What is the most difficult question during the interview process? It’s not “Why are you the best candidate for the job?” “Tell me about yourself,” or even “What is your greatest weakness?” The hardest question during the interview process is “What is Your Salary History?” The question is challenging because it can have a major impact on your earnings and, sometimes, even the likelihood of being hired. If your current salary is lower than what the standard salary for the role is or what you are truly worth, you may end up getting an offer than is lower than you deserve. For many, especially female and minority candidates, the pay gap is a serious issue that can follow them throughout their whole career.
In the United States, state and municipal governments are implementing new laws to address the issue. These pay equity laws are being put in place to prevent employers from asking candidates about their salary history. There are states and cities implementing laws including:
For more information on your state or city’s pay equity laws, or to find out if your area is looking at adding one, we encourage you to get more information from your state and/or municipal government offices to make sure you are prepared for your next job interview.
Because companies can no longer ask salary history in certain locations, giving a strong answer when asked your expected compensation is going to be even more important for compensation negotiations. To better understand your worth and how to determine a desired salary, visit the Executive Compensation category of our Career Insider Blog or Part Six of Our Ultimate Executive Career Management Guide.
Note: BlueSteps merely provides an overview of specific legal issues. This summary is not intended to be, nor should it be, construed as legal advice.
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