Most hiring managers expect you to ask about salary by the second interview, but if you do, they might turn that question around and ask you about your own salary history to get an idea of what you're willing to take. Here's why you shouldn't share with them what you've made before.
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Telling your potential new employer your current or past salary gives them an upper hand in negotiations on their offer to you. Redirecting that conversation, especially if the hiring manager or recruiter is persistent, can be uncomfortable but makes a big impact. US News has a couple of phrases you can use to reframe the salary talk as quickly as possible:
"I keep that information confidential, but the range I'm looking for now is..."
"My previous employers have always considered that information confidential, but I'm seeking…."
"That's not something I share with anyone but my accountant, but I'm seeking…"
If those exact phrases aren't your style, work off them to come up with something that gets the same message across and sounds more natural for you.
As with any negotiation, you want to come across as confident. Forbes recommends doing your research on the market and closely comparing your skills and experience to what the job description lays out so that you are confident that you'll bring a ton of value. If you can, draw a clear line between what you offer and the impact to the company's revenue and strategies. You want whoever you're negotiating with to focus on the future rather than your past salaries.