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In the screening interview or during the application process, the employer may have asked you for your salary history or what your expected salary is. Requests for salary history are not a part of the negotiation. However, I'm going to talk about how to handle it in the future. Why do employers ask in the first place? They may be gleaning information from salary history. If you have shown steady increases over time, this shows that you're dependable. If you have rapid growth in salary, this could indicate to HR that you are a strong performer, or it could be a red flag if there is anything questionable.
If they require salary history, you need to be honest. It's easy for potential employers to verify this information. If your salary history has been low in the past, they may come in with a lower offer, but it will still be within a salary bound for that position. At this point, you need to be prepared with your story of where you exceed the position requirements to come in at the higher rate. However, if your past salary is above what they may be offering, you should say that you're willing to negotiate.
Be prepared with other options to bring to the table. If they ask during the screening interview what your expected salary is, you'll want to push back and turn the conversation around on them. You should say, "Based on my qualifications and skills, I would expect a competitive salary. What salary were you thinking for, for this position?" However, they may push for the answers. If they do, you should be prepared with your research on expected salaries.
Based on this information, you need to state a range that falls within the industry standards, but also takes into consideration your abilities. Remember that they want the best person for the job and want to offer salary that's appropriate for the market. If you've done your research and have a compelling story, you should get an offer that makes you happy no matter how you handle this question.
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