Hey, everybody Don Georgevich here with Job Interview Tools. Today, I want to talk to you about salary, but more importantly, whether employers are allowed to validate your salary.
I recently had a subscriber write in and he’s like, “Hey, Don, I had a job offer and they’re asking for my previous paycheck from the last job that I had so they can validate how much I was making. Are they allowed to do that?”
So, if you want to know what I told him, go ahead and let me know by hitting the “Like” button on this video. Subscribe to my channel and ring the bell.
So, like I said, one of my subscribers got a job offer and they want it to validate his salary. They’re like, “Hey, that’s fine. We’ll give you what you’re asking for, but we want to see a pay stub from your previous employer.”
I was in the same position before; I interviewed for a job. I got it and they said, “We’re happy to pay you what you’re making before, but we want to see your pay stub.” And you know what? I said, “No, I’m not going to do it.” You know what they said? “That’s fine. We’re not going to hire you.” And that was it. So, I went and showed them a pay stub.
I didn’t have a lot of options there. And unfortunately, I don’t think you do either. But fortunately, this is not a very common practice. That’s the only employer that’s ever done that to me. And I’ve never really heard of employers asking for other people’s pay stubs, at least not in the United States anyways.
But another question that jobs candidates have all the time is, “Can the employer validate how much I was making by looking my name up in the computer database like with my local, state or government?” No, they don’t. They don’t have access to that kind of information.
What you were making is between you and your previous company, and that’s it. And then obviously, your State and Federal Government knows how much you were making, too, but not in a way that they could report that to anybody. That’s extremely confidential information. So, nobody knows.
But they can guess what you were making before just based on your position, the type of job that you had and where you were working. They can just go to salary.com and punch in the data; punch in your type of job, how much experience, in what geographic location and they’re going to get a rough ballpark number of what you were making before.
So, I mean, if you went into a job interview and said, “I was making $80 thousand in my last job.” And they punch into salary.com and they look and they’re like, “Well, nobody makes more than 50 thousand do in that same job in that area.”
So, let’s say that you were making $80 thousand a year, but you are worth 100 thousand; you were just severely underpaid by this company. So, when you go in to interview for another job and let’s say that job does pay $100 thousand a year or 120, what are you supposed to tell the employer? Do you tell them, you be honest and say, “Well, I was making $80 thousand before” or do you lie a little bit and you tell them, “Well, I was making 100 thousand” knowing full well that you should have been making 100 thousand?
I’ll tell you; this gets tricky, and I’m not going to tell you to lie or not. I’m okay with fudging the figures a little bit, maybe by a few thousand dollars in either direction. But if you start lying about a $20 thousand gap, what’s more than likely going to happen is it’s going to work against you. You’re going to be in conflict with yourself.
Because remember, you’re in a job interview. You’re trying to persuade the employer to hire you, right? Obviously. And you’re trying to persuade them because you’re a good, decent, honest person and you can work hard and you can do the job they need you to do. But if you start lying about things like salary, now you’re in conflict with your own values.
And what’s going to happen is that’s going to work its way through your body language. So, any time they ask you what you’re making, you’re like, “I was making $100 thousand” or you’re going to have some little twitch every time they ask you about salary; you’re going to look away because you know it’s a lie.
So, little lies like that are going to work against you. So, you’re better off just being straight up. Because now, you’re not in conflict with yourself; you’re being genuine, true and honest and you are representing yourself in the truest form.
But what do you do? I mean, if you’re worth 100 thousand and you’re making 80 right now and you want this new job and maybe it pays 110, how are you going to get them to go up $30 thousand dollars from where you were?
I’ll tell you this, you’re better off just telling them what you were making, but letting them know that you were underpaid there. It’s simple as that. And they’re going to know.
I’ll tell you right now, they’re not going to want to hire you for a job that’s paying $120 thousand dollars if they don’t think that you’re qualified for it. And they’re not going to pay you less for it. They’re not going to say, “Well, you were making $80 thousand before. There’s no reason that we need to pay you 110; that’s too big of a jump.” No, it’s not.
You see, employers want to pay you what you’re worth. They want to pay you market value; most of them do. I know some of them might try to take advantage of you and get you on sale and get you for a low-dollar amount. But they know that if they hire you in for a job at $80 thousand, even though it’s worth 100 thousand, they know you’re going to leave; you’re going to quit.
