There is a reason for dreading the “S” word. It is one of, if not, the most difficult questions to answer in an interview. “How much salary are you getting now?” This could very well be a trap question for the following important reasons.
If you answer it truthfully, it could work against you in different ways. If your salary is lower than they were meaning to offer, they could low-ball you – then you lose some. It could also create an impression that you are less qualified than the next candidate who is earning more. If you are getting higher than what they can afford to offer, and there are other comparable candidates, they could just eliminate you outright without the benefit of negotiation.
On the other hand, if you are tempted to jack up your salary to give you leverage; resist it. It is not recommend that you ever fake your salary. Remember that any dishonest assertion you make during an interview can haunt you in the future.
So what do you do?
It is best not to provide your salary rate in an interview. First off, it is confidential information. Secondly, it will not help you in any way to be hired. The only information the hiring manager needs to know and agree on with you is your desired salary rate to which they could counter with an offer and negotiate on.
If asked, you can opt to say, “I will consider an offer along the current market rate and I am willing to negotiate depending on the nature of the work and the scope of responsibility. However, I regret not to divulge my salary rate for confidentiality and privacy reasons.”
It is interesting how skilled interviewers can make you feel so at ease, earn your trust, and at your weakest point, ask this question. So prepare and rehearse how you are going to respond ahead of your interview and state your answer in your most positive and gracious way.