth considering by a candidate.
    – Moo
    May 24 '17 at 18:46
  • Please don't mistake my comment for the avocation of inflexible mindless corporate policies. Its a small nit pick to an otherwise very good answer.
    – Pete B.
    May 24 '17 at 19:37
  • 1
    Just a note, the second paragraph is (usually) a lie. A truthful version would be "My current employer considers that information confidential, so I'm afraid I can't share it with you."
    – Kaz
    May 26 '17 at 11:19

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