So, they’re going to try to give you an offer that’s representative of what your worth, your market value, in that geographic area. It’s as simple as that.
So, this goes back to can employers validate what you were making? You don’t even need to worry about that. If you’re true to yourself throughout the interview, throughout the entire interview process and you let them know what you were making, in the right context, then you don’t have anything to worry about, right? Do I make sense?
Now, to set the stage; to set the stage about salary, one of the things you need to do is to address salary concerns up front. So, the first time that you get the phone call and they reach out to you like, “Hey, Don, we’re interested in interviewing you for this computer programmer position.” Right there, that is the time, during that phone call, after you find out if this position is interesting to you, ask them if they have a salary range in mind for the position. You want to start talking salary from day one.
Because, I mean, let’s say you’re making $80 thousand and this company calls you up and said, “We’re interested in interviewing you.” And they say, “This job only pays $50 thousand”, you’re probably not even going to want to interview with them.
So, that’s why you want to address salary concerns on the very first interview, which is usually a phone interview or maybe not even a phone interview. It’s just the first contact where they reach out and they’re like, “Hey, are you interested in this position? If you are, I would like to schedule an interview.” And that’s the time where you ask them if they have a salary in mind for the position.
Now, let’s just say you missed that boat and you already had your interview scheduled, maybe on your second interview, you haven’t even talked to salary yet. Bring it up in the interview. The best time to bring up salary is during the end of the interview, like when they’re like, “Hey, do you have any questions for us?” You wrap it up and you close it. That’s one of the times to bring up salary.
But let’s salary be the last question you ask. So, when they have questions, you know, “Do you have any questions for us?” Ask them other questions about the job and then let your final question be, “Well, I’m really interested in this job. Do you guys have a salary range in mind for it?”
Just like that? Don’t ask him what the job pays. Ask them if they have a salary range in mind for the position. And then they’re either going to say “Yes” or “No.” And usually, they’re going to say, “Yes” and they’re going to say, “Yes, we do. And it’s between $120 thousand” or 100 thousand and $120 thousand.”
And then they might come back to you and say, “What range are you in or what were you making before?” Hopefully, there they just ask what you’re looking for. And if they say what you’re looking for, you can say, “Well, I’m looking to make about $110 thousand.”
If they ask what you were making before, yeah, then say, “I was making $80 thousand.” and leave it at that. But say it and say it confidently. Don’t say, “I was making $80 thousand. Say, “I was making $80 thousand.” Be proud of what you were making before. Then say, “And I’m looking to make more of a significant jump. I’ve been a little underpaid over here.”
Now, you’ve got to be careful. When you say you’re underpaid, they might be like, “Why were you underpaid? Maybe you weren’t working very hard. Maybe you didn’t deserve a raise.” These are all possibilities and these are the things that might be going through that employer’s mind.
So, if you were underpaid, tell them, if this was true, I mean, whatever your situation is; I’m just giving examples here. But tell them that the company wasn’t making their profit margin that they needed to make. And so, all raises got put on hold for everybody. And even though you weren’t directly responsible for generating revenue or company profit.
Yeah, things like that. There’s all kinds of different ways that you can paint a picture that shows that you were legitimately underpaid and that you’re seeking, X amount of dollars more.
Does that work? Does that help you, my friend? I hope so. So, in your next interview, make sure you address salary first. And that way, when it comes down to getting the offer, you don’t have to worry about all these concerns or anything because you’ve already addressed this stuff early on in the process.
Now, it just gets down to, “Hey, we have an offer here for $110 thousand. If we were to send that out to you, would you accept that?” You’d say, “Yes, I would.” And that’s how it’s done, my friend.
Now, that’s all I have for you today. But before you go head on over to a jobinterviewtools.com/top10, grab this. This is my Top 10 Guide to Answering the Top 10 Interview Questions.
It’s going to teach you how to answer, “Tell me about yourself.” “Why do you want to work here?” “What are your accomplishments?” All those kinds of questions that you can expect to get on your next interview. And it’s just going to walk you through a simple, easy way to answer those questions in a way that’s going to satisfy the employer.
All right my friend. That’s all I have for you today. Good luck on your next interview and I’ll see you in the next video. Bye now.