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Should you lie about previous salary/hourly on your interview?

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  • Apr 7th, 2016 9:51 pm
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[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 22, 2009
2643 posts
518 upvotes
Toronto

Should you lie about previous salary/hourly on your interview?

I was told to be honest and so I did. The moment I gave them a number, they gave me only $1/hr more than my previous, even though I was looking for at least a 25-30% raise since I have more experience now.
17 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 8, 2006
1518 posts
713 upvotes
blitzforce wrote: I was told to be honest and so I did. The moment I gave them a number, they gave me only $1/hr more than my previous, even though I was looking for at least a 25-30% raise since I have more experience now.
You are not required to disclose your current/past compensation. You can simply say my sincere apology but sorry I don't disclose this information. Than go ahead and give them the number.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 22, 2009
2643 posts
518 upvotes
Toronto
What do you do they say you need to give them a number?
Deal Expert
Oct 6, 2005
16617 posts
2319 upvotes
blitzforce wrote: I was told to be honest and so I did. The moment I gave them a number, they gave me only $1/hr more than my previous, even though I was looking for at least a 25-30% raise since I have more experience now.
No, you shouldn't lie - but what you make is not what you want, so counteroffer what something fair. i.e. "I'm currently making $15 per hour, but for this position I would expect $20 per hour".
[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 22, 2009
2643 posts
518 upvotes
Toronto
Since they know what I made before, they just tell me "as of right now, this is our company's compensation for your experience and position". If I ask for more, wouldn't it mean a "no-go" immediately?
Deal Addict
Sep 7, 2004
1595 posts
598 upvotes
Toronto
blitzforce wrote: Since they know what I made before, they just tell me "as of right now, this is our company's compensation for your experience and position". If I ask for more, wouldn't it mean a "no-go" immediately?
The company will always tell you that their cap is $X/hr and that will be true only if you're dealing with a union. No company is going to say "this is our offer but let us know if that's ok or not and if not we'll increase it". Most companies will expect you to counter, and most companies will know if they are low-balling you.

If they offer you the job and give you an offer that isn't what you were expecting, tell them first that you very much appreciate the offer and are very excited to bring your skills and experiences to them. Then proceed to tell them that based on some research that you've done, and peers in the industry that you've spoken to, you would expect the offer to be a bit higher. (You should have some facts to back up your claim like glassdoor, salary.com, or some reputable place you can verify your claims). To this end, you want to make sure that if you're asking for a 25-30% raise you are actually in line with market rates. Don't ask for something that no one else in the industry is getting unless you are a superstar and that you're very specialized and highly in demand.

In the future, you can expect that HR will ask you about your salary expectations. If they flat out ask you what you were making previously, simply decline to answer that question. No one will be offended. HR will try to get away with asking, but they don't likely expect you to answer. Salary is personal and you can simply say something broad like "I was paid the market rate" or "Based on an NDA I signed I politely decline/unable to answer". Some HR recruiters will press you for this information and if you feel like this is a make-it-or-break-it question you can meet them half way and give them a range. They'll get it pretty quick that you don't want to answer and move on.

Also, if a company has made you an offer it means you were the best of the bunch, so they want you. There are also a lot of levers you can pull aside from your base salary when negotiating. Some negotiate flexible hours, vacation entitlements, sign on bonuses, clauses that allow them to accelerate performance reviews, etc...

So you can consider some of those options as well.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 21, 2011
9695 posts
2095 upvotes
Edmonton
I wouldn't tell them what I currently make, I'd tell them what I expect to make and allow for wiggle room.
Deal Addict
Oct 16, 2013
2355 posts
718 upvotes
New Brunswick
First, you need to know what the market is paying and bring that up when they did the +$1 offer. Second, you do not need to disclosed your salary. Third, 9 out of 10 they will give the range if you ask.

I would bring up that you would not quit your current job for a $1 raise.
Deal Addict
Jan 2, 2015
2150 posts
1609 upvotes
NOT centre of Univer…
At this point, you can try and negotiate and see if you can get a little more. However, when asked your salary, you give them what you would work there for. It's hard to do it after the fact.
Deal Expert
Jun 30, 2006
19112 posts
7188 upvotes
Toronto
I would never state my current compensation. It's not relevant, the company has a range and if my expectations fit into that range, fine. It's all a game, if they know your current compensation you lose the power. Also if they really push you, just tell them a bit higher then what your currently making.
Deal Addict
Aug 14, 2012
1379 posts
177 upvotes
AB
They shouldn't ask. So I would feel no remorse in lying to them. They might call your bluff and ask for a T4 or paystubs. Or go illegal and ask your employer ('references') outright. But if they want to use scumbag tactics be prepared not to get the job. The kind who would ask you this just want to lowball you into the ground anyways.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 19, 2008
2155 posts
315 upvotes
Montreal
I lied about my salary all the time and it worked. I usually research the position beforehand. For example, if the average of the job is 60K, then I said my current role is 55K (assuming your current role is not Mcdo of course).
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Deal Addict
Apr 21, 2014
2268 posts
1018 upvotes
Alberta
I always bump up my salary of the insist I give them a number. So if I was making 100k. I would say I make 112 (as long as that salary is plausible).
Deal Guru
User avatar
Dec 7, 2009
13849 posts
1337 upvotes
I try to apply for jobs where the compensation is understood before being hired. While some might argue that you lose out on negotiating, it's been my experience that companies transparent enough to publish their compensation are proud of what they offer, and tend to be industry leaders.
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Member
Oct 29, 2013
302 posts
55 upvotes
You can lie. Just be prepared to provide some proof if they ask for it.
Deal Addict
Oct 1, 2008
1998 posts
414 upvotes
Ottawa
Salary is only one factor, talk about overall compensation - Salary + Vacation + Sick Days + RRSP matching + any other other benefits. This way there is more interpretation as some benefits you way value in a different way than others.
Deal Fanatic
Mar 15, 2005
5500 posts
1044 upvotes
I usually inflate my current salary by a good ~10%, because I know most of the time they just want to give you your current salary plus a tiny bit more.

One company gave me an offer of $X for a role because it was a bit more than my current salary even though market for the position was probably about 30% higher. They weren't negotiating on the role, they were basing everything on my current pay. I turned them down.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 7, 2007
4578 posts
2098 upvotes
Have you heard of Liz Ryan? I really, really like her advice - not because it is 100% perfect every time, but because it's so current, so 2016 at last.

Just an example: talking to a recruiter that wants to know your current salary.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-answ ... eader-card
RECRUITER: So, what's your current salary?

YOU: In this job search I'm focusing on jobs in the $50K range. Is this position in that range?

RECRUITER: Probably, but I need to know your salary details.

YOU: I understand -- many companies ask for that information, but of course, that is my private financial data and my accountant has been very emphatic with me that it is not to be shared with anyone -- just like your company would never share its salary data. Can you find out whether this opportunity pays in the $50K range? If so, then it may make sense for us to keep talking.

Now the recruiter has to make a decision. Either he or she lets a talented candidate drop out of the pipeline (you!) because he or she can't stand to have a candidate refuse to roll over and play the submissive dog -- or the recruiter has to go back to the client and say "I have a great candidate for you, and I don't know the candidate's salary details but I know their salary target, which is $50K."

;)

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